just one thing

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

last easter, my good friend kris handed me a bag and said: please take this before i ruin it—i tried to knit it into lace and i just can’t. maybe you can think of something to do with it; if not give it to someone who can.

i looked inside and saw two balls of beautiful hand maiden yarn. one had a tag that said rumple, though it doesn’t look like the rumple they have on their site now (it’s not a bouclé). this one is a silk 2-ply fingering yarn, which is soft and has a slightly rustic texture—the colorway is a cindery blend of black, bluish charcoal, and deep rust. this piece is from the end of the skein where the colors were slightly lighter

maybe it’s really silken but had an incorrect tag?

kris had a pattern she was trying to navigate with it, but without much success and she seemed pretty discouraged. she’s a sorceress with growing plants, and generously provides us with starters for our garden each year. but knitting lace was getting the best of her. i knew right away that i wanted to knit something for her with the yarn—she loves scarves and little shoulder shawls—she’s the perfect lace recipient.

i rewound it and kept it at the front of my yarn queue for the rest of the year, but never quite came up with the right project—heavier silk yarns exhibit interesting behavior on the needles and don’t always translate well into lace. the 2-ply texture of this yarn demanded a robust motif that would maintain its integrity even with a little bumpiness in the yarn.

the other thing about kris that we love is that her birthday falls the day after mine, and as the date drew closer, i really wished i had done something with the yarn to celebrate. then, last weekend, an idea finally coalesced in my mind. i was missing my caricia project, having gotten it off the needles a few days earlier. while casting about for just the right kind of project to replace it, i came across a stitch pattern in one of my japanese books that i thought would work in a similar type of triangle shawl—easy to do and quick. AND i thought it would look great in the dark brown-black silk yarn.

i really wasn’t shooting for the birthday gift at that point (her BD was wednesday), but then i realized i might be able to do it—i had just 300 meters of yarn to knit up in five days or so. and our dinner date with them wasn’t til friday . . . i was wiling to give it my best.

i found an edging that complimented the body stitch, drew up a quick chart, and cast on right away that evening. can you spell A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D? this was very fun.
i did manage to finish it up wednesday night, so that on thursday i was blocking

this was another design that i could start at the smallest point (top center neck) and knit outwards til my yarn was gone (important since i had just one skein)

silk blocks out so nicely . . . i thought it would be harder to get it to stretch to the size i wanted, but it was pretty compliant—i ended up with mini shawl that measures about 56 inches across the top. it’s a good scarfing size for such a lightweight fabric.

i’m not sure i adore the outer edge; i wanted to put a knit-on edge there, but i wasn’t at all sure how much yarn i’d need and didn’t want to take time to experiment.

this piece will become a pattern, though, and there will be another sample so i might change it at that time. and then, it might be that in a week’s time i’ll be fine with it.

i DO love the join, which falls at the nape of the neck (more pix below)

and here’s a shot of the shawl tip—the top edging on this piece is wider than i usually choose to do and has a more graphic quality

it sorta speaks to the hem, which has a bit of an egg-and-dart look going on, but i’m not sure it’s just right. like i said, i can refine that the next time around (which will be soon, i promise)

i unpinned it friday morning and threw it on the dress form for a little modeling session

ok, maybe threw isn’t the right word—i did fuss a bit with draping and pins (the pins in the photos above and below are from perl grey, a sister company to hand maiden and fleece artist)

and once we get going playing dress up with dolls around here, the fun never ends

here’s a nice shot of the hem point

and that top edging

the center back at the neck

totally kissable.

and here are a few full-body shots—the front

the back—look at how the color gradually changes from that deeply charred color at the top to the burnt-rust at the edges

it’s the color of glowing embers. i didn’t really see the full effect myself til the light was pouring through it.

with and without tails.

the yarn really has a great structure; it’s very soft, but it holds its shape quite well—you’d almost think it would have a starched feeling but no, it’s lovely.
there wasn’t much yarn left at the end; maybe enough for mending if it’s ever needed

the best part of the whole project was giving it away; it was my favorite moment of all.

so this is the secret i was distracted by all week; a really enjoyable surprise to make for a friend. you’ll be seeing more about this project as i develop a pattern for it and knit another sample; i want to knit a bigger one this time.

81 thoughts on “just one thing

  1. what a beautiful shawl. Love the pattern especially the top border.

    I’ve been thinking of knitting a triangle or stole shawl this size, just a small something to throw over my shoulders. I’m short so some of the larger shawls are a bit overwhelming. they tend to become the whole outfit if you know what I mean. So I’m in for this pattern when you have a chance to get it ready.

  2. I really like it Anne – particularly the top edge.And I really like the size since most of my shawls are really big. I’ll definitely do this one when the pattern comes out.

  3. That is so beautiful, Anne. The top edging when seen from a distance, looks like cabled rope. Very pretty. Up close, they look like leaves. I’ll bet your friend was beyond thrilled.

  4. Wow! Anne you have really out done yourself, talk about one lucky friend. I’m knitting Caricia in tussah silk, so I was glad to hear silk blocks well. Lovely present! (ps. yours is on its way) 😉

  5. I have a skein of Silken that just decided what it wants to be when it grows up. This is beautiful, Anne.

  6. The first thing I noticed about this shawl was the edging at the top and the extra detail at the nape. I love it! Anticipating the pattern . . . .

