May 20, 2005

Take me, I'm yours

I am in love with my shawl.


There is nothing about this shawl that I do not like. In fact, I like this shawl so much that I am even finding the way that it sheds little white alpaca pieces all over my clothes to be the most charming thing a piece of knitwear has ever done. It weighs nothing...
It is only air with tiny threads wrapped round it.
It is beyond beautiful. It is after lace is blocked that I always feel most like I have waved a magic wand, or worked a trick.


Last night I showed the shawl to Ken.
"Isn't it lovely?" I asked, floating the shawl through the air in an arc. "Look at it..." (this is the part where even though Ken is already admiring the shawl and not looking at anything else, I make him look closer. Ken loves this part.) "See the little yarn overs? Look at the yarn overs... It's so beautiful."
"Well" said Ken "It should be beautiful. You tied a really complicated knot in alpaca dental floss."

Dude has a point.


There are many things I find remarkable about knitting, but nothing more than this.
This shawl, this whole huge and beautiful thing, this thing that took three weeks and a small chunk of my sanity (not that I had a lot to play with in the first place) is made from one continuous piece of thread. One long filament, wrapped and twisted around itself in a way that means that if you were to pull on one end of it....the whole thing would come unravelled in a heartbeat.
It's magic.


Official details:
Pattern, The Lotus Blossom Shawl, from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I can't recommend Fiddlesticks patterns enough. The charts are huge , there are written directions for tricky bits and they are creative, beautiful and simple.
Yarn, a brilliant find from a small farm just outside Ottawa. True laceweight alpaca (not the fingering weight the pattern called for). A good substitute would be the Cherry Tree Hill Laceweight Alpaca. I'm guessing that I used between 600 and 800m. (Please note, I am a notoriously bad guesser. Horrible.) I thought that changing the yarn might make the end product a lot smaller, but my shawl measures about 70", and the pattern predicted 72".
Needles were 3.75mm bamboo circulars, which I regret a little, since I would have knit it twice as fast on straights, but I wanted to be sure that I could get it on planes.

A wonderful weekend to all of you, especially to all of us Canadians who are celebrating May two-four weekend. Crack a cold one, open the cottage and plant something. It's the start of warm.

Posted by Stephanie at May 20, 2005 11:18 AM