it’s too quiet without the wheels

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

the tulips and daffodils are so dense this year, i wondered if they would all flower or if we’d just have lots of foliage. i still can’t figure out what made them grow in so plentifully—this is a first for us. we have good soil, but the ground all around the house is dense with roots; plants and bulbs tend to die out after a year or two. i always assumed they got choked by roots (and squirrels) interfering. last year we had an especially paltry number of flowers, but this year they are so thick with blooms that we feel especially lucky and our faith in our budding gardening skills is restored.

i was hoping to get a photo of these tulips opened up—they are the prettiest things, with pointy outer petals that curl back like eyelashes. however, it was a brisk 28 degrees this morning so they are staying shut for now. maybe by the time i’m done writing the sun will have coaxed them open.

my bleeding heart has tripled in size in the last week and also has lots of buds—again, i was worried after last year that we might lose it; we had just a single pathetic flower on it. but it’s looking strong with plenty of buds (and hopefully more to come).

it’s been a very quiet weekend with everyone celebrating the easter holiday. i miss my spinning class—we didn’t meet today, and it’s way too quiet without them, but we’ll make it up on wednesday evening.
david and i are enjoying a relaxing weekend alone at home together—lots of knitting for me and lots of carpentry for him. the weather is beautiful, if a little chilly.

on friday i moved trevi from the shorter circular needle to the longer one with five repeats of the body pattern done (ay, it looks so pathetic here). and still i hadn’t worked all the way through my first skein of yarn. i was able to start knitting by around 6 pm and managed to get the last two body repeats completed during the evening. then i worked late into the night on the edging.

the edge i’d been planning all along didn’t work out—it was too cluttery-looking and too much pattern. ok, it’s 1 am; now what? i tried a plain edge of four rows of garter—and that was better—but then i couldn’t get the bindoff to be as stretchy as i thought it should be (i tried everything).

i did like the plain edge though; the body pattern of this shawl is so rich and has so much movement that the cleanness of a straight, plain stitch really finished it nicely. hmmm.
since it was 3 am by that time, i decided to sleep on it and make a decision in the morning. while i was falling asleep i visualized a plain garter edge again, but this time, knit on sideways with a row of YOs to set it off—bingo.

i could totally see that working, especially since it would be an almost-exact match for the borders i’d been working alongside each row. i wanted to jump up and start it right away but i made myself go to sleep—my eyes needed a rest.

awake again at 8 am, i got up and went right to work on the finish (after making strong coffee of course). by noon, i was done and the shawl was soaking.

i don’t know what it is, but i have a serious attachment to this shawl. ever since i first saw the stitch pattern i wanted to knit it into a rich, silky something. then when i received this gorgeous sea silk yarn, in colors of liquid metals, i knew i had the right yarn.
i am very excited that it’s been realized.

i blocked it yesterday afternoon and was somewhat surprised (and pleased) to discover that it wants to curve along the top (i was expecting some curve, but not this much). this is partly due to the shape of the stitch pattern, but also an effect of the straight garter edgings. personally, this feature is a plus for me because it will help keep the shawl on my narrow shoulders and facilitate flipping the ends to the back. i made some effort to keep the side edges loose as i worked through it, but if i had made more, the top edge would be straighter.

you might be wondering why i ran on and on about a straight edge, and then blocked it with points. the answer is—i have no idea what makes my mind tick. i spent about an hour threading every row of the straight edge onto the wires, got the straight edge all pinned out, stepped back and pronounced: i love it!.

then i proceeded to pull the wires out and re-pin it this way. honestly, i have no idea why . . . maybe, just because i can?? i guess i thought: people like points; i’ll give ’em points. and i know i also thought: i can re-block it if i decide i don’t like it (and it might not hold as well as i imagined, so i might have to do that).

