in which i followed your advice

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects, spinning and fiber

i was bad this weekend and i know it—i didn’t blog, i didn’t work on secret projects—but it was sooo good.

i knit all friday afternoon and evening on my little rose shawl while it snowed and snowed outside and a big pot of soup bubbled on the stove inside. they only predicted 1-2 inches, but by nightfall we could see we were in for it.
and on saturday i woke to this

and this

the back yard transformed into a seussian world, decorated everywhere with blobs of soft, white snow, piled high to form all manner of sculpture.

it’s hard to tell just how much came down overnight—certainly over two feet in the back yard, but more like 15 inches out front. i shoveled for several hours just to get the walks cleared (i like shoveling, actually), while david put in another couple to get the snow off the roofs and driveway.

today there is more evidence of life out there than on saturday; the squirrels are finding their way around after all.

it’s the strangest day for weather; the sun is brilliant in the very cold air, but it must be pretty humid, too—a coating of hoarfrost covers every little crooked tree branch and twig, long into the day.

add to the picture a sifting of very light, crystalline snow flurries—just barely there, but enough to catch the light so that it looks like shaved glass flying in all directions.

it’s really magical; i’m so lucky i’m not stuck in an office where i’d miss the show.

we did manage to pull together a spinning class yesterday morning—hey, when you need to hang with your girls, you need to hang with your girls, snow or not.

i worked on my blue border leicester fiber—i’ve got half of it spun and plied and in class, i got the other half nearly spun up. i can ply it in wednesday evening’s class and then wash it. it’s a rather surreal spinning experience after all that fine stuff i worked with during the summer and fall. luxury fibers may have ruined me for this . . .

i’ve got to skein up what i have to empty these bobbins, before i can continue. somehow, in the scurry to empty my old workspace during the week before christmas, my numerous spare bobbins got packed away somewhere and i cannot find them. all i have are what’s in my work basket—mostly hi-speed ones, since i’ve been spinning more laceweight in the last year. and when i spin laceweight, two or three bobbins is almost more than i need for any single project. however, this chunky yarn is eating up bobbins like crazy and it’s becoming inconvenient (especially when i know how many empty ones i own). david may actually be able to locate what i need, but for now i’m making do with spinning a bobbin and emptying a bobbin as i go.

so the weekend was lost for all the usual routines as we huddled indoors to stay warm, then unburied ourselves as needed. i threw caution to the wind where my deadlines are concerned and did mostly selfish knitting.

. . . it was totally worth it.

i finished my shawl before going to bed on saturday night

after everyone went home on sunday afternoon, i put it on to soak and threaded it up for a good blocking.

you can see a lot more of the detail now, especially in the shoulder and back area

i always love the way all the patterns come together at that outermost corners—the scarfy part that you flip here and there when you wear it

or at the center back hem

once i had it all threaded and pinned out, i got the money shot

it was completely dry in just a few hours, but i let it sit til this morning. i was anxious to unpin it, so i didn’t stop to steam the fabric beforehand, but now i wish i had—i think this cashmere/silk might possibly look even better with the cashmere fiber bloomed out and fuzzing a bit over the surface (and i’ll certainly take the time to do that on the one i’m knitting in my cash/silk handspun).

i took a little time this morning to play with it on the dress form so you can get an idea of what it looks like on the body.

just a little shoulder shawl with a victorian flavor (but not too, too victorian). it is constructed like a faroese shawl with some shoulder shaping, but the back panel is less pronounced, so it fits more like a triangle shawl with neck shaping—a sort of hybrid, maybe?

the pattern will have three sizes; one even smaller than this to wear as a scarf, and one larger, but not too large; i don’t think the hem motif will hold its impact if the body area gets too big (it could always be knit in a heavier yarn on bigger needles to make it larger, too).

i like this size a lot—it’s about 64 inches across the widest part and 21 inches down the center back. perfect for scarfing up around my neck or to cover my shoulders when i need it, without trapping my arms underneath. i love it.

this size uses approximately 525 yards, i think. the yarn, by the way, is discontinued, but you can purchase a nearly identical yarn at zen yarn garden; jade sapphire cash/silk is also the same. and of course it would be gorgeous in any number of lovely laceweights that we talk about here.

in fact, we will be using woolen rabbit tranquilo as the official sample yarn for this pattern. it knit up equally beautiful in my sample swatches

for me, the hem is spectacular—i just love the way this motif knits up in laceweight yarn, so dramatic, with its contrasting foreground and background; the solid areas appear to actually float when knit in such fine yarn.

the best news of all is that it looks like i can knit an identically-sized one from the supply of handspun cash/silk i have, yay. in fact, i did not stop at merely getting the rose shawl done and then going back to my deadline projects—yesterday i stayed in “bad girl” mode just a little longer to cast on for the next one.

after all, sundays are for rest and recreation, right? there’s always monday just around the corner, for getting back to the grindstone . . .

and with that, it’s time to locate my secret knitting and get ready for my class to arrive.

