Since late January, I’ve been slowly working away on a shawl for my mum. It was originally intended for her mid-February birthday but frankly, who wants to be working on a large alpaca shawl at the height of summer? So it was begun. Then it was put aside with a promise to have it done by winter.
Rather fittingly, I gave it to my mum today in Cooma, the gateway to the Snowy Mountains, where it was chilly and bleak; just the kind of weather I love. I’m really happy with this shawl and so, I think you can tell from the photos, is my mum. I was certain she would be too shy to pose for the blog but she declared she hadn’t imagined she’d have a choice in the matter! Nearby, Fee said ‘It’s just part of the package when Bells knits you a gift. You have to pose in it for the blog!’
I always knew I’d make a large, heavy shawl for my mum. A long time ago she said she didn’t think she’d suit a flimsy, wee thing and personally I’m rather enamoured with heavy, rustic shawls myself. So I bought the book this pattern is from, Folk Shawls, with both me and my mum in mind. It’s full of heavy shawls. Some are almost blankets!
The yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It’s their Alpaca Rich and I used just under two of the 200g balls. It’s an incredibly soft, not overly sheddy yarn that I fell in love with throughout the making of this shawl. It washed up so soft and luxurious. Can’t get enough of alpaca, really.
The pattern itself is a great knit. Starting with a large garter stitch section, it blossoms out into beautiful shell like lace pattern which is simple and intuitive once you get the stitch count right. Funny that, huh? Get the right number of stitches and the lace almost knits itself. Sometimes I think simple patterns and deceptively tricky by virtue of the fact that you think you don’t have to concentrate or work as hard when in fact you do, because complacency is the knitter’s enemy.
I knew it was going to be large, but of course, being alpaca, it grew considerably after washing. Sean’s feeling was that it grew in length by at least five inches. Here’s Mum showing Alice how big it is in wingspan.
Apparently whatever was on the ground was much more interesting than anything Aunty Bells made!
So I reckon this is the perfect large, heavy weight shawl. But for the fact that it’s pink and we all know I don’t DO pink, I very much wanted to keep this for myself. As it is, mum has made quilts and bags and cushions for me for years so I reckon I owed her a shawl. I hope it keeps her warm.