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.