(what i really wanted was to do one side one way and one side the other, just to see. but then i would have to reblock it right away after taking some pictures. and i’m not sure i wanted to spend the time on that right now).

the good news is, it’s your choice—people who like points can have ’em, and people who prefer plain edges can have that, too. some people find points too girly or fussy, and i totally get that.

the shawl tips look so pretty. they will be lovely flipped over the shoulder or tied.

and now let’s step back for the money shot—by this time, the late afternoon sun was detting the piece to shimmering

today i’ll unpin it, finalize the pattern and send that off to the test knitters. i’m glad i didn’t send it earlier—the changes i made at the end were worth waiting for.

i’ll take a few pictures of it on the dress form today to send to one planet yarn and fiber so they can prepare a listing for the the kit they plan to offer in their shop.

here’s one last shot from this morning, when the sun wasn’t beaming directly on the shawl

i actually have sweater progress and yarn to share too, but i think i’ll save that for tomorrow—go enjoy your chocolate bunnies. it’s time for me to go call my mom.

30 thoughts on “it’s too quiet without the wheels

  1. Wow, love the shawl! It’s very geometric looking. I personally like the points, I think it matches the center design.

    The flowers are gorgeous! Wish we had some bleeding hearts. I’m waiting on my favorite, the lily of the valley are getting close to bloom.

  2. Tulips alternate flowering in a sense. They peter out the year or 2 (or 3) after first blooming then rebuild and reproduce under ground until the new bulbs are big enough to flower. You can’t have good tulips every year without replanting, but if you can wait them out, they come back eventually. Happy Easter. The new shawl is lovely.

  3. this is beautiful! most of the lace i’ve been thinking about lately is more flowery and leafy, and it’s nice to be reminded that geometric designs can be pretty, too.

  4. gorgeous flowers and so cheerful … but hope the test knitters return the pattern soon — this will make a GREAT summer shawl! (I always seem to have something on my shoulders…… some stores are frigid in the summer LOL)

  5. another genius piece of work, anne. perfect summer shawl. and of course i love those points! cannot wait for the pattern! what is that colorway?

  6. I am so glad you trusted yourself and gave the edge another try. It’s beautiful. The proportions are exactly right (if I played with the math I bet teh formulae would prove what my eyes tell me).

    So, I have a friend (a burly 6’3″ master weaver with a great sense of style) who would wear this if it were square — will the curve in the hypotenuse cause a problem with doubling the pattern into a square? The doubling means there is no hypotenuse edge to need to make more loose, but instead an elastic inner axis like the one down the center of your triangle. Do I need a cup of coffee or am I on the right track here and the natural blocking of the doubled shawl will be a square?

    As for the bulbs, part of it is weather, but part is that plants are often similar to children. They spend some years growing and other years filling out. Your bulbs probably accomplished some serious root growth last year and you are seeing the happy rejoicing this year. They look pretty dense and will enjoy the crowding for another season or two, then you’ll need to separate them and let them divide and crowd themselves into more happy clumps of blossoms. It helps to stagger the divisions in three groups, over three years. My yard was bleak the year after I divided everything! Took the little guys a while to re-establish themselves. Thank you for posting such a cheerful bouquet on your blog.

  7. Beautiful flower photos, especially the bleeding heart. I just can’t get them to grow. Love the shawl also. Happy Easter!

  8. Love the geometric design of the shawl!

    Love the tulips. What a delicious color! It isn’t quite full spring here in the Boston area–a few hyacinths this week and daffodils almost ready to pop. I did see some amazing small tulips in a nearby yard–gold and orange. And I can see a forsythia from my window.

  9. Your tulips are beautiful, and so is the shawl! I like points, although I don’t like blocking them, even with my blocking wires.

  10. I can’t believe you have finished another shawl! You are an amazing knitter.

    I’m looking forward to some spring color here, but we are probably still a few weeks out before we see tulips.

  11. Love the Trevi shawl. I’ve been holding on to several skeins of sea silk for a while, just waiting for the right pattern.

    Maybe the cardi pattern will be next….?

    You’re so lucky to have tulips! I have a few brave crocuses and the tips of daffodils so far.

  12. I can’t decide which one I like better, the flowers or your shawl. I like the calming effect of the lace pattern on your shawl, but the color of your tulips are so bright and “springy”. Can’t decide.

  13. beautiful shawl (as usual ;-D), So open and refreshing for spring! …and I love your design notes!

  14. I LOVE this shawl! The geometric pattern works so well, and the way you demonstrated the options for the blocking was very informative. This is going to have to be my first triangular shaped shawl.

  15. That’s gorgeousness and then some! Whew. I think I see another kit purchase in my future. I didn’t particularly care for photos I have seen of the pewter colorway but your shawl looks beautiful.

Comments are closed.