Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Shawl Matches My Light Fixture

What a surprise when I finished blocking my shawl yesterday and realized it matches the Fortuny shade over our dining room table! Not only are the colors identical, the swirling segments echo each other. So although it's a shawl, it is temporarily a tablecloth.

Here is the light fixture viewed from underneath.

And here is the shawl. Another coincidence is that it blocked to 66", perfectly fitting our 60" table with the 3" border hanging down. I wish my sweaters fit me as well.

About the Shawl
More about the shawl. It was designed by Meg Swansen and is from the book, A Gathering of Lace.

I saw one in Amano, knit by Heather. Instead of using the recommended yarn, she had substituted Lorna's Laces Shepard Worsted in this color, called Vera
I chose this color, Aslan

She changed the needles to Size 11. I just loved how soft the yarn felt. I also loved the feel of the shawl on my shoulders as the store was frigidly air conditioned that day.
It was very easy to knit, once I got past the double-pointed needles in the center. The pattern was a snap to memorize and it only took me about 5 days to finish it. I stopped after there were 54 sts between each marker. (432 sts)
Usually I block my knitting with my industrial steam iron, but because of the shape, that wasn't going to work, so I bought a steamer. I used my 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond and got a Conair steamer for about $61. including tax.
I covered the largest blank area of floor in the house with beach towels and used T-pins, starting at the center of the shawl. With a yard stick, I measured 33" from the center and pinned out each point, a few at a time, moving from side to side so everything stretched evenly. It took over an hour to pin it all out.
The steamer worked great. I was afraid it would drip, since the instructions said to hold the head upward or condensation would build up in the hose, but it worked out fine. I just stopped after a bit and held it upward in case there was condensation, so it could drain back.
I liked the steamer so much, I steamed some of Reese's t-shirts when I finished with the shawl.
I had never made a circular shawl before, but I plan on making more, plus I have an idea for an adaptation of this pattern for a skirt.