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!