Feeble attempts…

… to capture the beauty

This shawl is spectacular, but I had no idea how difficult it was to take a good photograph of such a large and intricate object.

Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl, designed by Evelyn A. Clark for Fibertrends. This pattern is very popular, and for good reasons. It’s very well written and not very complicated. Instructions for two sizes and four yarn weights (8 total options) make it a good fit for whatever yarn is lingering in your stash. Adjustments for larger or smaller shawl sizes are elementary. And the results, well, the results are fabulous:


The leaves, specifically the way each leaf is surrounded by a halo of yarnovers, are easy to spot and very captivating. The edging is clever, beautiful, and fits perfectly within the sea of the leaves.

Size: I made the “small” size, working a total of 10 repeats in sportweight yarn, as the pattern specified. The shawl measured approximately 22.5″ deep and 48″ across before blocking (click to see a photo of me modeling the unblocked shawl). After blocking, the shawl is 29.5″ deep and 64″ across.


This is my only worry – I’m afraid this shawl is much larger than what my mom had in mind, but the faux pas is entirely mine. The pattern predicted a shawl that’s even a bit bigger (33″ deep, 68″ across top) and I just didn’t realize how big that is in real life. Were I to go back, I’d work only 8 repeats, which would give me a shawl close to the unblocked size, “an oversized bandana,” as I called it earlier ;).

Yarn: The yarn makes this shawl. As I elaborated earlier, I’ve been knitting with Henry’s Attic Silk & Ivory, 50% silk/50% wool. This is a spectacular yarn – very soft, silky, shiny, smooth, slides through the fingers like a good lotion. It was recommended to me by the dyer, and she really hit the nail on the head with this one. It blocked beautifully, has fantastic drape, shows the pattern very well, and I think will provide just the right amount of warmth for my mom. What else can I ask for?!? Oh yes, the color…

Oh, the color! Just the right blend of gray and blue, just the right handpainted consistency, just the right depth… it is exactly what my mom had in mind, exactly what I described to the dyer. But, damn, it’s so hard to photograph accurately! I try anyway:

Feeble, feeble attempts. As I told a student earlier this afternoon, “Just believe me, okay?” Hehe.

I think it’s clear that I seriously admire the dyer’s ability to match my mom’s request both by suggesting and custom dyeing the perfect yarn. I would recommend her services without any reservations, and will do so as soon as she opens her business in early 2006.

Until then, I scheme. Ha! You see, based on the final weight of the shawl (112 grams), I used about 500 yards of yarn, and have 800 yards (eight hundred yards!) left over. That’s enough for another shawl and then some! Oh yes, another shawl and then some…

So, that’s that for my first shawl attempt, for my first true lace attempt. Next: I mail this to mom, and cross my fingers that my grandma asks for a shawl, too ;).

1 like

61 thoughts on “Feeble attempts…

  1. Theresa

    Gorgeous! I just finished the Fibertrends Pacific NW shawl – their patterns are fabulously well-written. Now I’m working on Ene’s shawl from Scarf Style, and I never knew how fun it would be to start on the long edge and work in. Those rows just get shorter and shorter . . .

  2. Laura

    Beautiful!! I’m sure your mother will not complain about the size once she sees how beautiful it is. Plus, she can fold/roll the top edge down to make it smaller.

    (you didn’t do that hang-the-shawl-in-front-of-the-window-for-back-lighting-effect photo)

  3. Heather

    I found your blog recently and am always admiring your beautiful knitting! I’m making Sharfik for my dad and plan on making a Picovoli for myself soon.

    The shawl is absolutely beautiful! I love everything about it. I’m sure your mom will too.

  4. Eva (EvaLux)

    It is absolutely gorgeous!!! I’m very impatient/curious to know how the dyer is and I’m sure I’ll be one of the first to get some of her stuff LOL. I’ve been trying to make up my mind as to what color I’d like 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your talent,

    Have a good one

  5. jody

    it’s SO great. your mom will love it. i’m so happy you had such a great first experience — the knitting, the yarn, the dyeing.

    it all came together so beautifully.

  6. June

    Isn’t it nice when projects turn out exactly as you plan? I’ve always been happy with HA yarn – glad it met your expectations, too.

