Saturday, January 12, 2008

Swallowtail Flying High

I am so thoroughly delighted with my finished Swallowtail Shawl!!

The yarn blocked out SO beautifully, the sea silk has a lovely sheen to it and the pattern itself is gorgeous
swallowtail shawl 1

I really enjoyed knitting this as my first lace project. I found the pattern challenging but do-able, and not so challenging that I was disheartened. In fact.. I think a lot of it is in the mind. To start with I inched along at a snail's pace, knitting on other items because I didn't feel I could knit the lace while watching tv or the like. So over about 5 months I made it through the main body part of the shawl, the Budding Lace charts. Then within the last month I cranked out the rest of the shawl - which is actually over 50% of the stitches!! I actually found the lace quite easy and fluid and very much enjoyed the process. So I think I became more comfortable towards the end, and had better techniques for keeping my place and keeping count. Plus, it helps that I've had a lot of free time to sit and knit it out while Skoot and I've been on holidays!

shawl waft

My Gran is absolutely overjoyed with her shawl too :)

She had no idea I was knitting it for her, so when she opened the gift box and turned back the tissue paper to reveal the folded lace, it had quite an effect! Although it was my maternal Gran who introduced me to knitting oh so many years ago (a skill I didn't reignite until recently) like so many women of her generation my paternal Gran (pictured below) was also an avid knitter, and at one point knit an entire DRESS in 2 ply lace weight! Yikes!!

shawl folded

She assured me though, as she felt the fabric between her fingers and looked at the patterning of stitches, that her dress was as fine as the shawl but she never did anything as complicated as the Swallowtail. I'm not sure whether that's true or whether she was simply expressing her appreciation for the time and effort she, as a knitter, knew I had put in.

Gran w shawl and me

But one thing's for sure, if something that is this enjoyable, that I can learn so much from, and that is by no means up there with the trickiest lace knitting and looks so beautiful as a finished object, is within my reach as a knitter - I think I am in danger of getting hooked!!

Particularly if it puts warmth in the heart and a smile on the face of someone you love :)


nurhanne said...

Congrats on your FO - your shawl looks lovely! And yes, lace is VERY addictive ;-)

bink said...

Gosh, it looks absolutely stunning :)

Ann said...

It's gorgeous - love the color. You did a great job!