Sunday, April 23, 2006

Maybe Baby

I just can't help myself. Jane-in-Spain is about to become a grandmother for the first time and has asked me to supply a shawl, partly for baby and partly for mother. Mother lives in Glasgow and we all know how chilly it can be getting up to feed the child at dead of night. A shawl to wrap round mother and babe is just the ticket.

While I was there in Spain we discussed how this shawl would be. It would be wool. It would be machine-washable. It would be cream. It would be square. It would be big enough to serve the purpose.

I spent ages casting about for a suitable yarn. Eventually I settled on King Cole 100% wool merino blend 4-ply from Texere. It's available in loads of colours, and, though I haven't used the 4-ply, I have used the same wool in the DK weight. (To make plenty of hats, since you ask.) It's also a very reasonable £14.50 (that's about $26US or $35AU - if you are a happy spider) for 500g (1,800m). Going to Texere's website is fraught with danger: they now stock Noro (and Lopi, and all sorts of other goodies as well.) I'm afraid the trigger finger got a bit carried away, late on Wednesday evening.

Saturday came and I had to go beetling off into town, at quite an early stage. #1 daughter was doing country dancing outside Shakespeare's birthplace, to celebrate, well, his birth. Loads of kids, loads of Morris dancers, and bands and people running around clutching little posies of flowers. (One chap, tall, greying, wearing shades, looked like a secret service man - but he still had the little bunch of daffodils.) Upshot of this was that I wasn't at home to nab the postman. Luckily, he is well-trained and leaves parcels in the outhouse (if weather inclement) or on the back step (if weather good). I got home to this:

What's inside? This:

Sorry about the poxy quality of the photo but I am having a deal of difficulty with all this software that's supposed to make it easier and in fact just makes me want to tear out my hair when it goes wrong.

Lots of hat wool and a cone of cream 4-ply for the shawl.

I thought about designing my own shawl. I spent ages looking through Sharon Miller's "Heirloom Knitting" (I know that $55US seems a deal of money, but if you are at all interested in knitting lace then you really cannot do without this book) In the end, I decided that speed was of the essence and I really needed to get on with it. So I settled on the Kerry Blue shawl from Martha Waterman's "Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls".

Starts with 12 stitches on 4dpns! Not on your nelly. Using Emily Ocker's circular start and getting straight on to the 4mm two circulars, this is what we ended up with:

Again, poxy picture but I think you get the idea.

This really is a very simple pattern to knit - just as well, the snooker is still on, remember? (And we had the added complication of the San Marino Gran Prix.)

This is the state of play at the moment:

I hope to have it finished before the child goes to University (as everyone seems to do these days, regardless of ability.)

In other news, there has been no knitting whatsoever on the border of the Garden Shawl (sorry, Mary Ann, you will have it eventually, I promise) and none on the Kimono Jacket either. I can't do it all (although I wish I could.)


allisonmariecat said...

A beautiful start--the shawl will be lovely!

Someday I must see the Shakespeare birthday celebration for myself. Sounds fun :-)

Angel said...

Shawls that begin with the dpns always freak me out when I first start, but then once I get going I always marvel at the ingenuity of it all.

I noticed that you said "hat wool"- I have to say I think hats are my favorite thing to knit hands down. They are satisfying and quick and can be as complicated or as easy as you wish. Mittens and socks come in a close second. :)

rachel said...

Emily Okker? I have a circular shawl that I can't start because of the DPN's can you advise me?