Thank goodness that’s over!

Waterlily pattern

I’m referring primarily to 2012, which was a difficult year for me from start to finish and I am GLAD to see the back of it! My war wounds are still with me, but not acting up so badly, so fingers crossed…. And 3 cheers for 2013- I embrace it wholeheartedly. My Christmas tree has really cheered me up this year, so I think I’m going to be decadent and leave it up for a while. Yes, I know it’s 12th Night, but I’m feeling rebellious. Next thing you know, I’ll be knitting a “Born to be Bad” sweater and dying my hair purple…….

Waterlily Faroese Shawl

These photos show that the Faroese lace shawl has turned out nicely, even though I was making up the blocking procedure as I went along- remember I showed you it pinned up in a folded position? Well, the foldline just needed to be dampened and spread out flat once the rest of the shawl was done, and now it sits firmly on my shoulders and drapes really well, so no complaints!

Waterlily pattern

Another thing I really like about Faroese shawls is that there is plenty of lace at the front of the body, without having to pull it around from the back.

Christmas outfit

And this photo is just an excuse to show that I fit into my Christmas dress again- remind me to patent my yarn diet, it’s responsible for the shawl, too!

Despite the vicissitudes of the last few weeks, I managed to comfort myself with some more knitting- I just couldn’t lie down all the time.

Sock-weight wool

This stole is a belated gift for my Godmother. It’s a sock-wool version of the Lilac Leaf  Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush, which I really like as a beginner’s introduction.

Diamonds with nupps

Sorry, the focus isn’t great, but this shows the classic style of lace with a border and an edging, very luxurious- and makes for interesting knitting, as the centre piece doesn’t go on for ever! The border diamonds contain smaller nupp diamonds; again, great for a beginner who might be overwhelmed by the fine shawls with literally thousands of nupps.

in Coolree silk-alpaca lace

Remember my fabulous semi-solid coral pink silk-alpaca lace from Coolree? Well, since the waterlily lace stitch pattern in the green shawl actually looks like a strawberry, too, I decided to combine  the two to make a shawlette (800g/100m hank, used it up). This is it, unblocked. It didn’t photograph well, but it actually looked so nice I was tempted not to block it. Before I made up my mind I had to fix two holes caused by dropped stitches which unravelled down several rows before I caught them and arrested them with safety pins. So here’s a mini phototutorial on mending lace:

Surgery needed for shawl

Prior to surgery: st is secured on safety pin. It unravelled down the side of the petal above, where it should have been caught into a knit-4-together, and wasn’t (I think the painkillers and related dopiness contributed here!).

Pick up st wih crochet hook

So here the wandering st has been reworked up the side of the petal with a crochet hook, and the blunt wool needle approaches with a length which had been used to tie the hank together for dyeing (with yarn like this, I save every inch, just in case, and this was one of the times I was really glad of it).

Mended lace

So here’s the mended st (needles are pointed at it). I used the blunt needle to sew it in place, then the sharp needle to secure the tail ends by piercing the knit sts on the wrong side (just weaving in isn’t secure enough, because yarn containing silk is slippery and the ends would work loose).

Wrong side after darning ends

This is the mended st on the wrong side- I don’t think it’ll show….

Strawberry  Faroese lace shawl blocking

I decided to block this after all. The shoulders are less tailored than in the green shawl. I must think of a better way to deal with the foldline, though. I think that sounds like a good excuse to design another Faroese shawl, as if I needed one!

Strawberry shawl neck and Faroese shoulder shaping

The neck details don’t show as clearly as I’d hoped, but I’m still pretty fuzzy around the edges myself, too!

Strawberry Faroese shawl in Coolree lace

Once it’s on, I’m delighted with it, though- they do look like tasty strawberries, don’t they, although they feel like angels wings. (Now there’s a name for the next shawl, don’t let me forget)

shawl Coolree lace

This shape wraps very well. The colour does not go well with the dress, but all my other gowns are at the cleaners, heeheee.

I read The Hunger Games recently (they’ve been on the reserve list in the local library non-stop since they were published, so I was curious). Anyway, there’s a lot in there about propaganda, creating an image and costume. I felt challenged to translate the iconic image of the fiery “Mockingjay”, since my flame-coloured yarn-diet cotton lace was pleading to be used, so here we go:

Oliver Twists cotton

This turned out quite wide, athough I only used 74g of Oliver Twists hand-dyed cotton. Mind you, it’s very fine (almost 1200m per 100g), so this represents approx. 880m of yarn.

Mockingjay tail feathers

I used Estonian leaf patterns for the body of the shawl, changing them to look more like feathers.

Mockingjay neck

The insertion at the back, plus a tiny bit of shaping at the neck, give a nice Faroese touch to help it stay in place- always a good idea with cotton, as it can be pretty slippery too, especially if mercerised, as this one appears to be.

Mockingjay lace shawl full size

Ready for take-off! I deliberately haven’t watched the film yet (and I don’t think the heroine would be wearing a shawl during her ordeal, anyway), but this is where my imagination took me….

Back detail Mockingjay lace

Now all I need are more gowns, and parties to wear them to- how’s that for a New Year’s Resolution?

27 thoughts on “Thank goodness that’s over!

