Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The January Shawl

When I first began to idly explore the idea of knitting one shawl/month in 2010, I almost immediately knew which two shawls I wanted to bookend the year. Both have winter themes, both were shawls I was desperate to knit, and magically enough I had the materials for both. Then my visitors arrived, and I knew that I had made the absolute right decision for my January shawl. I've been absolutely charmed by the birds again this year. They are relentlessly cheerful no matter the weather, and their presence brings life and energy to our back yard. They always make me smile, and the fact that we actually have snow which gives me proof of their presence even when the feeder is empty....pure winter magic.

And so, in honor of our birds, my January shawl is going to be Near Solstice, designed by Bridget Rorem. It will be a departure for me...a much more modern type of lace with considerably less structure as it relies purely on artistry. I think it will be a good thing.

I cast on in the wee hours of New Years Day....long before anyone else was up. I almost immediately discovered a type of meditation in the miles and miles of white garter stitch on tiny needles. Far from being tedious, it's soothing...quiet...hopeful. In fact, it's perfect for this season, when so many of us turn to contemplation.

Of course, it's not all fun and games. I did discover a pretty hefty typo when browsing other Near Solstices on Ravelry. There was also some confusion in the directions for the haiku. I contacted the designer last night, who very graciously wrote me back this afternoon and set me straight. Turns out I'm going to have to start over with a 2.0mm needle instead of the size 2 I was using. Ah well...I'll start over this evening, just as soon as I finish up another project.

Then....well then I can focus on the quiet beauty of the winter and my sweet little visitors.


Anne said...

Perfect! I love the little random scattered birdsfeet pattern!

Jenny said...

That's such a beautiful pattern. I'll be watching the progress of your shawl with great interest!

Shelda said...

What a lovely project for this cold season! And the photo is fabulous indeed.

We love them 2 mm needles ;)

A Day That is Dessert said...

It looks like a great project and it's nice to hear that it's meditative for you too.

Paula said...

That shawl is going to be gorgeous. You expressed yourself beautifully. We love the birds too, from the colorful cardinals to the subtle finches in their winter garb. It's all good.