Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fa La La La La, La La-La Shawl

My spinning guild, the Genesee Valley Handspinner's Guild, is undertaking a group knitting project in which we all knit a La-La Shawl using our choice of yarns, gauge, etc.  They will all be displayed at the 2012 Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival.  I appreciate knitting, but it's not my 'thing' the way spinning is.  I find knitting to be anxiety-producing.  If there's any kind of pattern, the number of stitches matters. If you are making a garment it's not unreasonable to expect it to fit.  If you make a mistake and don't catch it immediately, you have the task of either unknitting rows to reach your problem or just ripping back and then trying to pick stitches up again.  Either method is time consuming and stressful, at least for me.  When you don't have much 'leisure' time, the thought of spending it on a futile effort that you realize you've done wrong pretty much makes it easy to postpone the start of anything.  Still, I've been wanting to make a shawl of some kind for a while now, mostly so I could indulge in buying a (OK, maybe a few) of the beautiful shawl pins I see people using.  ( I also have the buttons I'm going to build a sweater around......someday).

Anyway, I've been saving some special yarn for a special project and this will be perfect.  It's a blend of wool from a dear little pet sheep named Flip (who I sadly have no pictures of) which I dyed pink, all the fur I accumulated from our wonderful Molly dog, and also some odd bits of pretty silk, some dark red mohair and a little peach colored angora.  Quite the combo, but it spun up beautifully and I ended with just a few ounces shy of 5 whole pounds.  And it's been in my stash for..... years.  Molly died in 2007.  I'm not sure if I had the roving made before or after she crossed The Bridge.


So before heading to Rhinebeck on the guild's bus, I got everything out with plans to get started on it while I had a busload of great knitters captive available to ask questions.

The Special Yarn

Molly's fur muted the pink wool to a lovely plum color.  Bits of the peach and red show up too.

The Equipment

I armed myself with my Denise needle set as I had no clue what I should use, the pattern, stitch markers, a row counter and a hefty ball of the yarn.  The rest is safely back in the stash for future projects.  All went according to plan, and having settled on size 9 needles (thanks Wendy and Bonnie for the frequent advice and hand-holding) I started the pattern.  Three false starts and I was underway.  At the risk of jinxing myself, it really IS an easy pattern and I recommend it as a confidence builder if you are knitophobic like me.

I've just completed the second lace row and it all seems to be working.  They yarn is handling nicely and Molly's fur is raising a dark, fuzzy, angora-like halo on it! I'm going to try to get it done by Christmas and it will be my present to myself. 

And maybe a shawl pin.


  1. You're way ahead of me. I still have to spin more of the solid blue, finish plying, etc. before I can start knitting. I'm sure I'll settle into some kind of routine shortly...

  2. That is going to be so pretty Robin!!