FO: Swallowtail Shawl.

It’s official: I’m addicted to lace.  It’s so much fun to knit – always interesting, the pattern slowly evolving and changing as you go.  The thin yarn on larger needles makes the knitting fly, and it grows swiftly.  But the best part?  Once you’ve cast off, and soaked it in a nice wool-wash bath, you pin it and stretch it out to within an inch of its yarny life and wait a few hours.  And when you unpin it?  Soft, crisp, perfect peaks.  Open yarn overs and delicate lace patterns.  And I made that?  Unbelievable.

Swallowtail Shawl

 I think this is the most beautiful thing I have ever knit.

I didn’t change much from the pattern.  The pattern calls for lace-weight yarn and US5 needles.  I used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Perwinkle (fingering weight superwash merino) and US7s (KnitPick’s Harmony needles have a nice sharp tip for wooden needles, perfect for those “nupps” and their infamous p5tog).

Swallowtail Shawl

 I wanted to make sure my shawl was more, well, shawl sized, and less scarfy, so I added 5 extra repeats of the budding lace pattern (a tip I picked up on the Ravelry boards – if you’re going to increase the size, do it in repeats of 5 – so instead of 14, as called for in the pattern, do 19, 24, or 29.  This way the numbers will match up for the border).  Since I used a heavier yarn and larger needles, I knew it would be a little bigger than the one in the pattern, even if I didn’t add any extra repeats.

Swallowtail Shawl

 Of course, there are a few mistakes in there.  I had some trouble transitioning between the charts, mostly because I had to follow the chart blindly when I started it off, and wasn’t able to easily read my knitting.  I tried to fix them the best that I could, and I don’t think they take away from the overall look.  In fact, I was happy that I had some mistakes that I conquered.  That was all part of my grand plan for the shawl.

As I mentioned, I made this shawl as a symbol of my choice to become a Celebrant.  I picked this color in particular because periwinkle has always felt like a magical color to me, that beautiful ethereal color of the sky that I always felt wasn’t quite real.  As a Celebrant, I will get to know a couple, then create and perform an original ceremony for them.  This will involve taking elements from many different places – the couple’s own words and cultures, known traditions, and my own creative knowledge.

The same can be said for this shawl.  I followed a general pattern, one that many have followed and done before (just as the wedding ceremony).  I made my own choices – I made it larger, changed the yarn, chose the color.   I even made some mistakes along the way, but I incorporated them into, and made it a part of the piece.  Though I followed the “rules” of the pattern, I created a completely unique shawl.  Just like when I write wedding ceremonies – I’ll follow the “rules,” but I’ll end with something completely personalized and unique for the couple.

Even if someone liked my shawl so much that they decided to do it exactly the same way, adding extra repeats and the same yarn and same needle size, they would still be different.  That’s the beauty of any kind of art, any kind of creativity.  By simply writing, simply knitting, you are making something that is completely yours, something that will be memorable, beautiful, and unlike anyone else’s in the world.

Swallowtail Shawl

 I love it.  Absolutely love it.  I can’t believe I made this!

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6 Responses

  1. The thought of p5tog’ing makes me feel a little dizzy, but the results are worth it! Stunning!!

  2. Looks great!

  3. You did do it and it looks beautiful and you wear it so well! I feel the same way every time I finish a lace piece. I hold it out and can’t believe that I made such a thing of delicate beauty. It is a wonder. You profession as a Celebrant sounds fascinating and I wish you the best with it.

  4. It’s beautiful. And the story behind it of you becoming a Celebrant makes it even more meaningful!

  5. you didn’t include the real batman picture! the first one is close, though.

  6. That’s soo gorgeous! I can’t believe how cool you are to have a snazzy shawl picture! It’s a great celebrant object. SO PRETTY!

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