Wednesday 4 April 2012

A Finished Shawl

I know this is Wednesday and really I should be telling you about my work in progress, but I have been on a finishing jag and have loads to share.  I thought I'd spread my finishes out over the next few posts so that by the time I run out of finishes I will have something new and interesting to show you.  It's a cunning plan don't you think?

Before I go any further I'd like to say thank you to everyone who gave me tips and opinions about my cot quilt.  I decided that I would only be able to get the cot quilt finished if I spent several hours a day working on it right up to the day we would be visiting the new baby.  I knew if I did that I would be in a terrible physical state and decided to put the quilt to one side and do a quick knit for an immediate gift and work on the quilt after the trip and do it slowly without hurting myself.  It was a relief to make the decision and it means I'll be able to take all the care and attention the quilt deserves.  So after Easter I will be taking all your advice and finishing the quilt slowly.  It may end up being a Christmas gift LOL!

So back to my finished shawl.  It is my Leaves of Grass shawl, which I started in February.  I managed to get it blocked outside in the mad week of sun we had, which could well be our Summer given the current horrid weather we are experiencing.

Leaves of Grass 08

I am so glad it was sunny when I wanted to block this, because this shawl is way too big to be blocked anywhere else without causing a major navigation hazard.  I don't think I managed to block this in a totally circular fashion, but it's not bad.

Leaves of Grass 09

If I had the choice again, I wouldn't use this yarn with this pattern.  The yarn is far too hairy to show the lace patterns properly.  I really struggled to get photos that show them at all.

Leaves of Grass 10

The central pattern is probably the clearest.

Leaves of Grass 11

I thought I'd try hanging it up in the sun.  But though this is quite a pretty photo, the lace is still obscured, so I tried photographing it with the sun behind it.

Leaves of Grass 12

Victory is mine!  I really love the look of the knitted on edging.  It was a nightmare of never-ending proportions to knit, but it was definitely worth it.

Leaves of Grass 13

When the shawl is folded in half and wrapped around my shoulders it is beautifully light and warm.  It is not the prettiest shawl I've ever made, but it will definitely get a lot of use as it nice and warm.

I would really like to knit this shawl again but in a better yarn for the pattern.  I think using a Jamieson's, Jamieson & Smith's or a JC Rennie yarn would be perfect for it.  I did think about using the recommended yarn as Loft is now available at Loop in London, but at £11.25 a skein and a pattern requirement of 5 skeins costing a total of £56.25 for a shawl, it is unlikely to be within my budget.  Plus, part of me resists the idea of importing this type of yarn from the US as it modelled on yarn from the Shetlands.  I want to support my local farmers and spinners, that is why Jared Flood started making his own yarns.  He wanted to do the same thing in the US.  We have wonderful yarns and colour ranges from Scotland so I think next time I will buy from there and try another version of this shawl in the type of yarn it was meant for.

So there is my finish.  A lovely but imperfect shawl.  It will get used and it will provide warmth and one day I'll try again.  I learn from every project and I love that.  I think if every project I finished was perfect I'd get bored.  When I have a small failure, with a project, it spurs me on to try again to fix any errors in my next project.  I know I'll never stop learning about knitting as it is a lifetime's endeavour.


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