Monday, August 4, 2008

Off the Clock

With the Tour de Fleece safely over with, I'm no longer spinning against the clock. As much fun as it was, it's nice to spin and knit again just as I please, without the pressure of a deadline or a stopwatch. A little break from spinning might be in order, in fact. I seem to have developed a strain or a touch of tendinitis between two fingers on my drafting hand.

Luckily, knitting doesn't seem to bother it at at all. The knitting project I started a couple of weeks ago, when parted briefly by travel from my spinning wheel, is coming along nicely. It's the Cherry Leaf Shoulder Shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

The shawl is fourteen cherry leaves wide now. (Isn't that a nice measure? A little more vivid than inches or feet.) I've used 30 of 50 grams, and the suspense is building about how big it will be. The shawl shown in the book is full-sized, swathing each beautiful model down the length of her glamorous torso. But from the name shoulder shawl, I picture something a good deal more petite, knotted in the front at the chest and reaching partway down the upper arm. Mine is at least large enough already to be a pretty triangular scarf to wrap around the neck, and I'll just consider anything beyond that a bonus.

I'm enjoying the softness and the kettle-dyed color variability of the Malabrigo lace yarn. Wear and tear may be a problem, as it's a whisper-soft single-ply merino yarn, but though it may blur and abrade in time, it's such a pleasure until then.

I'm thinking about what to do for the edge, to finish the garter stitch that frames the leafy center. The pattern adds a lacy edge a couple of inches wide, with fretwork and peaks to stretch out in the blocking. As beautiful as that is, I'm leaning toward something more restrained, a plainer edge to let the mesh of leaves stand out more. I'm also wondering about adding beads. Nothing showy, just a few beads in a color matching the yarn, for a subtle glint and some added weight and drape. I don't know how well the delicate yarn will stand up to having beads threaded on it; I haven't done much with beads. Before deciding, I may need to visit a bead store and see what the possibilities are.

In my imagination, the shawl is already finished and beaded and blocked and looking lovely. I only hope the reality will match the dream!


Bess said...

What a lovely description of your shawl. "14 cherry leaves" is so much more evocative. I can't wait to see it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Knittin' Diva said...

I think you'll find, you'll fall in love when the shawl is blocked. The last one I did really "bloomed" once it was blocked. I think a simple edging with some simple glass beads will be beautiful ;-)