Paging spring

4 Apr

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.

when we grow up we want to be a shawl

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.

shawl taking form

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.

done by not quite ready yet

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.

blocking shawl

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. ;)

shawl done!

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.

shawl b&w

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.

shawl closeup

7 Responses to “Paging spring”

  1. Jennie April 4, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    This is beautiful, and it’s hard to believe that all those colours can be got naturally. Congratulations! I’d love to make something like this.

  2. Anniina April 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I-HA-NA! Värit on tosi kauniit ja sopivat jotenkin luontevasti yhteen. Ja malliin.

  3. Tytti April 4, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Voisit miullekin neuloa tuollaisen shaalin vanhainkotia varten. Kylläpä olis muut vanhukset kateellisia tai sitten jos saisin ohjeen niin voisin tehdä sen itsekin. Kertakaikkiaan HIENO.

  4. stina April 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm #

    Tytti – no teenhän mie siulle oman! Tää oli tämmöinen harjoituskappale vaan. Ja saa sitä ennen vanhainkotiakin pitää, ettei koit syö. Vaikka ulkomailla esittelet!

  5. Tytti April 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    Voi kiitos Stina kiitoksista. Kerään sulle koko ensi syksyn niitä veriseitikkejä kun nyt viimein 40 vuoden sienihulluuden jälkeen opin ne tuntemaan.

  6. mamma Leila April 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Tämä on varmaan kauneinta, mitä olen nähnyt! Ja ajatella, että luonto saa hehkua omissa väreissään näin! Tämä on taidetta! Stina, sinä olet taiteilija! Mamma onnittelee ihanan kauniista työstä!

  7. Heather April 16, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    Wow, that is just gorgeous. I’d love to see a picture of you wearing it. You are the queen of craftiness.

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