Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Story of a Shetland Tea Shawl



Once upon a time there was a knitter who couldn't decide what to knit next.

She stared into her stash cupboard for inspiration.

And stared.

Occasionally she would pull out a bag of yarn and stare at it closely. Then she would sigh, put it back and then stare at the cupboard some more.

Eventually she decided this staring approach wasn't going to yield any results so she adopted a 'First in First Out' algorithm and set about finding the oldest yarn in her stash. That turned up this olive green laceweight yarn (Baruffa Cashwool from Lane Borgosesia).

Armed with 1400ish yards of olive green laceweight she turned to her knitting books and realised that despite having owned the book for over a year she had never made anything from A Gathering of Lace.

Flipping through the pages the knitter came across the Shetland Tea Shawl which was a pattern she had admired in the past and it just happened to need 1400ish yards of laceweight.

Hurrah. Pattern selected.

The knitter cast on and the green yarn was slowly turned into a green blob. And the green blob grew and grew. It grew until it was almost a shawl. But wasn't quite a shawl because a shawl needs edging.

In the case of this shawl 1150 rows of edging.

So the knitter began knitting the edge.





And slowly the knitter edged along...










...and along....









....and almost there...







And finally the knitter cast off and inspected her work.

And found a rather uninspiring mess of green noodles trying hard to be a shawl.






But the knitter didn't panic. She knew with a short bath, 115 pins and a few hours drying time these green noodles would become this.



A happy ending!

Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace
Baruffa Cashwool - 1460 yards (I used about 1200 of that)
3.25mm needles

Unblocked size - 29 inches (diameter)
Blocked size - 55 inches (diameter)

32 comments:

fuzzyjay said...

That is "soo" beautiful. I think you found the perfect gauge for the perfect yarn for that project.

Gale said...

Another stunning beauty for your collection. Nice colour.

Crafty Cripple said...

I don't know what I am most jealous of, your totally gorgeous shawl, your ability to knit said shawl, or your amazing stash - I want them all!

Knitting Therapy said...

A very serendipitous knit. I stared at my stash and had no idea what the 'first' item in was!

It is stunning, many you have many hours of enjoyable wear.

passingdowncrazy said...

Gorgeous!!! I like your method of choosing a project. Logical inspiration.

Sherilan said...

Gorgeous! and did you knit day and night? Very few days from the last post. Thanks for the inspiration.

Lin said...

I love that story! Your stash is an array of beautiful colours, no wonder it was hard to choose.

Brenda said...

Absolutely stunning.

K @ Tidewater Knits said...

So, so gorgeous.

cpurl17 said...

Beautiful.

Joan said...

Aren't you a dark horse? Congratulations!

punkin said...

Beautiful. I like several patterns in that book, but I have yet to knit one of them. You have inspired me.

clarabelle said...

I'm still trying to get over that photo of your stash, Soo!

I've used Baruffa ages ago - very fine, I think? I think as well, I have this pattern book... must check up!

xxx

Rippedoffknitter said...

Beautiful. I've been close to buying that yarn online a couple of times but have yet to try it. Looks perfect for your shawl.

Barb said...

Beautiful as always Soo. I love it. You're making me want to add yet another lace project to those on the needles... lets see, cobweb stole, hanami, maple leaf, and about 4 other pieces of lace. Yeah, I can add one more. No problem, right?

travellersyarn said...

I think that I have the yarn, but not the talent to pull off that shawl. It is amazing!

Opal said...

i love a happy ending! and what a gorgeous happy ending this is! gorgeous shawl, soo. :)

The Caked Crusader said...

As an obsessive gatherer of something entirely different to yarn (I am stockpiling cake tins)I feel I must commend your bravery in exposing your stash to the world.
The shawl is beautiful but, having seen your work up close and in progress, that is no surprise to me at all.

fleegle said...

I love many of the patterns in The Knitter, but none of them made me immediately dash for my needles. I do love that green lacy top--maybe in a few months after I finish up a few things.

Sarah said...

I just stopped by from Clarabelle's blog and very much enjoyed the happy ending. What a beautiful shawl - and I love the capelet from the previous post too.

MoniqueB. said...

Hi Soo,
i like knitting too! I've knitted this one also, but no diamond madeira, instead the pattern from the sampler stole.
I like yours a lót, the colour is soooooooo beautiful. And the size is góód.
Mine is much smaller. Maybe I'll knit it again...
Your Forest Path is also véry beautiful.

gail said...

That is an absolutely outstanding shawl! What a work of art!!

Kate said...

Gorgeous work, truly. Lace is on my list, for someday, but that list just keeps getting longer, somehow...

Shirley Grant said...

Your knitting is just beautiful. I don't know how you have the patience to knit something so fine.

stringplay said...

What a great story. AND with such a happy ending. LOVE the shawl. It is just beautiful. I think I'll go get my book and stare at the pattern awhile. Sigh.

Batty said...

Lace is magical. It goes from spaghetti to stunning with just a bit of water and a whole bunch of pins.

Viknits said...

Wow, what a transformation! It's really stunning (of course!)! :)

Purplegem said...

Beautiful work :)

fleegle said...

I am seriously considering a box--the drawer is getting really really full.

Thanks for the kind words about Unspellable :)

Agnes said...

So lovely!

Cinders said...

Havnt dropped by your blog for a while, but as usual you've made a stunning shawl. and you knit so quickly! i havnt finished 1 project yet for 2009!!!

bitchesgetstitches said...

How did you attack the double yarn overs in the diamond section? did you just knit one then purl the other?