Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Plan Fulfilled

Last spring I bought myself a beautiful trench coat in a shade of blue which hovers somewhere between Robin's Egg and Tiffany and Turquoise. I'm not sure what drew me to the coat first - the blue, or the deep chocolate brown top stitching. It's meant to be a coat that lasts forever.

From the beginning, I knew my coat needed - and deserved - some sort of chocolate brown knit lace to go with it. I found the yarn late last summer, and then the project was set aside for a while as I focused on more pressing projects. Then Nancy Bush's fabulous new book was published, and I knew I had found the pattern. Yet, it still just sat. Why? Once again, I tried to do something that my heart knew wasn't right. My head wanted beads - some beautiful blue beads that matched perfectly - and so I spent months trying to figure out how to best incorporate the beads into the pattern. Silly me.

I picked up the shawl at the end of January, ripped out the beaded mess and started over. I thought it would take me months to finish because I was in the midst of sweater frenzy. In fact, I had barely cleared edging pattern by last week.

Then, I took it home with me, and it became my perfect vacation knitting. I started Friday night, and finished Sunday morning. Perfect. The yarn has been difficult to photograph - often appearing washed out. I was pleased to capture this image. My blue coat is a bit paler than in real life, but the yarn is the gorgeous chocolate I fell in love with. Check out my new shawl pin, too!

In the end, the shawl is the perfect size for the coat - big enough to do what it needs to do, but not so much that it overwhelms the coat. (And thank you to the birds for loaning me the bird feeder hook long enough to take a picture.)

Really, this particular pattern is more about texture than about lace. The large diamonds are full of nups, and the textured stitch pattern at the top is a marvel. I'm completely in love with the balance of the design and the beauty of the finished project. We knitters should be so lucky with every project.
Just for fun - a picture of the shawl as soon as it came off the needles.
The required blocking photo, which always feels silly, but shows off the detail work beautifully.
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Fingering Weight in Chocolate - 3 1/2 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo US 6, 32 inch
Finished Size: 58 inches across top, 29 inches from center back to bottom point
Time to Knit: January 20 - February 8, 2009
There was only sad moment to this whole process. While I adore Claudia Hand Painted Yarns for their incredible color work and the feel of the yarn, I have to be honest and say that in my experience they are not the most colorfast of yarns. I've had a pair of socks fade beyond belief after just a few washings, and knew this chocolate would be a problem. My hands looked bruised by the time I finished the shawl because so much had rubbed off on them, and the shawl took 10 rinses to come clean. It didn't actually lose much of the color - but there is definitely a purplish cast to the shawl now that wasn't there before, and the chocolate has lost a bit of it's intensity. It's a good thing I won't need to wash the shawl again!

PS. There's no new list this week!


Bonnie said...

What a stunning piece of lace knitting! The shawl goes perfectly with your coat.

Jewel said...

Love your coat and the shawl is beautiful and looks so nice with your coat!

A Day That Is Dessert said...

Gorgeous!!! You've got a good eye for accessorizing, too.

Salihan said...

Beautiful shawl and it looks terrific with your coat! I wouldn't have thought to wear a shawl over my coat. Thanks for sharing.

stringplay said...

I came over from Ravelry because I just fell in love with your Miralda. It is just beautiful. Thanks for posting so many great photos.