Saturday, September 04, 2010

Shawls and more shawls

Ever since finishing all of my state fair projects, I’ve been feeling a little “blah” about my various knitting projects.  I think the weather could be a factor because it has been 90-bazillion degrees for the last month.  You just don’t feel like knitting a wool sweater in such hot weather.  But then, at the end of August, I was bitten (hard) by the lace bug.  Since August 27th, I’ve knit an entire shawl, blocked it, photographed it and am 75% through another one.  It’s actually quite astonishing.

The first shawl, Bitterroot, was published in the Winter 2009 Knitty.  Knitting started on August 27th and I was finished with it by September 1st.  The pattern is an extremely fast knit and you can memorize it very quickly. Rosemary has written a shawlette and full shawl version of the pattern.  My Bitterroot is the full version but, because I did it in laceweight, it isn’t incredibly large.  I’m very much in a “let’s put beads on EVERYTHING” place right now so this shawl was perfect.

This shawl is intended for a friend as a wedding present.  She normally doesn’t wear a whole lot of bright colors so I originally planned to use a different yarn and a different pattern.  But when she showed me her wedding colors, she had chosen a lovely pink and cream.   I just happened to have the perfect yarn and beads in the stash! 

The yarn is a lovely pink laceweight alpaca that was naturally dyed by Earthly Hues.  I picked this yarn up from Tricia at a local craft show and this skein has lasted forever!  So far I’ve made a cowl and a shawl from it but there is still enough left for a whole other shawl.  The beads I used are pearl seed beads which were in my stash.  Normally I don’t have as much of a contrast between yarn and bead color but I like the finished product a lot. 

The second shawl is the Brandywine shawl.  This pattern is absolutely fantastic.  You cast on the bottom point and work your way up to the neck.  This shawl is made out of a fingering weight yarn and it is simply FLYING.  I started knitting it during my lunchbreak on August 31st because I was on the last 2 rows of Bitterroot and didn’t want to run out of lace to work on.  As of lunchtime today, I’m 75% finished with it. 

I don’t have a fantastic picture of the shawl because it is still in that yucky, not blocked lace blob.  The yarn is Sterling Silk & Silver by Kraemer Yarns.  It is a wool, silk, nylon and silver blend.  The silver really isn’t scratchy and I can definitely imagine using this yarn for socks though it would be a waste in your shoes.  A couple of years ago, I bought 2 skeins of it at Knitter’s Connection to make a shawl.  Did I have a shawl in mind?  Of course not.  Then I came across the Brandywine shawl and knew I found the right pattern.  The silver flecks really make my Brandywine look interesting. 

Both shawls are designed by Rosemary Hill and I think the next one that I knit will be by her, too. I think I might be a junkie. 

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