Friday, February 12, 2010

A Personal Challenge

Can you believe that in all the years I’ve been knitting, I have knitted only one shawl (and that was under duress for a staff project for Fall 1998 issue of Interweave Knits). Truth be told, I never thought of myself as a shawl person. But after shivering at my desk and at workshops and during knitting groups while my friends were snuggly wrapped in shawls, I decided that I must be missing something good. So, when I attended Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review Retreat last fall, I challenged myself to finally knit myself(!) a shawl.

I found the perfect yarn from Briar Rose (www.briarosefibers.net)—a luscious laceweight blend of 50% merino and 50% tencel called sea pearl—and the perfect pattern—Anne Hanson’s (www.knitspot.com) Boxleaf Triangle shawl. To mark the momentous occasion, Anne Hanson took a photo of me making the purchase (do I really look that awful?). There was no going back.


When I got home, I lovingly tucked the yarn and pattern in my stash while I finished (and started) other projects. But I’ve been nursing a cold (read that making excuses to do anything but sleep as much as possible) for the past few days and concluded that now was the time to start. Unfortunately, my head wasn’t clear enough to read lace charts and I had several false starts. But I’m happy to say that I’ve worked through a couple of pattern repeats and am most excited about the prospect.


Why are there two different colored tips on my circular needles, you ask? Many years ago I discovered that because I knit much tighter than I purl, my stitches are more uniform if I use a size larger needle for the knit rows. My set of Boye interchangeable needles lets me put together unmatched circular needles—in this case, size 7 (green) for right-side knit rows and size 6 (red) for wrong-side purl rows. Perfect!

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

7 comments:

kat coyle said...

HI Ann, I love your blog!

Virginia said...

The mixing of needle sizes is genius! I may have to try that.

Clara Parkes said...

False starts count as swatching, which makes you even more virtuous than you already are! Feel better and keep drinking plenty of fluids.

knitspot anne said...

you do not look awful in that photo (though i will admit that we were clowning around a bit when i took it!)
good luck with your ahwl project . . .lace shwals can be as addictive as socks (ask me how i know); you may have stumbled into a new obsession!

knitspot anne said...

ok, i can't spell "shawl" worth a damn . . .

Karen Frisa said...

So cool that you're using Boye interchangeables! I love the points on mine, and if it wasn't for that bump in the cable I would think they were the perfect needle. You look beautiful in the photo. That looks like Pam Allen's piece from Simple Style -- also beautiful. Enjoy your shawl knitting and feel better soon!

Wendy said...

Good for you for following up on your personal KR Retreat challenge! I'd try to follow your good example, if only I could remember what challenges I assigned myself. Oh well. I, too, am just getting into shawl knitting, and I'm making Madli's Shawl from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia, using a near-fingering weight 2/8 BFL from Fleece Artist. It's great fun!