  7. What a beautiful shawl and a lucky friend to be receiving such a gift. The yarn is a gorgeous color too. I’ll be looking forward to the pattern when it is written up.

  8. i think it is quite lovely and i’m not sure you need to change a thing (though of course, it is your perogative!) lucky friend- must have REALLY made her b-day special!

  9. Anne — It is just beautiful. The leafy border is such a nice accent to the body of the stitch. It is amazing.

  10. Wow! That is beautiful!!

    The yarn is gorgeous too. If you find out where it’s from, let us know!!!!

  11. Anne, what a beautiful gift! We’ll be looking forward to that pattern!! (BTW, having a BALL knitting up Stonewall.)

  12. Just too beautiful for words! I would love to see the face of the recipient when she got it!

  13. Wow! I like the stitch pattern and the edging across the top. Then it pushed me over the top when I noticed the gradation of color towards the point. A beautiful gift. I would like to knit a shawl like that.

  14. That is just the most beautiful thing! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve not tried knitting lace so far however, I am so inspired by your beautiful patterns and photos that I am longing to give it a try. Now that my mum and sister have both expressed a desire to own one after seeing your gorgeous patterns I think it is time to give it a try.

  15. Fabulous little shawl and the most thoughtful of gifts. The yarn turned into magic in your hands. You didn’t tell us Kris’s reaction. She must have been beside herself with joy and appreciation. Happy belated Birthday to you!

  16. “Don’t go changing” a thing. It’s lovely!
    (OK, so maybe details for a larger size would be nice. I’ve never been much for “shawlettes”.)

  17. Kris is one lucky lady…that shawl is breathtaking…hope you will take some photos with the shawl on Kris as well…I bet she grinned from ear to ear!

  18. Definitely not Rumple…looks like Silken…especially when blocked. One way to tell…Silken holds blocking really really well and doesn’t grow or stretch out of shape like a lot of 100% silks do.

    Why yes, I AM a little Handmaiden/Fleece Artist obsessed…why do you ask? 😉

  19. Well you did it yet again. You always amaze me with the things that you com up with. It is beautiful and I am sure that she loved it.

  20. OMG… if you must change something in the final design at least keep the notes (and pls share!) from this version. This is just so simply beautiful from that so different top edge, substantial but not too much, to the soft, understated, simply pinned out edges. She is a lucky woman indeed, and smart too to give that yarn to you!

  21. Unbelievable. You are a knitting machine. It is absolutely beautiful!!!! I bet Kris totally loved it. You are amazing Anne!

  22. Oh, Anne! Leave it exactly the way it is! I love that leaf motif edging on the top and I love the way (in the fifth picture) the rectangles stick out from the edging like roman pillars or something. Don’t change a thing! And please hurry with the pattern. 😉

  23. This is gorgeous. It has all the elements I’ve been looking for and haven’t really seen in one pattern.
    I love the edging, the way it can stand up and look like a collar or drape more fluidly.
    I’d like to add my request for the pattern in the smaller size (at least as an option). This seems perfect for all the gorgeous single-skein hand-paints I can’t seem to stop buying. Also: I’m short, so I swim in large shawls and I’m a beginner at lace, so looking for a manageable project.
    Thanks for sharing the process and all the photos.
    Looking forward to the pattern!

  24. Well that was definitely worth the wait.:-) I like the unusual edging and the color is fantastic. I’m sure your friend was thrilled to receive it!

  25. Love, Love, Love it. I agree with the others that it is great just the way it is. The design of the edging and the nape is what draws you in and then oooh baby are you hooked. The color and whole substance of the shawl really work. Your friend will be thrilled. I know I would be. I agree that it is sometimes nice to have a smaller version in a shawl….maybe two versions to pick from.

  26. so wonderful, sorry that i do not have many words to express my “feelings”
    i love your designs

  27. Just gorgeous. I hope it becomes a pattern for sale very, very soon. I like the neck detail, but whatever change you make will be lovely, I’m sure.

  28. As the extraordinarily blessed recipient of this absolutely beautiful shawl, I can assure you that I was very surprised and deeply moved, especially after reading the blog entry about it–it brought me to tears. I think I was a bit loud at the restaurant when I opened it–it was accompanied by a lovely pink ballerina cake card which greatly appeals to the part of me that teaches preschool music & movement. I can’t wait to wear it! I am indeed grateful for such a beautiful friend!

  29. Anne- As I was reading the post and wiping the drool off my chin I came up with a name “One Man’s Poison”-
    because she couldn’t work with it and look what you created.

    That’s okay, her talents lie elsewhere.

  30. I adore your patterns and knitting—truly inspirational. Having said this I’m having a hard time taking the leap to making a shawl–I think because the lacy edge is so much girly than I am. I love the leading edge on the shawl and the pattern of the body. I think I would love to see this as a stole with the leading edge along both long edges and maybe only the short edges with the “peaks” (or trailing leaves like your Aspen pattern). I’m thinking the smaller area of “peaks” (that seems to be the detail that makes me uncomfortable) would put me back in my comfort zone. I can’t wait to see what happens with this–it’s so beautiful now but I know what you’re capable of!

  31. Happy Birthday to You! I might have think that you were an Aquarius. A belated godspeed is valid within 8 days over here. 🙂
    This shawl is more than beautiful, too.

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