Monday, February 07, 2005

Catching Up

Mother's Christmas 2004 Shawl Posted by Hello

I finally got the pictures from the holidays edited, and thought I'd post my mother's Shetland-paterned, Orenburg-worked rectangular shawl. I talked about this a bit earlier, but a more detailed explanation - well...

I bought a pound of Shetland sliver at SAFF 2001 thinking I'd make myself a Shetland shawl. It was a logical choice - I love to spin very fine, and I love lace. I got sidetracked on other things, though, and the sliver sat patiently waiting. In June 2003 I pulled it out and spun 3 ounces for a similar shawl for my mother-in-law. I gave it to her for Christmas 2003, and listened to my mother hint for the next eight months. She wasn't nagging, just hinting!

Finally in August I started spinning, again from that pound of Shetland sliver. I had some other alternatives in the stash, but this had done so well before, and I still had plenty...what can I say, it was a excuse to revisit an old friend! I spun three ounces in 1-ounce increments, removing an ounce from the bobbin and plying it before spinning the next ounce. Spinning weight was approximately 4200 yards per pound, 2-ply was 40 wpi. Meanwhile, I planned the pattern.

After lots of swatching, which was fun in itself, I finally settled on my three elements - two from Sharn Miller's Heirloom Lace, and one basic faggotted insertion. The center is the Leaf Lace, and the edging is the Doris Edging from that book.

Working the previous shawl in Orenburg fashion kept me well-entertained, and I didn't think it was as difficult as picking up all the edge stitches, so I started this shawl the same way, working nine repeats of the Doris Edging. Next I turned the first corner, picked up from there to the end of the lace strip, turned the other corner and started knitting the faggoting together with the edging and center. After 26 repeats of the edging up the sides, I again turned the corner and finished things up the week before Christmas. Blocked size is approximately 22 by 70 inches - a little small for a shawl, perhaps, but Mother isn't that large a lady! Also, I wanted something she'd wear a lot, and she's doing that with this size - it goes well over a suit jacket or dress.

I used LOTS of markers, and charted all the repeats out carefully - what can I say, it worked! If I were doing it again, I'd probably choose a different border - something more intricate - but what I've done looks pretty good! Mother loved it, and I loved making it for her.

My "What next" dilemma is solved, and I've started Meg Swanson's Roseleaves Tunic from A Gathering of Lace. I had some beautiful Shetland lamb roving from Cyndee Wilson in Ohio, and spun up quite a bit with no real project in mind, so I've used it for this. I dyed it with some cochineal and let it dry. I've knitted madly since then, and am largely done with the yoke - I'll start the sleeves sometime today or tomorrow. And the lovely brown Shetland lamb that I was spinning with this in mind will do very well for a shawl I'd like to make for myself, perhaps combined with the black I'm spindling!

Now to decide whether to make it round or square, and whether to use a doily pattern I've been eyeing in a larger needle size or make a more traditional Shetland pattern, or maybe try EZ's Pi Shawl with lace patterning in the bands, or...

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