Sunday, December 11, 2016

Miss Grace Shawl

I spent my weekend finishing up some handmade Christmas cards to mail to some of the folks at work (the field guys who I'm in constant contact with but rarely see). They turned out so adorable. And as my dad just walked out the door with all of the cards to head to the mailbox, I realized I forgot to take photos. You'll just have to trust me that there's plenty of glitter ink, and that they're pretty cute.

But FINALLY I want to share with you the shawl that took me just over two months to knit (but not a constant two months). The pattern has been available for well over a year, and finally I decided to just purchase the kit as it was on sale. And even though it was tiresome at times, I soldiered on until completion (though I imagine actual soldiers would take offense at my using that term for knitting instead of actual soldiering). I've only worn it once so far, but I've already received so many positive comments on it.


The colors are so different from what I'd usually work with--no pinks, no reds, nothing bright and funky. But nothing so neutral that it's boring and bland. The technique itself has been branded as 'tapestry' knitting. I'm not entirely sure why, unless you look at the effect on the 'wrong' side of the shawl--and I say 'wrong' sarcastically as it's just as beautiful (albeit different) as the 'right' side.


On the left of the above photo you can see the smooth color changes. On the right you can see the stitch bumps much more clearly, but it looks like one of those woven rugs or mats or scarves or bags that you see (which, I'm assuming, is where the tapestry reference comes from).


Oftentimes I'll make a shawl, and it's just a teeeeeeny bit too small for maximum wrapping perfection. This one is just right. I'll show you a picture I took of me wearing it for scale, but the light is tricky this time of year and it's not so great--serves its purpose, though.


What originally drew me to this was the dark forms (that's what they call those leafy-shaped parts in the pattern), contrasted with the light neutral. The mid-range brown section is a little more orange than anticipated, but that's due to the hand dying.


I had to use insanely long circulars to knit that border, and there were almost 800 stitches on those needles when I started; that number grew with each round. I never thought I'd finish binding it off, but I did at last. It was blocking on my bedroom floor on Thanksgiving day, and stayed so perfectly put I'd bet most parents wish their children behaved as well as this yarn.


I had to add stitches to each corner to keep the shawl flat--on two of the corners everything was hunky-dory. At the beginning corner, I had a wee bit of laddering. I tried to do some stitching to pull it tighter, but it didn't look good at all. So I decided to do a bit of a crochet chain stitch that laid on TOP of the work to mimic the knit stitches the other corners had. I don't think it came out terrible, and is one of those things normal people will never notice.

Normal corner

My hacked corner

As I worked this piece I kept thinking (and saying) "OH, I will NEVER make one of these again. OH, it's not worth it!" But then I finished it and blocked it and wore it and thought "OK, I won't make one right NOW, but I would do this again for SURE." Funny how that happens...


OK--so for those of you interested in the details of this shawl--
This pattern seems tricky at first, but it all makes sense as you get going. Instead of following the chart in the Skeino pattern, I found it easier to follow this chart and check off each part as I completed it. 

OK, I'm off to either polish my nails or assist with the Christmas confections being produced in the kitchen right now. Happy Sunday!

3 comments:

  1. A lovely shawl, just right for chilly weather. Short rows can produce some very interesting effects.

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  2. That is so beautiful! I love the texture it has, and you've got some of my favorite colors in there.

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  3. it's beautiful! I can't imaging knitting with 800 stitches, it would take me about a week to knit a row!

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