Friday, April 11, 2008

A Long Time Coming

Pattern: Gothic Leaf Stole by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Euroflax Sportweight Linen in Eggplant - 4 skeins
Needles: US 4 29" Bryspun circs
Finished Dimensions: 15" by 85"
Mods: Cast on 89 stitches instead of 105 for one less repeat; didn't graft but knit straight
Rating: The planets aligned
Ravelry link here.

My Mom was in town visiting us for the past week. While she was here - she left this morning - I finally gave her her Gothic Leaf. Truth be told, it was kinda hard to do. Because, well, the finished project was just so darn lovely, and I was feeling rather...possessive about it.

I'm 90% a process knitter, and I knit for others almost always. When I give things away, they're gone. I hope people like the things I make for them, and am always pleased to hear back when they do. (And if they don't, well, I hope they donate them to a thrift shop so someone else may use it, but I never stress over it. It's probably the most Zen I ever am.) And my Mom is the best recipient for which a gal could ask. She's not a knitter, but she loves handknits. And she's one of the few people who likes and wears shawls, which is great when I'm channeling the lace.

But. After her Gothic Leaf was washed and blocked, the linen seduced me. Supple, with a little shine, the stitches glowed. When I would hold the shawl up, the drape was righteous. The shawl has been finished for two months, but somehow I never could get around to wrapping it up and mailing it. It lived instead on the top of my stash bins, in a little plastic bag, and I found myself taking it out and stroking it regularly. But when Mom arrived I did the right thing and handed it over. And boy, am I glad I did now. It's perfect for her, don't you think?

Gothic Leaf is pure comfort knitting. Very simple lace, it doesn't even employ psso's (only k2tog's and ssk's). The pattern is easily memorized, and varied enough not to make you want to stick your head in the oven after the zillionth row. I started out using lifelines, but abandoned them early on. The original pattern is grafted, but per Sivia's instructions for knitting it in linen, I knit mine straight. I also left out one repeat in the row, to make it smaller for my Mom's petite frame.

Gothic Leaf is the third pattern of Sivia's I've knit, and the second I've finished. (Hanging Garden languishes somewhere.) So it was with joy in my heart that I received my first Year of Lace kit a few weeks ago, as Sivia has written the pattern for it, too. (What? I didn't tell you I'd signed up for this club? Huh. I wonder how it slipped my mind.)

The pattern is called Phoenix Rising, and is a triangular shawl. I'd cast on, but the accompanying skein of Claudia's Silk Lace has 5 (!) knots in it. Not good. The gals at Make 1 have been very proactive - I guess there are several of us that received sub par skeins - and I'm hoping to receive a replacement skein soon.

In the meantime, I'm chugging along on Cobblestone. I'm roughly 5" up the yoke. I do have a question for those of you who've made this sweater: How did you do the short rows in garter stitch? My knit ones are fine, but my purl ones make huge, honkin' holes. I've picked up the wrap on the next row (which is a knit row), but that doesn't make any difference. Sorry, I don't have photos, but any advice is appreciated.

This weekend is busy. Tomorrow is a birthday shindig featuring yarn and knitting for yours truly. (Turning 44 has its perks.) And tomorrow night my BFF Laura is having an art opening. She painted my bitchin' Knitdevil you see on the sidebar. If you're in the Los Angeles area and have a thing for luchadores, check her paintings out at the Bike Oven.

Happy weekend!


Liz K. said...

Oh, Madge, it's gorgeous!!!!!! The color looks lovely on your Mom, too. Maybe she'll let you borrow it.

And Happy Birthday, friend!!

{{{Birthday hug!}}}}

Alice said...

Happy Birthday!

The shawl is GORGEOUS. I absolutely love the eggplant color. Your mom is absolutely beaming. You can tell she really loves it :)

Debi said...

The shawl is stunning and looks fabulous on your Mom!

Happy Birthday Hunny!!! Hope your day is extra special!

teresa said...

Love the stole! Happy birthday!!

mary said...

The stole is absolutely stunning! Your Mom is very lucky. Hi Mom! Have a faboo time at your shindig; sorry I can't make it. :(

jillian said...

It's gorrr-geous! And a perfect color for your mom.

See you tomorrow!

sea marie said...

Absolutely beautiful!

As for the short rows on a purl row, or even on the knit rows, I've discovered the Japanese Short row, it's basically the same thing, but instead of wrapping the yarn, you mark it with a safety pin, then lift it up when you come back to it. Nona knits has a good tutorial on that.

Happy way belated b-day :)

Macoco said...

You are so wonderful to your mother! That color is perfect for her and the wrap is just stunning. You did a beautiful job with this project.

JollyEwe said...

First of all HAPPY B-DAY!! Wishing you lots of yarny goodness.

Second of all, I'm literally wiping drool off my keyboard after looking at that shawl!!! The Linen looks so fabulous and your mother wears it well!! She's a lucky gal for sure.

Annette said...

You've outdone yourself girlfriend. That shawl is drop-dead gorgeous! I don't think I would have been able to part with it. Lucky mom!

I hope you've had a yarny good birthday. :) I wish I coud have joined you. Can't wait to here about it. Happy birthday!!!

cher said...

Beautiful shawl, beautiful mom, beautiful job! I see why it was so hard to let it go.
Happy Birthday (again!)

Octopus Knits said...

Beautiful! It definitely looks great on your mom : )
Happy birthday!!!

Nellie said...

Happy birthday Madge! Hope you get lots of yarn lovelies and are feted by all. Your gothic leaf lace shawl is beautiful, and your Mum looks very pleased with herself! Bring on the phoenix.

kgirl said...

your mum looks pretty pleased with her stole - great work, hon!

Happy Birthday, too, btw ;)

21 is such a fabulous year, enjoy....!

Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! The finished stole is spectacular!!! It really looks great on your Mom too. What a lucky lady!

Nonnahs said...

Happy Birthday, Madge!
Gothic Leaf is absolutely gorgeous, and looks lovely on your mom. :)

LotusKnits said...

I agree with everyone here: the shawl is stunning! I love the color and the stitch definition - whoa.

p.s. your mom is pretty awesome too.

RoxyKnits said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!

The shawl is totally gorgeous and looks wonderful on your mom. Well done you for giving it away ;0)