Wednesday, October 10, 2012

moonbeams in the park

I was back in Hartford, my hometown, this weekend.   It really feels like fall in Connecticut now.  Brisk temperatures. A dampness to the air. An aroma of fallen leaves and earthiness.  The last of the flowers shine so brightly at this time of year, don't they?

What I'm saying is that it was perfect shawl weather!  And I happened to have two shawls that got their first outing during a walk in the park with my mom.

They're two versions of the Moonbeams Shawl (You see, I've been keeping my hands busy even though I haven't had time to blog about it)

The one on the right is the shawl I started in Taos over the summer.  It's in "Silky Alpaca Lace" -- the same as the silver moonbeams shawl I knit in the spring.  I'd run out of yarn with the first one, but since I suspected I'd had less than a full skein to begin with, I wanted to knit a second one (with a few minor improvements) and see if I could get it comfortably within one skein. Success!

The one on the left is knit in DK-weight mulberry silk.  I wanted to experiment with a heavier yarn, and also using yo's for the increases instead of m1's.

To be honest, as I was knitting it I thought the lines of eyelets looked hokey.  I also feared that they detracted from the moon-quality of the original shawl.  But blocking worked miracles!  I love how it turned out in the end.

That silk yarn has been sitting sadly in my stash for the last four years, ever since I bought it with the idea of knitting a last minute wedding shawl for my sister-in-law. It's such a pleasure to see it used up.

Now I have one last version of the shawl to work up -- this time in a gorgeous gray alpaca -- before I'll be ready to polish and release the pattern.  I loved the silver laceweight version so much that I wanted to do a silver DK weight one, too.  (As beautiful as the ivory shawls are, they are a wee bit wedding-ish for daily wear.)

I'll leave you with a last blast of color.  Anyone know what kind of tree this is?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Lotus Shawl Pattern

Tra-la, the pattern for the Lotus Shawl is now available on Ravelry!

The Lotus Shawl is a triangular shawl with a lush and dramatic lotus flower lace edging.

The pattern has two versions with different stitches for the shawl body.  "Pods"  has openwork inspired by the texture of lotus pods. "Waves" has ripples of eyelets, evoking the waves on a lotus pond.

The pattern has line-by-line AND charted instructions for both versions.   I'm very pleased with the clean layout and clear directions ....

The shawl knits up in 450 yards of a heavy laceweight or fingering weight yarn.  For the pink version ("Waves") I used Henry's Attic Carrera, which is a silk/wool blend with a gorgeous drape and sheen. It comes in an undyed ivory color; I naturally dyed it a light lavender-pink.

For the white version ("Pods") I used a laceweight woolen spun cormo wool from Elsa Wool Co.  It's lofty, sproingy, and delicious.

The pdf pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry!