30 January 2005

Falling Leaves Shawl

Leaves and Zig-Zag Shawl

I started this project in late summer 2004, as a travel project -- there were multiple trips to the Eastern time zone, including to a memorial service for my father. With that many cross-country flights and unpredictable schedules and all, I needed something easy but not totally boring, not super heavy, not fiddly fine.

The yarn: elann.com Baby Cashmere, which is an excellent and versatile yarn, and a great value. The only thing I dislike about it is the putup -- the particular style of allegedly center-pull skeiny ball type put-up that this uses, which is not an uncommon one, I just don't like. It jumps around too much if you work from the outside, and it's totally impossible to find the center end with any degree of reliability. It smooshes down really flat, though, so if you're stuffing it in a carryon bag I guess that's something positive to be said for that putup.

Anyway, I knit the falling leaves section for rather a while, and then I had to pack up this project (along with everything else) when November and December saw us unexpectedly moving. Once moved, though, it came out almost immediately, and I finished the falling leaves section.

I felt that it needed more than that, however. I had plenty of the yarn, having bought a pile of it when it first came out -- when I know I like a yarn, it's not unusual for me to buy what should be a sweater's worth, specifically so that I have lots of flexibility to make almost anything from it. Anyway, so I decided to throw together some zig-zag end pieces to add a little interest to the shawl.

Once I had the zig-zag ends, I crocheted them onto the ends, and then set about putting a simple crochet edging on the whole thing. There are many things I edge with crochet, for various reasons. First, a nice single crochet round can solidify the structure and firm things up -- knitting can really use that. Second, unlike most knitted edgings, crochet ones are worked in the round so they radiate outward and this simplifies dealing with any gauge weirdnesses or what have you. And third, if you've got a large piece and you want to do something in the round, doing it with a crochet hook and small working sections is vastly more manageable than if you had to pick up stitches all around it to knit.

Okay, okay, and fourth: crochet's fast. So, when you're in the finishing stages of a project, you spend less time irritable about how loooooooong it takes to finish. And that lets you move right on to trying to figure out how to block the enormous object! In this case, because the shawl is probably six feet long, I ended up steaming it with an iron, in sections, laid across the ironing board.

Not long after I finished this project in early 2005, Carolina Concha from Chinchero came to visit for a little bit, and I gave her the shawl.


Post a Comment

<< Home