Alas, no reply yet. It’s been cold and dark and slushy ever since I got back from the definitely springtime New York City with my partner in crime, err, craft. (She has already posted some photos, and I will, too)
My apologies for the lousy pictures but I have to show you something. The long awaited (at least by me) nature shawl. To make this thing last a while longer I’m gonna lay out the whole transformation.
First, I dyed some yarn. Actually, lots of yarn. You saw all the shades a while back. I ended up using 22 different ones for this project.
Then I settled on a pattern. I picked Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl by Sarah Bradberry because I had already seen quite a few on Ravelry knit with naturally dyed yarn and they looked promising. Here’s the pattern starting to emerge.
By the end up March I had it all knit up. As all shawls with any lace pattern it looked pretty sad at this point. Add to that the 44 yarn ends I had to work in. It’s actually quite fun when you get into the flow.
Then it was time to block. I’m a skittish blocker, never dare to block anything to an inch of its life as lace should be, plus I keep changing the needle positions constantly. My craftdom for some blocking wires. Here’s a relatively clean shot of an edge.
And then she was all dry and ready to go out on the town! I’ve worn the shawl both on my shoulders and wrapped about my neck. Granted, not everyone was as excited as me but it does feel nice to wear something you’ve created from nearly scratch. The homefront suggestion was to start raising sheep so I could shear and spin and really have a homemade shawl. I’m sure he didn’t realize those words could come back to haunt him in a few years. ;)
The shawl took 132g of fingering-weight silk-wool yarn, meaning I could squeeze about 6 more out of the amount I’ve got dyed right now if I use the same 2,5 mm needles. The next time I knit this I need to pay more attention to contrast. I pretty much just picked the next shade at random. This meant that I had used up my darkest yarns by the middle of the shawl.
But I still love watching the colors change and remembering what plant or mushroom I got those from. I can even remember what the day was like when I gathered the dyestuff and dyed the yarn. Yellows from heather picked in the woods at my grandfathers on a crisp autum afternoon. Light greens from stinging nettles found by the railroad tracks and snipped carefully with gloved hands on the backyard as the dog wondered what I was up to. Browns from walnuts soaked for days by my dad so I could get the most color out of them. Special thanks for my aunt who picked all the cortinarius sanguineus mushrooms that gave those lovely dark reds.