Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bewitched By A Princess

Wow, has it really been so long? Getting back into blogging was one of my New Year’s resolutions and now we are beginning to emerge from the doldrums of winter, I feel inspired to begin again. I don’t have any particular reason for the long hiatus – life just sometimes gets in the way.

My recent inspiration to blog again has come mainly from my current wip. Just over a year ago, I got engaged and of course the first thing I thought about (after saying yes and jumping with joy, of course) was wedding shawls! I have deeply coveted the beautiful Shetland lace shawls, especially the ethereal wedding ring shawls, for years and had even thought of casting one on previously, but had decided that that would be just a little too weird. So once the ring was on my finger and I had come down to earth, I started looking at Heirloom Knitting. I had originally wanted to do the wedding ring shawl, but I was unsure if I would be able to persevere with this, and instead decided to pick the Spring Shawl. A triangular shawl knit with cobweb weight yarn, it didn’t seem as daunting. So I ordered the necessary supplies and got started. Fast forward nearly a year and it was finished. And I liked it. But I didn’t love it. Because in the mean time, I had fallen in love with the Princess Shawl.

So over the last month I have been deliberating about whether or not to be crazy and knit a second wedding shawl. I have time (the wedding is not until April next year) but these shawls are so all-consuming that I don’t have time to knit much else. And this would mean knitting with gossamer yarn on teeny tiny needles – what if I just got bored?

Alas, common sense did not prevail and a few days ago, after months of research, I chose my materials and cast on. I spent a long time looking at different yarn choices. I knew I wanted a silk blend and decided to go with the Heirloom Knitting Gossamer CashSilk in a pale silvery grey (I think the colour is correctly called platinum). I’d read that it can be slippery, which it is, but I have not found it unmanageable. I shall probably take that back the first time I drop a stitch. I’m knitting it on 2mm needles and I’m happy with how the lace is looking at this tension.

My reason for wanting to start blogging this project is that in my research, I found that not many people have started this shawl, let alone finished it. Therefore, I hope that my documentation of this project may be of use to someone else who’s thinking of knitting this. My initial response would be: go for it! I was quite daunted by everything I read, and for a long time (and perhaps the reason I chose not to knit such a fine-gauge shawl to begin with) is that I felt that it would be beyond me. So far, the pattern is very clear and not really any more difficult than the Spring shawl. The knitting is slower going as the stitches are smaller and the yarn more slippery, and therefore more difficult to manoeuvre safely. But I’m enjoying it, and surely that’s what matters the most. Here's how much I've done so far.


The pattern begins with the border; I’ve knitted about 8 repeats 10 repeats out of 60-80 something so far (I haven’t decided exactly how many to do yet). I’m aiming for about 2-3 repeats a day which will hopefully help with giving me time to work on other projects. I’m not going to promise to blog every day or every week, but I shall try to give periodic updates on the knitting.