81 thoughts on “in which i followed your advice

  1. My drive up the highway was gorgeous this morning with the snow-covered trees, the frost and the sun! Sounds like we’re in for more snow tomorrow and Wednesday – I have to admit I could live with being snowed another day or so 🙂

  2. The shawl is breathtaking!! Is the official name “little rose shawl”? I’m interested in this pattern when it becomes available.
    I also have to comment on how inaccurate your weatherpeople were – how can you be THAT wrong unless dice were involved in the predictions???

  3. OMG! Just LOOK at that beautiful shoulder shaping. That is gorgeous, Anne, and the the blue one could even possibly be gorgeous-er(?). Simply stunning… could this be the one to replace my current faves Dovecote/Birnum Wood? Well, probably not but it could be a 3 way tie! I can’t wait to make it.

  4. That’s really scrumptious! I like the little thingies on the shoulders. I would call them “epaulettes” but that’s not quite it. Very nice. I’m always interested in the shaping of shawls, and this hybrid is very nice.

    The snow is quite something. It’s (mostly) passed us by at this point (I’m in central Missouri), but they say more is coming. Course they said that on Saturday too, and it passed us by.

    Great that you got a bunch of knitting and spinning time in. Soup and a snow day are good for that!

  5. Another fabulous pattern! Looks like I’m in for more stash-diving. I’m sure I can find 600 yards of something gorgeous for it! I’m currenly working on Dovecote in a gorgeous Sweet Georgia teal.

  6. Anne, this is one gorgeous shawl. When will the pattern be available. MUST HaVE. Just when I’d sworn off shawls for a while. LOL. This is just too pretty.

    Your blocking is superb. I’m so very envious.

    We might have to do a KAL for this one!

  7. That is a seriously gorgeous shawl! I love the faroese shaping, and I also love that the back panel isn’t too wide; it looks like that combo ends up being the perfect shawl for a petite frame.

  8. So wonderful, i was really waiting for new lace from you, i love it
    and late but from heart
    Happy Birthday

  9. we had the hoarfrost this morning too! crazy stuff. with it fog. fog when it is -3. amazing. and so is the shawl. absolutely the most gorgeous thing that i have seen yet!!!!

  10. So many blogs full of snow today… looks like fun from a distance, but I think I’ll stick with my green and rainy PNW if you don’t mind.

    Blocking shots, they always make me so happy!

  11. How long does it take for you to block a shawl like this? I had to block a scarf this weekend and I find that I just have no patience for it. Maybe because I’m sitting uncomfortably on the floor while I’m doing it?

  12. The shawl is absolutely gorgeous! Seems like each of your patterns is more lovely than the last. Don’t know how you do it.

  13. Oh my oh my… This shawl goes directly to the “must buy from Anne” list. Absolutely incredibly most wonderfully gorgeous. Bravo, Anne! You bring us so many amazing desings; thank you so much! I can’t wait for spring, when I put aside sweater knitting and make room for lace knitting…

  14. Breathtaking!!!
    I am only now venturing into lace shawl design, the more I do, the more I love it! It has given me such an amazing appreciation for all the beautiful lace shawls out there, many many of them your designs :-}

  15. I’m sure we are expecting the snow you just had sometime Wednesday or Thursday :), The lace shawl looks fabulous, I bet you can’t wait for it to be blocked out for wearing. I’ve just finished a cowl pattern and I’m also waiting around for the blocking process to take it’s hold, Thankfully while i am i can finish Writing up the pattern. I’ve just picked up some 4 ply Shetland yarn for a small shawl, I’m still deciding whether to make it from a pattern or design my own 🙂
    Anyways great work Anne your knitting is always beautiful x

  16. Absolutely stunning little rose. The hem and the shoulder shaping are just wonderful. I love the hybrid idea. And the shoulder shaping means it will stay on so well and be a pleasure to wear, not fussy. It is wonderful. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out!

  17. WOW. I thought Caricia was fabulous and I was so proud when I completed her. Now I just can’t wait for this pattern to become available. Would you say it’s on par with difficulty as Caricia? That was a bit of a challenge, but once I got the hang, it was clear sailing. you are the best and I do mean the best designer and pattern writer. your directions are well written and that is a major feat. I just love your blog and you!!! I live in Indianapolis and I wish I was your neighbor so I could share soup and knitting. Thank you, Anne.

  18. I took the weekend off too. No editing from Friday night through Sunday night. But my nose has been to the grindstone all afternoon.

    I am totally in love with the shawl. I am almost done knitting Rivolo and I’m thinking this will be the project to replace that one. Yes, indeed.

