Friday, January 19, 2007

Mountain Pines Shawl




























































You haven't lived until you have crawled around on your hands and knees and blocked a shawl. Anyone seen any good blocking frames for sale? I mean, really. Couldn't they make a nice one out of Lucite? One with multiple rows of holes for different distances between points? One that could be assembled using wing nuts, screws, etc that could be broken down easily like they have with embroidery frames or quilting frames only LIGHT. They could even make one with smaller sides that can be shaped into something like an octagon so even circular shawls could be blocked. But I digress.

Please see above my Mountain Pines Shawl that I have finally finished. Thank God for the wires even though it's a challenge to find the floor space. The yarn was spun at 22-24 WPI on average using my trusty single treadle Schacht wheel. The fiber had been purchased during one of the past Stitches West outings long ago as you can tell from the price on the tag. Fiber content 70/30 Merino Silk, fiber from Widdershin Woolworks (P.O.Box 611 Arroy Hondo, New Mexico 87513) at least that what's on the tag. I'm not sure they are still there or not. You have shots of the yarn, the shawl pre blocking, on the wires and the compleated shawl on my sister and hanging from a blank wall. Yes, it's not exactly square, but I got pretty tired and my knees began to protest. It's "Good Enough" as far as I and Homer Simpson are concerned. Ignore the blue coverlet with red dots on it. Out of all the pictures, the color you see on the wraps gage is the most accurate, at least on my computer screen. Variations of sage green with lovely little highlights in a faint reddish tint, this shawl is actually very pretty in spite of the inconsistency's of my spinning. It's nice that the pattern didn't suffer too much from my lack of spinning expertise! I have to say, now it's done, I'm tempted to do the flip-side pattern. The original booklet came with TWO patterns. The second pattern, "Boundary Waters" shawl and is knit from the center outwards. I happen to have some rather nice hands-spun laceweight yarn that I made from fiber purchased from Carolina Homespun. You know, kind of like a matched set? Too many shawls, not enough time! Still, before I start another project, I really have to think a minute. The Dragone Shawl is something I want to knit but it has lots of stiches I've never done before and I don't want to fry my brain again so soon. If I finish the Flower Basket Lace Shawl and the Fir Cone and Peacock Feathers first, it gives me a clear field.

And that brings up my biggest point. A big thank-you to missalicefaye for knitting the Wedding Ring Shawl. Why thank her you say? Because, she has inspired me to pick-up my own work that was languishing and I have resumed toiling away on my own Wedding Ring Shawl. I'm still slow, but not as slow as before because I'm no longer doing the directional decreases. I'm just doing k2tog and it is indeed easier. I'm not sure the shape of the holes is as nice on certain sections of the pattern and for those sections, I may revert to the directional decreases. But I will not post any pictures of progress until I'm at least half-way done with the center section. Believe me, that will take awhile.
I'm sure you already know, but it's worth saying. I really enjoyed spinning and knitting this shawl in spite of any tedium during the edge portion of the program. Here's to finishing most of what was started in 2006!















17 comments:

Jason said...

Oh Jane, that is beautiful! And the size is so large! The color is really wonderful. Wow!

Francesca said...

What a fantastic shawl! And you even spun the yarn. Congratulations on a great job. :)

Jane said...

Dear jason,

I'm glad you like the shawl. I have to say that I think it came out pretty nicely too! As shawls go, it's not really that big. It's pretty good size though. I too love the color. I guess I'd have to. I've been looking at for long enough :-) Your Lotus Blossom Shawl is going to block bigger than you think it will too. Wait and see.

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Dear francesca,

Thank you for your kind words! I really like the fact that I used yarn that I spun myself to knit this shawl. I think this is one I will keep so I can leave it to one of my neices. Something to remind them of their old anal retentive Auntie when I'm gone! Thank you for checking in on my posts! I appreciate the encouragement.

anne said...

it's breathtaking! i love it. i love the ayrn—didn't realize earlier that you had spun it too. really REALLY good. BRAVO!

Jane said...

Dear anne,

I'm happy you like the way the shawl came out. Part of the pleasure of making it was the fact that others could see and enjoy it too. The nice thing about spinning laceweight yarn is that you get alot of mileage out of a small amount of fiber! It makes the spinning worth while :-) Thank you for your kind comments. It's always nice to hear from people who look at the blog from time to time!

Laritza said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You can start with a table loom... some floor looms fold up when not in use too. AND there are lovely lace patterns for weaving :)

Carol said...

What a lovely shawl! I especially like the fact that it is square. Never thought about it, but now that I've seen it, I think it would be more versatile than the usual triangular one. About the blocking boards. I don't know if this will help, but interlocking foam floor tiles work pretty well. And they break down into small easy to store sizes. And they are light...

Jane said...

Dear laritza,

No loom. It's like potato chips. Once you start you can't stop :-) I will just have to be content to watch you weave!

Jane said...

Dear Carol,

Glad you like the shawl! I don't know if it's more versatile to wear just because it's square. I actually don't wear shawls very often, I just like to make them. I've never really had the knack of wearing them well but this one I'm going to wear to Stitches West in Feb. As for the foam tiles, it's a thought. I'll have to go out and look at some. Thanks for the suggestion and thank you for checking in on my blog!

Knit Picking said...

Wow! This shawl is amazing. My favourite part are the pines, and of course the size, and also the fact that you spun the yarn too. I just love it!

Jane said...

Dear knit picking,

I also like the pines on the shawl and it was really satisfying to spin the yarn for the shawl as well as to knit it.

alice said...

It's so beautiful, Jane! When I saw the thumbnail on flickr, I sat up straight and had to take a closer look--and then I realized it was your Mountain Pines--hooray! :) So impressive that you spun the yarn, too...

I'm still doing the crawling around on my knees thing, but I'm thinking that Hazel Carter gave instructions for making a frame in some book I have--I'll have to look it up and report back to you. :)

Jane said...

Dear alice,

Thank you for your encouragement. From you it means alot since I admire your work so much. I loved spinning that yarn, it was lovely in the hands. I wish I could spin thinner still, but realistically I can buy yarn much thinner so I will not beat myself to death over it. I also have seen instructions somewhere to build one. My brother likes to do woodwork. Maybe I can have him help me to make a frame now that he finished making his kit-car. Let me know if you find out where those instructions are. Thank you for your lovely posts!

Morandia said...

where is the pattern for this shawl? It's lovely!

Jane said...

Dear morandia,

I have sent you the details about the pattern to your blog. Hope it helps you out. I've heard it will be out later this year so I hope that rumor is true. Good Luck with it. It's really very pretty though the center is very easy "Field of Flowers" pattern.