  1. These are absolutely stunning love the colours, the shapes and the stitch design. Really don’t get blow away often but I really am. And of course will now be trying to, guess what, knit a beautiful lace shawl. I have knitted one in cashmere and I love it but its not voluptuous enough – I want one that I can disappear into like a cocoon. Anyway you have totally inspired me. Thank you. Must now go and look up Faroese shawls……….

    • Thank you! Knitting a generously-sized shawl becomes very enjoyable with yarn that pampers the fingers during the process.I’m on a fairly tight budget (son in college!) but for all those hours of entertainment, it’s worth splashing out a bit!

  2. Each one is more beautiful than the other, I think my favorite is the last one, the red one. So much work and so many stitches you have there !

    • With the right idea and yarn, it doesn’t feel like work at all- for me it’s therapy, both for de-stressing and for pain management…

      P.S. I’m thinking of writing up the pattern to earn a few bob for the college fund- do you think it would sell?

    • Yes, I spread a clean towel or two over the carpet, which in turn has a thick underlay, so pins remain in place overnight. For smaller projects, I sometimes use a mattress if my son’s away on a field trip (note pins must have coloured heads so he doesn’t find them later, the hard way!

  3. Okay – I couldn’t wait to get over here and read this in full. You do realize my smart phone only loads part of the pics – how distressing that it lopped off your head in each one! Did you really create that coral-colored shawl since Christmas? That’s the yarn you pictured in your last post, right? Incredible, Pauline, all of these – I showed my daughters and their comments ran along the “awesome” and “oh, wow” side (although my oldest asked where your head was).
    I love the sage green shawl – that’s my favorite color and I love the pattern that runs up along the back.
    Congratulations on your yarn diet! I hope 2013 brings you all good things, including a little family for a visit from Vermont.
    wonderful, wonderful-

    • It was a toss-up between lopping the head off or hiding it under a bag, which would have clashed with the shawls, so…
      I’m in better shape than I was over Xmas, but not feeling photogenic (but did you see the waist??? hurray).
      I am looking forward to your visit already, that’s great news!

      • okay – if I can show my mug, so can you! And congratulations on your well-fought battle. Yarn, it seems, is much less fattening than biscuits…
        As to the visit – I’m setting a goal to get us there – so don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched… first, I have to raise some moolah! I so hope we have a good winter for work (my husband’s a self-employed painter. Know anyone that needs painting done in Ireland?)
        Still haven’t answered the question – fess up, did you or did you not complete that coral-colored shawl since Christmas?

  4. Hi Pauline, Let me start by saying I’m in awe! As a beginner (just knitting my first bits of lace and loving it – but the (mis)counting and paying attention has had me rip back quite a few times already!!!) this would totally intimidate me into giving up before I started and you, apparently, knit a pair of Phoenix wings overnight! You should write up the pattern for the wings, I would definitely buy it. Love the ‘spine’ running down the back. It looks amazing pinned down – if done in greenish turquoise they could be scarab’s wings, too, if you look at the upward sweep of the sides. So… I’ve got something to work towards. Thanks for liking my post, I hope you’ll still like my blog once I start putting up photos of my beginner’s FOs. At least the ‘knitting dialect’ is becoming less like Chinese at this point 😉

    • Dear Iris, I thoroughly admire beginners who are brave enough to post about their first steps! I’ve had years of practice and still drop sts and have to rip back, etc.- I just have learned how to cope with the mistakes. So carry on, and don’t be afraid to ask questions- other knitters will be glad to help…

  5. My goodness, your lace knitting is remarkable…absolutely beautiful as is your Christmas tree and you in your pretty dress. Sadly, my waistline has expanded a bit over the holidays!

  6. Besides thinking that your “lace” shawls are incredible, I love the shots that show your book cases … I miss having that many books although they were one of the first things we bought after the storm so our collection is again growing …

  7. Hello dear Pauline, your shawls are breathtaking! I read the Hunger Games trilogy last year (well… listened to the audio books while driving to be precise) and loved it. I was disappointed in the movie though. Your fiery mockingbird shawl is beautiful and seems to be “on fire”! You’re very talented, I hope you’ll publish your designs on Ravelry, I’d love to knit that Hunger Games shawl. Bravo! 🙂

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I do intend to publish that pattern, and several others, on Ravelry, as soon as my back lets me sit at the computer long enough- I have a year’s worth of backlog!
      I still haven’t seen the film, because the books are a hard act to follow!

  8. I’m like everyone else, in awe (and utterly in love with your Christmas gown). I don’t know if I would buy the pattern myself, only because I’ve begun to realise that I let myself get too distracted by too many other things for such a project to be viable for me; but I’m sure that other Ravellers would snap it up.

    And I just took our Christmas tree down today (having finally decided to move the two pushbikes and three guitars that were blocking access to the box – we no longer have real trees).

      • oh, my dear, I’m so sorry to hear that – how frustrating and tiring to be in constant pain. I was afraid your radio silence was due to something like back problems or sickness (by the way – did ya get your flu shot? It’s an epidemic here in the US.).
        Now that cheered you up, didn’t it?
        Okay, I’ll leave you with a little Vermont joke – that should do the trick…
        How many Vermonters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
        A porchful.
        One to screw in the new bulb, the rest to sit around and talk about how good the old one was…
        feel better soon my friend.

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