Monday, 26 November 2012

Knitted Lace? - Shawly Knot!

Simple Lace Shawl 
I have been wanting to knit lace for about the last 10 years.  I have some lace weight yarn, the needles, the books .. everything but the courage.  To be fair, I did start once but I put the knitting down to run an errand and could not for the life of me pick the pattern back up again.  I lost my way so I packed it gently away, always meaning to have another go.

In the meantime, I have spent the past year obsessively researching my family tree (to the detriment of my knitting) and I have become fascinated with all the women who came before me.  They were all English through and through, women from the country and women from the city, each with a story I have been meticulously researching. I can only assume that some of them knitted out of necessity and as the majority of the knitters would have been incredibly familiar with a shawl or two, I felt it was now my turn.

But where to start?  In the last month, I have discovered the Craftsy website and their wonderful range of online classes.  I did not initially sign up for shawls.  I enrolled in 'Toe-Up Sock Knitting' (of course) and then received an email to say that my next course was half price.  It was then that I saw 'Sweetheart Shawls' with Kristin Omdahl.  This increased my confidence, someone to guide me along the way and the fantastic thing was that I could pause, rewind and go at my own pace.

I chose a laceweight kid silk in pale blue, went online and started.  All seemed to be going well but it just doesn't look right.  I saw all the pictures of lace shawls on Pinterest and Ravelry and they looked very fine and detailed.  Mine looks a little 'fluffy'.  The more I read, the more crucial the blocking of a shawl is, so I  ordered a large blocking mat (a set of interlocking Yoga mats .. I wanted something a little bit portable) and a set of blocking wires to make stretching the shawl easier.  I wasn't confident enough to trust my usual 'steaming' method as I was not sure what this would do to the very fine yarn.  Still, I was very apprehensive - I couldn't imagine that the light as a feather knitted fluffball will ever look like the shawl I was hoping to create.
The Shawl just off the needles, after soaking and the blocking process.  Nervous Times!

So,  I knitted and knitted, I spent a whole week binding of with the three petal Jasmine bind off, soaked and blocked and behold .. a sweetheart shawl gradually emerged.  A real one.
I couldn't believe it, but then, I never really doubted it ...

1st Shawl finished - Ready to start another

Happy knitting,

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