How do you wear a shawl?

I got this lovely shawl pin in the mail today, and I’ve tossed my shawls over my shoulders, pinned it, folded it, and I just can’t seem to get the hang of it.  How do you wear a shawl?

With Kiri.
In non-knitting news, my new Celebrant website is up and running – check it out!

A sad day for the sweater.

Something sad happened this morning.

I was getting ready for work, and decided, since it was one of those cold sunny spring days, that it may be the last opportunity to wear my Cascade Yoke sweater this season.  I hadn’t worn it since mid-January, and it had been sitting, patiently, on a closet shelf ever since.

I pulled it on, and immediately sensed it.

It’s too big.

I knew it was going to happen.  I knit the sweater in late September of 2007.  Since then, I’ve lost a little over 50 pounds.

My body doesn’t change shape rapidly when I lose weight.  It just happens one morning, when I pull on a pair of pants, and all of a sudden realize that I didn’t need to unbotton the fly to get them on.  Or I put on a button up shirt that I always have to wear a camisole under, because the bottom few buttons don’t close, and realize that I’ve buttoned it all the way.  It’s always a surprise, and usually a pleasant one (other than the pants – I desperately need new pants).

But the sweater – well, the sweater was sad.

I had measured myself and custom designed it for my body.  There were short rows along the bust line, and waist shaping.  Now, the bottom flares out, obviously too big for my hips and belly.  The short rows bunch under my arms.

The shaping, which made it such an elegant, well-fitting sweater in October, excludes it from becoming a comfy, over sized sweater, as the fabric falls in odd places on my body.

I mean, that didn’t stop me from wearing it today.  But this may be the last time.

I’ve been on a not well-enforced sweater moratorium since September.  I didn’t really follow it.  I did try not to make large yarn purchases intended for sweaters, as I knew I was losing weight and didn’t want to be sad when I couldn’t wear them.

But now I guess I’ll enforce it.  No more sweaters knit for myself until September 2008.  I figure by then I’ll have reached a very doable goal for myself – or at least be so chomping at the bit to start knitting garments again that I won’t be able to stop myself.

It’s still a sad day for me – this sweater was easily the most wearable sweater I’ve ever knit.  Elegant, comfortable, and well-fitting.  Well, I guess I’ll fold it up carefully and put it in the closet for now.

I guess this just means I have to knit more lace.  Oh, well.

Yarn suggestions please!  I have 300 yards of Manos Silk Blend – it’s a DK weight in those lovely Manos colors.  I’ve been swatching and trying endlessly to figure out what it will be, but all of the patterns seem to 150 yards of yarn or 500.  What can I make with only 300 yards?  I’m trying to see how long I can go without buying yarn…

FO: Another lace shawl.

I cast on for this on Saturday afternoon, after discovering that Dan had stepped on the needles for the shawl I was working on (he has since bought me a new needle, but I’m still waiting on it, as KnitPicks shipping isn’t the fastest). Worsted weight wool and US10.5 needles and an easily memorizable lace pattern made the knitting fly by.

Pattern: Kiri (available free here)
Yarn: Mediterranean by Reflections on Roclan, two skeins. I bought this yarn at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in 2007. Just under two skeins, aprox 500 yards.
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony interchangeable US10.5s (I think – Harmony needles aren’t labeled, and I always forget to stick them in the needle gauge. I liked the fabric I got, so it wasn’t a problem).

Details on Ravelry.

Pre-Blocking (that’s a US35 or 50 needle)

The original pattern is written for Kid Silk Haze, and on smaller needles. I knew I wanted to use worsted weight, so I just stepped up the needle size. I don’t know how many repeats of the pattern I did (five, maybe?). I worked the repeats until I finished the first skein of yarn, then finished that repeat and worked the border. This left me with maybe 1/2 an oz of yarn left, so I used all of the yarn that I could. If I had run out of yarn, I had planned to cast off in Chestnut Brown Paton’s Classic Merino – or even work the full border in that. I thought the color would work well with the teal. But, I didn’t need to do that. It was a comforting thought when I wasn’t sure if I would make it.

OK, this picture is more of a windy picture of my new hair-cut.

As soon as I cast off, I wove in the ends, and gave it a long soak in some wool-wash. A lot of dye leached out, but the color of the yarn didn’t fade too much.

It blocked out beautifully. I was worried about the heavier worsted wool, but the fabric is light, and the lace feels delicate and soft. The yarn and fabric blocked beautifully. And it’s so big!

There’s something so magical about knitting lace. I still can’t believe that I knit that.

Singular Thought.

As I type this, Kiri knit on US 10.5s with a lovely, slightly heavier than worsted teal yarn I got at Rhinebeck, is blocking on the floor of my living room.

Kiri is slightly damp, my hands smell faintly of Soak (A Scent for Celebration!), and though the shawl turned the soaking water Hawaiin Punch Blue, the color is still vibrant in the yarn.

I can’t stop looking at it. Good thing the couch has a nice view.

Next up? Dan will buy me a new needle, and Icarus will get finished. I think I’ll invest in some blocking wires as well, as I don’t think my carpet is very happy to be pinned so much. Also I think it would be easier and my knees wouldn’t get so wet, crawling all over the shawl and pinning. And all it takes is one extra pin left in the carpet to get a pin in your foot…

Before that though? Wrap Style is on its way to me. The Shetland Triangle is practically begging me to knit it. Now, to just dive into my stash and find the perfect yarn… I’m thinking perhaps the two skeins of Manos Silk. Oooh. That sounds nice.

Pictures tomorrow, when there’s better light. But belief me. It’s spectacular.

All I want to knit is lace. Lace, lace, lace, lace, lace.