If you can remember, I was at a Knitting Workshop in the Glen Gallery in Ballymena last October with Debbie Abraham's, and I bought two skeins of Araucania Botany Lace. I never intended buying two, especially as skeins they looked quite similar, but they spoke to me and practically took me hostage until I took them to the counter to buy them!
They were both so pretty and the colours so rich and inviting that I had some trouble trying to pair them with patterns. The Botany Lace is a sock weight Merino that has beautiful stitch definition and is super soft. It's also tightly spun so that there is no worry of pilling and there is a very definite handle to it. I would think it could survive a frog or two :)
The first shade was a tropical green with hints of pinks, yellows, creams and violets that really reminds me of Lilt!
With 450 yards to play with I set to searching for a shawlette pattern (too impatient to come up with one of my own) and found 22 Leaves Shawlette by Lankakomero (Ravelry link) which was already in my queue. The shawlette is quick to knit with interesting new techniques and a beautiful end result.
I wasn't quite sure which way to block it as it has an interesting shape it's hard to find the right shape without squashing or stretching the leaf motifs. Best to leave a lot of time and a lot of pins to get it right. I didn't use a ruler but eyeballed it in the end!
The shawl is a decent size for using as a scarf/cowl and is really pretty just draped on the shoulders.
The design itself is beautiful to look at, I particularly like this bit above.
In all her glory!
More fabric drapiness :)
The second shawlette was Soleil Shawlette by Brenda Lavell which I tripped across by accident and fell completely and utterly in love with. It looks so 'Victorian' I can't explain, but I just love the simplicity of the body and the depth of the edging.
The little buttercups all around the edging are a gorgeous touch.
I couldn't believe how much the Botany Lace grows with blocking. Honestly, even with stretching the shawl out and pinning dry, I thought I had made a stunted triangle hanky thing when I'd cast off. I was miserably considering frogging the whole thing and making a cowl or mittens but something stopped me. I popped her in the sink with some washing liquid and ignored her for 20 minutes before rinsing and squeezing. Boy did she grow, like she'd been taking growth hormones. My little hanky grew to 21" x 46" approx, perfect for shoulders or neck.
The main pattern was simple to memorise and there are two mostly garter stitch rows out of 4 so the shawl grew quick quickly.
The edging took a little more concentration but again the repeat is surprisingly small, so it was easy to pick up and put down when I had a spare minute.
I love the way the sun and works through the fabric and I get a 'shadow shawl'.