To grandmother’s house we go

To grandmother's house we go

I’m pants at taking modeled shawl photos, y’all. What is so hard about it? So here it is recumbent: grandma’s shawl for her 90th birthday, nearly six weeks late by the time it gets to Texas. It had been awhile since I knitted a shawl and I forgot how long it takes. Plus they trick you by being really quick at the beginning — filling you with false confidence — and then getting slower and sloowwer and slooowwwer. I started this a week before her birthday (obviously cutting it too close) and thought it might be a week or two late. Lesson learned: Never knit shawls!

Anyway, I feel pretty sure she’ll love it, and I hope that she does. For all my grousing, and despite the tardiness, I am very happy to have this to give to her, and hope it will warm her shoulders for many years to come. And that I can take a pic of her in it one of these days.

As previously noted, it’s Orlane’s Textured Shawl Recipe (my how-to notes here) in Shibui Staccato (70% merino, 30% silk) and Linen (100% linen) held together for all but the bind-off, which I worked in the Staccato alone. I was devoted to EZ’s sewn bind-off when I was a shawl knitter (right up through this, my last one) and the bind-off on this was the most pleasant part. You know how stressful it can be, wondering if your yards-long strand of yarn will hold up to being dragged back and forth through every one of those hundreds of stitches — how it can strain and stick and twist and try to knot up on you? The Staccato was a dream for this. And the finished, blocked fabric — the merino/silk and linen blend — is divine. Drapey and light and wonderful. Well worth the fussiness of working those two together.

Row counts and other factoids on Ravelry.

32 thoughts on “To grandmother’s house we go

  1. I make shawls all the time one right after the other and it never gets any easier I think it’s just one of those things that you have to just keep your hands on and keep moving the whole time and eventually they do get done it’s lovely the colour is just gorgeous and I’m sure she won’t mind having waited the five extra weeks to get something is lovely is that shawl is Karen

  2. I take such delight in your posts that when you skip a day (albeit deservedly) I miss it! Thanks for brightening my days!

  3. This is gorgeous and no doubt will be loved! I adore shawls but detest the sewn BO–for all the reasons you said. I either go up about 4 sizes for a knit BO or use JSSBO.

    • I truly love sewn BO — the doing of it and the finished result — even though it can be stressful. This time I finished with 2 inches of tail left! I almost died.

  4. She’s beautiful, Karen…a true labor of love for your grandmother! I hope she enjoys it for many years to come!

  5. Or you can knit the shawl backwards. That way you have the long part first, and it keeps speeding up…

  6. Gorgeous color. Reminds me of a poem that my daughter once gave me “When I grow old I will wear purple “. At 73 my favorite color is now purple. Just finished spinning and plying a good sized bobbin of a dark rich purple. Now thanks to you I know the perfect project. Your Gran is very blessed to have you for a granddaughter.

  7. It’s beautiful! I find shawls oddly addicting to start, but you’re right, finishing becomes more and more cumbersome, especially when you have to add a border. But the end products are once again addicting. ah, the ebb and flow of knitting I suppose.

  8. I love that this shawl doesn’t feature paired yarnovers for the increases. I just don’t care for that look, and usually use M1s for the increases instead. So much more neat.

  9. The shawl looks lovely! I can’t quite tell from the photo, how dense/cushy vs light/drapey did the fabric come out?

    I’m consistently fascinated by the ways different knitters relate to knitting differently, and “which part makes you grit your teeth” definitely seems to be widely variable! I’m the kind of knitter who totally grooves on a nice long shawl row and gets aggravated with the last third of a bottom-up sweater back (or a scarf! gah!) because I keep having to flip the piece over. It’s also interesting to think about what’s the perceptual difference between knitting long shawl rows and knitting in the round, where technically there might only ever be one row (but it’s a spiral).

    And having said that about shawls vs scarves, I’m realizing that at the same time, my favorite kind of shawl from a process standpoint is one with a knitted on edging! Which makes no sense given my other preferences. Gotta love our quirky minds.

  10. I admire shawls more than ever, and most definitely this one. But I am still at a loss about what to do with them. I will never wear one (have tried) and I don’t know a single person who does. Nor do I see chic people in the street wearing them (Berlin). Mine just end up in a drawer. I have stopped knitting them for this reason.

  11. Beautiful texture! What a special gift for your Grandmother! I am also working on a shawl for my Granny, and I can say I am slightly addicted!

  12. So beautiful! And I love EZ’s sewn bind off. It’s one of my favorites. There’s something about the rhythmic movement of the sewing that makes me feel like a legitimate maker. :)

  13. Its a wonderful piece!
    Karen, isn’t it possible to work EZ sewn bind off setting up more than one strand?
    ** Thanky

  14. It’s beautiful! I am making a shawl with Staccato right now and it’s a dream yarn!

  15. Karen,
    Truly this is one of the most lovely shawls I have ever seen. The color is so rich and the texture so inviting. I know your grandmother will feel all the many hours of love poured out into the knitting of this gift as she wears it around her shoulders. Such a labor of love.

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