These are a couple of shawls I finished in May, which I've been waiting to blog about until I knew they were safely delivered to Canada. They were both made for a dear friend who I've known since university when we worked together while I was on a work term. We shared an office with a lovely man named John, who she went on to marry a few years later. We lost touch (I'm a RUBBISH correspondent)(really rubbish) until she found my email address through a bit of detective work in April. I was so pleased to hear from her, and saddened to hear that John had passed away following some complications with eye surgery about 18 months ago.
As I couldn't reach through the internet to give her a hug, I decided to do the next best thing and picked up my knitting needles and yarn.
I showed her a few patterns and she selected the Whisper Shawl - which as the name suggests is a very open, incredibly light pattern. The pattern didn't have a picture of the front of the shawl which is probably my only real complaint about it. In the end I quite liked the front 'collar' the pattern creates, but as I didn't have a picture of what I was knitting I was pretty dubious while it was in progress.
The shawl is knit as a half circle, with a very wide garter stitch border. The body of the shawl is a very simple 4 row pattern which knits up quickly.
The cast off row includes beading which gives a bit of weight to the lower edge. I used foil lined glass beads and I like the sparkle they added.
Knitting on the front border was pretty straightforward and the pattern for it (like the rest of the pattern) charted and easy to follow.
When it came to blocking the shawl I realised that I really need some curved blocking wires. In their absence I had to carefully pin the shawl out to a half circle shape - creating points where each of the beads were. Blocking, as always, wasn't difficult, but it was time consuming. I began by pinning the long straight edge (where my straight blocking wires were very useful) and then began drawing out the curved edge.
Basically, this entails using lots of pins. If you are slightly obsessive this entails using a crazy number of pins.
If you are me it entails using every pin you have and considering making a mad dash to the nearest shop to buy more.
Whisper Shawl Pattern - I bought it from the Yarn and Fiber Company.
I used 4 skeins of Kid Silk Haze and 6mm needles and about 350 beads.
Unblocked it was a puny 48" across the top with a 31.5" drop.
Blocked it became a majestic 66" across the top with a 42" drop.
I photographed the shawl on a rainy day in May -- I hope Faye gets better weather to wear it in!!
And because I've always rather liked the look of the pattern I pulled out a skein of Dream in Colour Smooshy yarn and decided to also make her the Clementine Shawlette from Interweave Knits Spring 2007. This was one of those patterns that just flew along and I really enjoyed making it.
To preserve the symmetry of the chevrons, the shawlette is knit in two pieces. The pattern suggests grafting the two pieces together, but I just cast the stitches off together and I think the effect is tidy (and faster!).
I like the casual look of the shawlette, and think it would be quite sweet with a summer dress or a pair of jeans.