Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Gothic Shawl Complete

When a lace shawl comes off the needles, there is a texture given by each set of stitches, which shows up beautifully in the low winter light.  The designer Jane Sowerby was inspired by the arches of Jervaulx Abbey in Yorkshire and Cothele in Cornwall.

Washing and blocking the shawl removes some of the texture.

It takes patience to ensure that the shape is balanced, measuring tape, steel rods and pins help with this , and then there is the day or so when it is drying, where the floor where it is drying is a no go area .  As the sun was bright, I covered the shawl with a sheet, as I was not sure how the yarn would stand up to strong light.  As soon as the shade arrived, the sheet was whipped off.

The shawl is now folded with tissue paper in a box ready to take up to my aunt. There were some tears at first, as half way, I discovered a serious error, and this required me to undo the whole lot, which in itself took over two hours.  I decided that I must start again, or I would falter, and perhaps never start such a project again. 

A second period of worry came towards the end, as I wondered whether there would be sufficient yarn.  This is the first time that I have knitted a shawl starting at the widest, decreasing every other row, till there are only 11 stitches left.  Phew there was sufficient yarn!

The colour very nearly matches that of the unglazed pancheon bottom, it is light and warm, and is probably the best item I have knitted.  Its taken just nearly two months to complete, with at least two hours each day.  There were many batches of dough rising in the pancheon during my knitting, and now I also have one friend who lives just round the corner who comes to collect a small loaf each time I bake!

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