Monday, May 10, 2010

Making: Forest Canopy Shawl for Mother's Day

I've been waiting to blog about this one - I finished this weeks ago, but since it was for my mother, and she reads this blog, I had to wait.  I must say, this has been the most challenging and gratifying project I've knitted.  Being new to lace knitting, I had no idea what to expect.  But the pattern for the Forest Canopy Shawl is perfect for first time lace knitters.  Here the link for the pattern.

This is what it looked like while still on the needles... pretty darn unimpressive.  And all those red threads?  Those are life lines that I kept putting in to hold my place in case I had to rip back due to some horrible mistake.  And, believe me, I had to rip back.  Luckily, I got better as I went along, and ripped back less and less.  In the beginning I was so discouraged, and knitting seemed like it had become an exercise in futility and frustration.  I almost decided that I was simply not a lace knitter.  Sweaters and mittens I could do.  Lace?  Why do something that makes you curse and throw things?

But something magical happened when I finally slipped it off the needles, washed, and then blocked it (on a hideous old mattress, I must say).  The lace opened up.  The pattern came out.  And I thought: I made that?  As an academician, these moments are hard to come by.  Rarely do I write something or argue something and think: There, that's settled.  That's correct.  In fact, the whole enterprise of research and theory requires that we keep questioning our work.  It can be rewarding, no doubt, but there's a certain oomph of finality that's lacking.  This is why I gravitate towards knitting and baking: these are crafts where the question (can I do this?) gets firmly answered (yes! no!) at least to a more certain degree.  Of course, I'm sure the deeper I go into either of these crafts the more I will find that is theoretical and debatable, especially as craft moves towards art.  But, for the time being, it is very, very satisfying to say: I made this! 

We took these on the Philosophenweg, in the forest, in honor of its name.  I call my individual shawl, however, the Sea Canopy, given its wonderful shades of blue.

Raveled here.


MM said...

Hey, did you make two? The one picture looks light blue to me. It is truly unbelievable that YOU made it. Awesome!

Marianevans said...

Thanks! No, just made one. The colors in yarn are so hard to capture accurately!

I'll need to make another lace shawl - maybe a different pattern - but only after exams!

Marian said...

That is absolutely gorgeous - and I absolutely love making lace - though I move at an absolute snail's pace because I hate frogging it so if you have any leftover laceweight that you're not using, ummm ... :) (I joke. You can never have too much laceweight). (Speaking of which, Daniel got into one of my lace projects the other morning and yanked the needle out to use as a sword. I was not happy, to put it mildly. Luckily the ladies at the local yarn shop were able to save it).

Also, I should tell you - we got your package! Thank you so much, Daniel loves the little monster (whose name is "Toke" - I think Daniel must have just grabbed a random syllable, I doubt he's heard us use the word) and managed to spill orange juice on him within an hour of delivery. He's been washed and dried and now likes to hang out in the little train stations that Daniel builds on the coffee table. A thank-you note will be forthcoming when we next get to the post office :).

Marianevans said...

Marian - Are you on Ravelry? I must see your projects, if you are. Otherwise, I'll just have to make it out to Seattle!

I've had the experience of having a needle pulled out - by ME. Using DPNs and thinking it was the needle I was going to use on the next side when it was actually the one just knitted in. Not terrible, but so smack-your-forehead worthy.

I'm glad Daniel likes his monster :) Toke is a great name!