These days, it seems I either have a backlog of unbloggable knitting, or I have a backlog of unblogged knitting.
(Actually, right now I kind of have both, but obviously I can’t get into the unbloggable stuff just now.)
My sister is getting married in August, and last summer when we were dress-shopping for her big day, I promised her a handknit thing to ward off the evening chill. Depending on the dress she chose, I could make a shrug, a shawl, a stole, or whatever would best suit. G decided that a shawl would be the best option.
I had this 100% silk yarn, bought at Wool Tyme in Ottawa on sheer oh-I-can’t-possibly-resist impulse. There was no label on either skein, except for a tiny price tag tied on with thread. The crunch of the yarn as soon as I touched the skein left no doubt as to the fibre content, and I could see that it was more or less a fingering weight yarn, but otherwise, I had no idea what I was getting. Thankfully, the price tags were not only tiny in size, they were tiny in dollar amount, too, so I went for it.
Lindsey, of Waterloo Wools, let me use her skeinwinder to measure out the yarn (also giving me a good chance to check for knots or breaks — shockingly, there were none!), so I knew I had about 390 yards in each 4-oz-ish skein.
Lindsey also agreed to custom dye the yarn, albeit with some trepidation. Silk takes dye differently than wool or wool blends, so she was anxious about her ability to achieve a colour that we could agree on. Lindsey, there was no cause for worry — the yarn is beautiful, an absolutely glowing shade.
Of course, once we had the yarn worked out, there was a little question of which particular shawl pattern to knit. If you look at my Ravely queue, you’ll see I have a few patterns there. (Eep.) I narrowed that down to shawls with the right yardage and yarn weight, then started trimming the choices further, down to this list of 16.
- Boxleaf Triangle by Anne Hanson
- Allons-Y by Glenna C
- Luiza by Jane Araujo
- Caricia by Anne Hanson
- Sunflower Shawl by Modern Lace
- Butterfly Forest Shawl by Ashley Knowlton
- Haruni by Emily Ross
- Cliffrose by Carmen Oliveras
- Pea Vines by Anne Hanson
- Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes
- Damask by Kitman Figueroa
- Peacock Shawlette by Kitman Figueroa
- The Orchid Thief Shawlette by Ysolda Teague
- The Crow Waltz Shawl by Juju Vail
- Batik by Kitman Figueroa
- Growing Leaves Shawl by Lanka Komero
G decided that (for this occasion, at least) she preferred soft, rounded edgings to sharp, pointy lace, and for various other reasons, we got it down to a choice between Emily Ross’ beautiful Haruni, and Kitman Figueroa’s gorgeous Damask.
I suppose it’s pretty obvious, now, which we finally chose.
I’ll come right out and say it: I love this pattern.
While, admittedly, knitting nupps in non-stretchy silk is not the most enjoyable of all the knitting I’ve ever done (ahem), it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. The pattern is incredibly thorough: every line is both charted and written out, for each of the three available sizes. (I had enough yarn to knit the large, but G is quite petite, so I went with the medium — enough to wrap around herself, not enough to drown her in.)
I absolutely adore the textural, almost printed, quality of this lace. Yes, there are holes, but in some ways it’s more akin to a cable design. The increases and decreases serve to move bits of the fabric around so that the lines of stitches swoop and swerve. I infinitely prefer this kind of lace to the kind where the holes are used to make a sort of dot-to-dot outline of something… probably because I can chart an outline on my own, but achieving this kind of lace is so far beyond my design ability that it just makes me boggle, and drool. Here, the holes are only one part of the overall architecture of the fabric:
Okay, enough waxing poetic. I haven’t had a chance to block this shawl yet, so I can’t give finished measurements. Please refer to the project page on Ravelry for those; I’ll update there once I’m able.
Now… Go knit yourself some architectural, textural, swoon-worthy lace!