  19. Pink was never one of my favorite colors but it makes the shawl! Guess I better finish the shawl on the needles so I’ll be ready to do this one. Once again Anne, it’s incredible!

  20. When I describe you and your wonderful talent, I usually just leave it simply as “she thinks in lace.” I don’t know how you do it, but you are truly gifted and we are the beneficiaries. Thank you.

    This shawl is gorgeous and is the one I have been waiting for without even knowing it. I am starting Trevi (yippee, with my own handspun!) this weekend, and am a fairly slow knitter. Hopefully this pattern will be ready when I cast off on Trevi. I can hardly wait.

    Thanks again for all you do.

  21. ANNE — oh being bad can be so much fun , LOL — glad you were so bad because your little shawl looks so amazing— it is definitely on my list of, must do


  22. Lovely shawl, Anne, and I will really look forward to the second one in that gorgeous yarn mix.

    What do you use to thread through the blocking of the shoulders of the Faroese shawls?

  23. Oh my gosh. Anne, that is BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely stunning… and I want to cast on right away! (Let’s see how much I can clear the queue before you release the pattern… ready, set, go!)

  24. Belated best wishes for a very happy birthday, Anne! Wishing you peace for your soul and joy for your heart…today and always!

    As usual, your knitting is in a class of its own…spectacular shawls and a beautiful winter wonderland…great knitting weather! 🙂 Enjoy…it will be 90 degrees, hazy, hot and humid before you know it!

  25. mmmm the shawl is delicious. cannot wait to get started on it. i actually bought a spring coat that IS NOT black – it’s a true aubergine and now i must find the perfect yarn for thsi shawl to wear wtih it.
    thanks anne! getting snowed in is a good thing – makes for uninterrupted knitting!

  26. It should snow more often (just kidding!) if it means more shawls like this–another stellar pattern–have just the yarn in mind (and in stash)

    We have missed most of the snow this winter, but it has been cold, cold, cold. I thought I was going for a weekend (with sisters and cousins) to Florida next weekend–turns out I am totally disorganized, and it is THIS weekend. Yay! It won’t be tropical, but I won’t have to wear two pairs of socks at a time. And, if I;m knitting wool socks, the yarn won’t be sticking to my sweaty paws.


  27. Oh my. Another masterpiece. Most of all I love the shape, and the dimensions. In most shawls a 21″ length (which I particularly like because I don’t sit on it) is nowhere near this wide. Most seem to be 48″ more or less, which is too small for my needs (to keep me warm in a cold office). This width is perfect! Please consider making more patterns in this size.


  28. Well, you’ve done it again – just lovely! I love the shaping. This one will be go in the long list of your designs to knit eventually!

  29. The shawl is gorgeous & I love the edging! You are right that Sunday is R&R as I also believe in that & I don’t do any work (except knitting).

  30. my love for this pattern, it is out of control. i’ll be interested to see what the smaller size looks like; i hope you show us some shots from the test knitters! despite my great love of knitting shawls, i’ve been finding that i wear scarves much much more often.

  31. I love your shawl!! And the colorway is amazing, too.

    And I have to say, that’s a big 1-2 inches. 😀

  32. We got a lot of snow here in central IN, too, but not quite as much as you did. However, Monday night/Tuesday (all day) brings another storm, so brace yourself. I spent my snow days learning to do cable stitches and making a scarf for daily use next winter. Think I have found a hat pattern to make a set…after I make a cabled scarf for my DH, that is.

    Your shawl is soooooo pretty! How can I keep up with you? You knit so quickly and here I am slogging along. My “to knit” list is getting longer by the minute! *sign*

  33. Anne, you’ve done it again! Ever since you started knitting this shawl I have been eyeing it because of the color, but now that it is finished … I cannot find the words for it (gorgeous, splendid, spectacular, feminine, …)! This is definitely one that I will want to knit for myself, maybe in some Posh Eva 2 ply?

  34. Just beautiful. So feminine. I think I may need to give this shawl a try. I’ve only done lace once and it involved a tremendous amount of swearing, but I think I’ve recovered enough to give this a go.

    Love hoarfrost. Thanks for the great peeks at snow!

  35. That is a lovely shawl! I’d like to try The Woolen Rabbit’s Kashmir for a project–maybe this would be a good one for it. The snow looks lovely there. We are to get 8-12″ by tomorrow afternoon. Only about 1.5″ so far. I am at work, but am considering leaving at noon for a 1/2 day or to work from home just to avoid the rush hour nightmare. How I’d love a snow day! And I wish I could knit as fast as you design. I’ll never catch up with everything I want to do…

  36. That pattern is truly beautiful. I love the neck shaping and the center back. I must not be tempted away from my current projects – but that shawl is a siren!

    There’s nothing nicer than being snowed in.

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