Friday, February 1, 2013

A Thing of Beauty

I'm sure there's a way to rotate this photo.  I don't know what it is.  Just tilt your head, that'll be easiest.
So, I woke up today in a crummy mood, for no reason whatsoever except possibly that it is still winter and the high for today is 22 degrees.  And we got 10 inches of rain in January (why yes, that is a new record!) and my fields are now swamps with a thin coating of frozen muck on top.  Which doesn't make me any different from my neighbors, but it's something to complain about.

Not that I seem to need help finding things to complain about.

"I want to go to the yarn store," I told my daughter before she left for school.
"Mom, don't do that," she said.  "Not in the mood you're in."
"I just want to touch the yarn," I said.  "Not buy it."
She said, "Touch the yarn you already have."

So, in lieu of going to the yarn store (as my daughter clearly knows, for me, "just touching" the yarn is like an alcoholic taking "just one sip" of whiskey) I'm going to find joy in delighting all of you, by the photo, above, with the most beautiful thing I have ever created (barring, of course, my children, and possibly my forthcoming novel).

The pattern is called Sonneblume, and the yarn is Knitting Notions Classic Merino Lace, for those of you who care about that sort of thing.  It was the August kit for Knitspot's Fall in Full Color 2012 club.  I joined the club because I wanted to stretch myself a bit--I knit a lot of plain socks, which are excellent, but socks are sort of like blog posts--short, easy, and if you screw them up nobody really cares.  Sometimes it's time to go for the knitting equivalent of a novel instead.  Sonneblume had eight pages of lace charts, a provisional cast-on, and this dicey little bit at the beginning that I had to rip out and reattempt three times.  By the end I had something like 800 stitches on my needles; a single row took an entire episode of Downton Abbey.

When it was done, I blocked it on our spare room bed:

I wish I'd blocked it a little pointier, but I can always redo that later if I want to.

My husband came in to have a look.
"Isn't it gorgeous?" I said.
"Um, very nice," he said.  "It's.  You know.  Kind of old-fashioned."
[Translation #1: Great-grandma would have loved it!]
[Translation #2: Sexy it ain't.]
(Though our daughter pointed out that if I were to drape only the shawl over my otherwise nekkid self, he might feel differently.)

Truth is, he's right--it is old-fashioned.  I have several knit shawls, and while I love to carry one in summer when I'm wearing a little dress to church or into an air-conditioned restaurant, I otherwise don't wear them often.  They clash with my standard uniform of t-shirts and jeans.  But I didn't make the shawl to wear it.  I made it because it was challenging, and because it was beautiful, and because those two things were reason enough.

Wow.  Just writing about the shawl made me feel better.  Maybe I don't need the yarn shop after all.

Again, for full appreciation:

And thank you.