Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finished: Ishbel

Despite knitting becoming much more popular among younger people over the past 10 years, the majority of the population probably still thinks of little old grandmas sitting in rocking chairs knitting shawls. Well, I am under 30, do not own a rocking chair, and just knit my first shawl! And yes, my friends, it was awesome.

I have been scared of knitting lace pretty much since I started knitting, but after finishing my February Lady Sweater earlier this yarn, I was prepared to try something more complicated. Enter my knitting group, who rightly has formed aRavely group called "Enablers Anonymous", where, unlike other 12-step programs that focus on preventing you from doing something, enabling is downright encouraged. (Witness my recent spinning activity.) All I had to do was mention I was interested in knitting lace, and I inexplicably found myself holding a very long, pointy needle and a triangular diagram.

I chose Ishbel for my first shawl because the stockinette portion was super-easy, and decreased the opportunity for me to royally screw up. (Which I only did once - go me!) The yarn was a silk and wool blend I got at Maryland Sheep and Wool from a random booth - I can't remember the name, and it wasn't on the label. I used size 6 knitpicks options needles.

Because it isn't the 18th century, the shawl in action will most likely look more like this:

I know now why shawls are knitters' crack. The whole time you're knitting, you have an amorphous blob on your needles. Then, as if by magic (magic = blocking), the whole thing flattens out and becomes light and airy and beautiful and warm, even though it's full of holes. You suddenly want more and more, convieniently forgetting the three hours you spent ripping out an entire night's worth of work because you made one extra freakin' yarn over. And when you're done, you'll sit out in your yard wearing a winter coat and a wool shawl in 90-degree heat, trying not to let your neighbor see you, even though he smokes pot in his yard and drives a sketchy van.
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