Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swallowtail Shawl

Check out the magic that is blocking lace. Take a wet blob of knitting, some pins, some time to dry and MAGIC!

E loves to unblock my lace knitting, she takes it very seriously removing each and sticking it back in the pin cushion.

This is an Evelyn Clark Swallowtail shawl knitted on size 6 needles in fingering weight handpaint generously given to me by the lovely Holly of Hollyarns way back in 2007.

2007 was a challenging year for our family. I found solace in my knitting during a dark time. I attempted to knit several lace shawls with Holly's beautiful handpaint. Nothing worked. I crashed and burned through several patterns. Much like how I was feeling through much of 2007. Continued trail and failure. In the end I put the yarn back in the stash.

I thankfully said goodbye and good riddance to 2007 and welcomed 2008, things calmed down. A new normal was established and the yarn sat in the stash. 2008 proved to be blissfully boring.

2009 came and brought new knitting and new knitting friends. And still the yarn sat.

Until May of 2009 when I decided I was ready for another lace project. I brought out the yarn, tossed the needle stash and printed up the Swallowtail pattern, which is a freebie btw. After a few tries with the cast on I got started and the knitting went great.

Until just before the swallowtail lace. I had two small mistakes. To tink or not to tink. Knit Knit Buddy Kristie encouraged me to just keep going, it's ok no one will see the mistakes. I kept going.

As I knit I thought about 2007. I thought long and I thought hard. Then the first row of the swallowtail chart pretty much kicked my a**. Again, to tink or not to tink. I left the errors and did not tink. I pushed forward knowing the shawl was riddled with errors, much like 2007.

I continued to knit through the swallowtail chart and on to the first of two edge charts. Continued errors. At this point I wanted to finish the shawl so I could revel in the magic that is lace blocking.

I finished the pattern and blocked it into a beautiful, filmy shawl. The errors are still there but you really can't seem them unless they are pointed out or the observer is an experienced lace knitter. The yarn is gorgeous, the colors vibrant and earthy.

The shawl is beautiful, it has it's imperfections but overall it's beautiful. Working on that shawl helped me see that 2007, despite the darkness was beautiful as well. There was beauty, and there was support, and there was joy, and there was growth mixed in with the hurt, and the guilt, and the loss.

And you know what I even have a bit of yarn left over to be incorporated into a future project. For now it's with my leftover sock yarn bits and makes me smile.

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