  7. yahaira

    Your grandma will ask for one once she sees this one! You should send her a pic of it to whet her appetite.

    Everything came together perfectly, it’s gorgeous. I think this size will be a little more comfortable for your mom to wear than a smaller shawl.

  8. Martha

    I cannot believe how quickly you knit that up, even in sportweight! Wow. And it is just beautiful. I agree with everyone else that your mother will be fine with a larger shawl.

  9. paula

    What is there to say? It’s beautiful!

    And, isn’t it great when everything comes together “just-so” for that perfect knitting experience?

    You can’t create that… it hust happens. 😉

  10. Jess

    I like Laura’s idea – keep this one and knit a smaller one for your mom ;o) Unless there are time constraints involved, I can’t remember if you had mentioned that…

  11. Purly Whites

    You did such a fabulous job knitting all that lace! I’m so happy for you that you’ve completed your first shawl! So exciting! And! I’m so glad everything turned out just as you hoped, and hopefully, just what your mother wants.

  12. Kim

    Wow.. I really am impressed.. you did a great job.. and I’ll forever marvel at how lace blocks out.. it’s like magic!

    I hope your mom likes it the way it is… the best part? It doesn’t look retarded! lol!

    Maybe you should make yourself one with all that lovely leftover yarn ; )

  13. Agnes

    Ooops … late to the party! Displaying a blocked shawl is always such a spectacular sight! Lovley pattern indeed! It is a wonder how much differenct blocking can bring to the garment … especially a shawl … the true beauty is just hidden if not blocked.

  14. Wanda

    I’m positive your mom will be happy with it. It’s gorgeous. Or if not, give it to your grandmom and make your mom a smaller one.

  15. Barbara

    Beautiful shawl, I’m sure your mom will love it. I am amazed at how fast you completed this project. Do you know if there are patterns for knitting lace tablecloths? I love knitting lace, but a person can only have so many scarves and shawls.

  16. Mary

    Lovely job, Kathy! But I’ve yet to see anything you do be un-lovely. You did the yarn and the color justice with your knitting and blocking. Your mom is gonna love it. And the nice thing about shawls is that you can sorta fold over the top long edge as much or as little as you want so that the shawl is a big or as little as you need, at the moment. I think your mom will love the size of it as soon as she sees it. You must report back her response, with perhaps a photo or two!

  17. Cara

    What a gorgeous shawl. I am always awed by your lovely projects and your speedy completion of them.

    And, I can’t wait to get the goods on this magical mysterious dyer. That yarn looks like heaven.

  18. Alison

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!! I have this pattern, and the yarn, now you’ve inspired me to get cracking. And yes, I would LOVE to have my Jaywalkers and blog link in your gallery. This pattern is awesome!!

  19. Michelle

    I think the pictures showcase the shawl very well – unless you mean it is even prettier in real life? Your mom will LOVE it, just believe me, ok? ;^)

  20. Christina

    Grumperina, you are such a stimulating, prolific knitter! I am flabbergasted (and quite envious)that you knit a lace shawl in four days. The shawl is very beautiful, as is the dye-job. If your mother believes the shawl too long, she could always fold back 2-4″ of fabric for a “collar” of lace, like many “Wedding Ring” shawls of the Shetland isles.

  21. eunny

    Late to the party, as usual, but this is absolutely gorgeous. I hope you’ve made peace with lace – I can’t wait to see what else you do.

  22. Gill

    I’ve loved reading about the progress of this project. The thinking behind choice of pattern and yarn, and photos of the finished item are a real inspiration to all aspiring lace knitters. I’m sure your mother will love it.

  23. Gale

    It’s stunning. It’s absolutely gorgous! Congratulations on a job well done. Your mother will love it!

    I do so look forward to knowing the dyer’s name and contact info. I’m looking for a bit of custom work my own self.

  24. ErickaJo

    Feeble, pah! Everyone can see that its gorgeous. And it knit up so quickly!

    I don’t think your mom will mind the largeness of it one bit. That is a bit of work and love that will be treasured, I’m sure.

  25. tracy

    The shawl is beautiful and your work very inspiring! On the first photo for the entry, you have some very nice hanging things (sorry–not sure, but they look like some kind of tapestry wall hanging/storage things)….are they storage? They are so cool! Where’d you get em :)?

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