Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Flowerbasket shawl(s)

So, Suzanne over at Double Helix has been allll on my case to write about my Flowerbasket shawl(s). I have to pluralize it, because it's a pattern that I've knit three times over now.

There are two of them in this picture. A corner of mine, and a good view of my daughter wearing the one I made for her. She insists on wearing her shawl "inside out", with the reverse stockinette on the outside. While pretty, I don't think it shows the colors off to their best advantage. There are pictures of all three shawls on my Livejournal picture gallery, if you want to surf over and see them.

So, the stories of the shawls. The first one I made was for a gift for my grandmother in law. I had some beautiful fuzzy re-claimed angora blend yarn that I pulled out of a sweater for Goodwill. I desperately needed a good gift for Um-um one Christmas, and hit on the shawl as an answer. As a first lace pattern ever, it was challenging, but not impossible, especially since it's knit with non-laceweight yarn (a key for me on a first lace project attempt). It came out beautifully, if I may say so, myself. I thought that someday I might make one for myself, but with so many things out there to knit, I don't often re-knit patterns.

But then, last summer, I made plans to go visit my friend Carrie and her husband in Japan. Faced with more than 30 hours of flight and travel time, just to get there and back, I knew I needed a good project. It couldn't be too easy or I'd get bored. It couldn't be too big or too small (either too hard to carry, or I'd risk finishing it on the road). It couldn't be too tiny or too dark, since lighting might be an issue. I'd had this nifty hand-painted silk yarn in my stash for a while, and I decided that a lace shawl was just the thing for the yarn, and for the trip.

My goal was to try and start and finish the shawl on the trip, and if I'd not decided to add extra repeats at the end, I'd likely have done it. This shawl went to Tokyo, went to the Izu Peninsula, went to Mt. Fuji, went to the Tokyo Stitch and Bitch. It saw endless trains and busses and lockers as we roamed around Japan with no car. It even survived customs at LAX, which is something that I nearly didn't manage. LAX sucks rocks.

When I came home and blocked out the shawl, my daughter made her customaty request, whenever I knit anything. Momma, could you make one for me? I had a LOT of yarn left over. In fact, even after making her shawl, I have a lot of yarn left over - the incredible non-shrinking ball of yarn. I was feeling generous, and agreed to make one for her too. She loves it, and often asks to wear it with entirely inappropriate outfits. Best review I could ask for.

I find mine is just not quite the right size. Too small to be a proper shawl, too big to be worn like a scarf. I love it, though, and wear it anyway. Who cares if it looks a little silly?

So, that's the story of the flowerbasket shawl(s).


Jscothammerquist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jscothammerquist said...

What a great story and such beautiful shawls. Everytime I see it I am reminded how much I want to make one. Soon I hope. Great photo of La Peanut !

Suzanne said...

Oh fantastic! I had forgotten the story, and also how beautiful the shawls really are.

Martha Marin said...

LAX sucks rocks.
That's hilarious.