10 in 2010 unveiling. This shawl is out of order, but I need to take photos for the post that unveils the next shawl and, well. I keep forgetting. Or it is too dark. Or the camera battery is dead. Or I'm knitting. Or watching a football game. Or I'm just too lazy. Whichever it is, I don't have the one photo I need to complete my vision or the story I want to tell. So, instead for Shawl # 7 of 10 in 2010 you are getting a look at Shawl #8 for 10 in 2010. You have no idea how much this bothers me.
First, some back story. This shawl is a wedding shawl, knitted for the daughter of a good friend of mine. As you might guess, if you know me, I totally obsessed over this. I was worried about a lot of things. First, that the shawl would have a 'not dressy enough' feel to it. I mean, it is a Swallowtail Shawl, a pattern that I have knit before and it felt, in a way, too simple. What I often forget is that most of the people seeing the shawl are not knitters and anything looks fabulous to them. I also take for granted that this knitting thing is something that is second nature to me. A little like breathing or walking to most people. And knitting lace doesn't come easy to all knitters either. After weeks of getting used to that idea that this shawl would be perfect I had a new thing to obsess over.
The color. I collected a few different "ivory" lace yarns to compare to the actual dress. I was so worried that the shawl would look too yellow or pink next to the dress. I mean, there are so many shades of ivory! So off to the dress shop I went with my yarns of all different shades and price points. My smartest move that day was going with Cyndi (bride's mom). In every way that I over think and obsess, she is laid back and relaxed. While she was off ordering a flower girl's dress I was comparing and rejecting down to two yarns that I just couldn't decide between. One was all merino and was a really good match, but the other was Zephyr, that wonderful wool and silk blend that I love to knit lace with. The silk gives it a sheen that reflects light so beautifully and combined with the wool blocks out and holds the shape of the lace shawl so well. After much internal debate (on my part), Cyndi walks over, takes two seconds looking and says that of course we should go with the Zephyr, that the color is of course "close enough" and the silk blend is the deal closer. Oh! The stress I could alleviate by embracing "close enough"! I mean it, I envy those who are "close enoughers". It is a quality that I need to cultivate.
You would think that I would be all ready to go, right? Right. To be fair I should admit that I was totally copying zibor's shawl (ravelry link). I saw it and read about the beading and thought that I would love to do that. Zibor used Swarovski crystals and after pricing them (whoa! pricey!) decided that regular beads would do so I got some and cast on. The thing about clear beads is that they look, unlike all the colored and pearlized beads, flat. I kept showing it to people wondering if I should find other beads and people kept telling me that it looked beautiful. So I kept knitting. And doubting. I really didn't like the beads and even the "close enoughers" couldn't convince me that they were good. So I shopped for different beads only to have similar results. And then I stopped knitting, letting the internal debate rage on and on.
I am FORTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD! People! When will I just KNOW MYSELF?! Can you even guess the amount of time in my life that I have spent trying to make something work, not being happy with it and then after getting close to finishing or living in analysis paralysis I give in to what I knew all along would just make me happy or be the best in then end? I splurged on the Swarovski crystals. It was for a BRIDE! Brides should SPARKLE!!!!
After all that (have you noticed that all my issues are internal?) the rest was easy. Even though the Swarovski crystals do not have a hole large enough to use even the smallest crochet hook and I had to improvise a tool to get them on the yarn, the knitting finally started flying off the needles. When things are right......
- Pattern: Swallotail Shawl by Evelyn Clark (free download here)
- Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk in ivory
- Needles: size 4
- Swarovski Crystals: approximately 1000 placed in the center of the lozenges of the first chart, in place of nupps in the second and in the spines of the points on the border
- Cast On: July 29, 2010
- Bound Off: August 9, 2010
- Blocked: August 12, 2010
- Wedding: August 21, 2010 (I only point this out because LOOK! No last minute finishing!)
While the limitations of time and my talent with a camera made it impossible for me to capture the true sparkliness of the crystals, trust me. They were fabulous. The crystals reflected and refracted the light beautifully. Fatigue kept me from getting any photos of the bride, I stole that one from facebook. The fatigue is a story for another day, it also involves the whole knowing myself and making changes when I first think of them and not waiting until the last minute. It also involves a Swallowtail Shawl. I feel like I keep telling the same story over and over again.
2010. Seventy-five. NaBloPoMo. 8/8. I KNOW! I am a day behind. I promise that by the end of the week I will have caught up. This posting every day is whipping my *ss. I keep forgetting and spending the night knitting or fall asleep. I'm working it out....