Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Socks & Shawl Inspiration

I must be mad. No sooner had I the Sealtainn mammoth off the needles than my distressed and fatigued brain began to hatch another task for me to gnaw at. Apparently, the adorable socks I had been whipping off the needles at a rate of a pair a week is no longer the soothing palette cleanser and brain holiday I was expecting. Oh no, socks are nice, you can watch TV as you knit happily away at them, I can even have a pleasant conversation whilst knitting, all with a sweet smile on my face. The poor Hubby was just beginning to relax with my 'happy knitting face' (lace inspires the 'concentration face', which may sometimes be confused with my grumpy face, oops!) 

No, that is not good enough for my crafty, too fast for me, brain. I must recreate an antique Shetland Shawl from a tiny photo. Yes, that is the task I have set for myself. It is quite daunting too, having never recreated one before. It's so much easier to begin from scratch, where you have total control and you can swap and change things around until you are happy with the end result. In this instance, I found a small photo in a beautiful little book called A Stitch in Time, Unst's Fine Lace Knitting, published by the Unst Heritage Trust and fell utterly and completely in love with the fine lace shawl on page 5. 

Ooh, I thought to myself, that looks so airy and ethereal and beautiful, and I rummaged around for my magnifying glass to take a better look. The centre pattern and the edging were easily charted, as they were already in my repertoire and I thought I could handle the borders easily enough, I can't see the entire shawl, so I am taking artistic liberties with things like number of pattern repeats and possible motif spacing. I have a usable first draft completed so I will knit a sample swatch and compare the photos.

I have also written out a basic pattern but I'm still struggling a bit with the maths as this shawl will have no mitred edges so I have to see how much I have to gather the borders in order for them to block out flat. I will of course be using Shetland Lace 1ply from Jamieson and Smith, so it should block out exceptionally well.

Time will tell, off to swatch...

Happy knitting


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