Friday, 27 June 2014

I don't get to say this very often...

...and you probably need to be sitting down to read this...

I've finished something!  Yes, really!  A proper, completely-and-utterly-finished finish!

It gets better...

It's also on my FAL list, which means that I'll have a 'ticket' in the raffle when it comes to the end of quarter two and, who knows, it could be my lucky quarter!

Finish Along 2014

I expect you all want to know what I've finished?  Oh, go on, then, I'll put you out of your misery:

Leaf Evolution shawl

Yes, I've finished my Leaf Evolution shawl and I'm thrilled with how it's turned out!  The yarn (Katia Jaipur, a 2 ply cotton) has been a dream to knit with and it's blocked beautifully.  Here's how the pattern looked before it was blocked:

Leaf Evolution shawl

and here's how it looked after:

Leaf Evolution shawl

If ever you needed convincing about the value of blocking lace knitting, I think those two photos will probably do it!  I took it off the needles about five weeks before I blocked it but kept putting it off because I thought it would be a right faff and take ages.  In fact, it took about 40 minutes and a Desert Island Discs podcast (Colin Montgomerie, if you're wondering!) kept me company while I crawled round with my pin tin and tape measure.

I knitted this shawl on a whim; the yarn was bought from my local yarn shop because I couldn't leave without  it!  (Please tell me this happens to you!)  The colours were so gorgeous and the yarn so soft that I just had to have it.  I began to wonder what I'd make and decided on a shawl.  I searched Ravelry and stumbled across the beautiful Leaf Evolution pattern (by Tetiana Otruta) and fell in love.

I'm not a big knitter but every few months I go through a proper knitting phase and become completely obsessed with it.  This shawl was no exception and, at one point, I made myself ill from knitting too much and had to take a break of several weeks before I could go back to it.  Note to self: pace better!  I wouldn't describe myself as anything other than a confident beginner when it comes to knitting: I know the basics and like to learn new skills/techniques without biting off more than I can chew.  Having said that, when I printed off the pattern I did wonder what on earth I'd got myself into but not for longer than five minutes or so!

This shawl contains a lot of 'firsts' for me: knitting with 2 ply, following a chart where only one half is charted and you have to 'mirror' the chart for the second half (it's only the second time I've followed a chart), following more than one chart (although, thankfully, not at the same time!), provisional cast-on, picking up stitches, making nine stitches from three, knitting into the front and back of a stitch and, finally (!) a different way of casting off.  As I said, I'm not a hugely experienced knitter (I think that list proves it!) but I loved the challenge of knitting something so detailed.


Although the shawl is beautifully soft, I won't wear it.  I'm very intolerant of anything round my neck and struggle to wear anything other than a very loosely tied soft jersey scarf in the winter and can't wear necklaces with a short chain.  (When I was at primary school I could never wear my top button fastened, I used to hide the fact with the knot of my tie but if I was ever made to fasten the collar I felt as though I was being strangled and nothing's really changed!)

So, I'm thinking that perhaps I could sell it?  I have no idea how much I would ask, though, do you?  It's approximately 67" along the top (i.e. along the longest side) and 27" deep (i.e. straight down the middle of the shawl), which is about 170cm by 98cm for those of you who like to work in metric!  Please shout if you have any idea of pricing.

This definitely isn't going to be my first/last shawl, I've already promised to knit one for a friend and am expecting the yarn through the door any day now.  I won't be starting it immediately (at least, that's what I'm telling myself!) but I'll keep you updated on progress - it looks like a gorgeous yarn (an alpaca, silk and cashmere blend, I believe!) and I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks in a solid colour.

I'm also linking this up to Wool On Sundays with Janine, something I've been wanting to do for a while!

While I've been knitting/avoiding the blocking/crawling round on my knees pinning it to the carpet, someone has been lazing in the sun working very hard:

I have such a hard life...

This wall looks a bit dodgy, I'd better prop it up.  See?  I told you I had a hard life!

Thanks for popping in and making it all the way down here!!  I'm hoping to be back on Tuesday for Fresh Sewing Day to show you the bee blocks I've been making but if not, I'll definitely be back on Friday 4th July as I'm taking part in a blog hop and have been doing some secret sewing!  I can show you this

Getting ready...

 but you'll have to wait for a week to see what it turned into!

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