Photosynthesis Shawl

I’ve just finished nearly a month’s leave and on the very last day, I finished a shawl that I worked on almost exclusively for the last 16 days. Here it is. My Photosynthesis Shawl.

Photosynthesis Shawl

The yarn came to me late last year when I was at local festival, the Murrumbateman Field Day. In the alpaca pavilion I fell hard for this delicate, silvery grey yarn – it wasn’t at all scratchy – though it is hairy – and felt strangely cool in my hands, the way silk can. In the month before I chose what to make it into, it was a yarn that really never left my mind when I was contemplating my knitting. I had two skeins of what i think must be 4ply – about 200g worth – but no idea of yardage and for the life of me I can’t remember the stall I purchased it from. I had a card and misplaced it so I have no way of even telling you who produced it. I’ll be looking for them next year!

Photosynthesis ShawlI chose this shawl for several reasons. The main one being I am very much over shawls that aren’t entirely lace. Those shawls with the middle section of stocking stitch? I really don’t find them that appealing. In the past I think I’ve chosen them because a good solid bout of plain knitting before the lace can make the shawl a good mindless piece. But I don’t really like them that much. All over lace is what i want and what struck me about this piece was the three distinct lace sections.

The small leaf centre, which fans out into larger leaves and then the border of open lace. It both stops the pattern being repetitive and creates and interesting look.

Photosynthesis ShawlI would call this a medium to large shawl. Certainly it’s nowhere near the size of the many single skein shawls out there. It’s generous. I did it on 3.5mm needles and used about 180g. Two repeats of the middle section.

Knitting this was delightful. Despite it being sometimes almost 40degrees over recent weeks, I’ve found it to be good knitting for evenings (the lighter colour helps) or during the day with the curtains drawn – it was rare that i wasn’t able to knit in on my quiet days at home, the fan going. I really couldn’t fault it.

I love knitting lace over summer – it feels like a call to cooler days when shawls once again become my every day garment.

Throughout the terrifying bushfires that have ravaged the country, there’s been talk about how to prepare to evacuate. One night Sean and I were talking about our fire plan and he said ‘You’d have to make sure you grabbed your box of shawls. They’re so valuable.’ Now apart from the fact that I love that he sees their value, it made me realise I do have quite a collection now and even though there are some I’m not sure I’ll ever wear (what to do with them is a topic for another day) it’s wonderful to have a gorgeous collection of shawls, from the gauzy to the heavyweight. A shawl for almost every occasion.

And this one is just another to love and enjoy.

Photosynthesis Shawl

Helen

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22 thoughts on “Photosynthesis Shawl

  1. I love the shawl – and Sean for the comment! Good point about garter stitch centers, I think that’s one of the problems with especially some of my smaller shawls, that too much of the plain center and too little of the lace shows when I’m wearing them, but I hadn’t realised so thanks for articulating it.

  2. Love, love, love this shawl….I bought the pattern and I am attempting to knit it using some very pale lavendar alpaca lace weight. I’m on my 6th attempt…something always comes along and interrupts me, then I lose my place in the pattern, then something terrible happens! LOL But I shall persevere. Thanks for the inspiration! p.s. your pictures are much more helpful than those that came with the pattern.

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous shawl. And very inspirational – you make me want to start a new lace project Right Now! Sean is so right – when it comes down to it, these things that represent so many hours and so much of us, are precisely the things that need to be saved. And photos I reckon. X

  4. Gorgeous – perfect color as it showcases the pattern so well. I love my shawls too and all my handknits and if there’s a fire, I won’t know how to save them all.

  5. Sean comment is so touching; you’ve got a great guy!

    This shawl just blows me away. You did a beautiful, beautiful job. The all-over lace is stunning, but I still find it a bit scary. I do like warming up to a shawl with some non-lace — although the Hecate I’m doing now is all lace.

    Silver gray is both pretty and looks great with a wide variety of clothes. As my grandmother would say, Wear it in good health.

  6. fingers crossed you never have to enact your fire plan, but totally agree with Sean – your shawl collection is far too valuable to leave behind!

    this one is particularly lovely πŸ™‚

  7. What a good bloke he is! Don’t think my hubby would consider my knitting at all πŸ™‚

    I’ve been thinking about stash, though, being in a bushfire zone, too. I decided that it would be impossible to fit much in the car, with all the family stuff, but that it would be very, very, very FUN to take my insurance money and replace it all! hehe.

  8. Its gorgeous. Did you see that Maggie Alderson just declared that grey was the key colour of 2013? Will be interested to find out the details of the yarn if you ever track them down…

    • I didn’t! But I do think it’s do versatile.

      I kick myself for losing the card. The two women who sold it to me were lovely and so enthusiastic about their yarn.

  9. Very pretty!
    I think the necessities for 5 people & a cat–including all the food issues (even the cat! he can only eat a certain kind of prescription food)–would take up so much of my mind space & physical space that I wouldn’t get to things that were special to *me*. When I was a child and lived for a time away from home (you know the story), we used to have middle-of-the-night fire drills regularly. And I’d always get in trouble for grabbing my two dolls. We weren’t to grab ANYTHING. But for an away-from-home little girl, those dolls were too important to leave behind to potentially get burned up. So also I think I would be concerned with making sure my little people had whatever they needed to feel better, wherever we had to go. And it’s so sweet that Sean is thinking that way as well, about what is special to you.
    What a horrible thing to have to think about. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with that possibility hanging over your head. Even if it never comes to pass, the worrying and preparing takes its toll as well.

  10. Your shawl is breathtaking! Knitting a shawl is on my to do list, but I’m not a very good knitter, so I’m just not ready to tackle that yet!

    I’m sure if you’re not going to wear your older shawls, I’d be happy to give them a new home! :o)

  11. It is a great pattern and such a beautiful colour. I am such a fan of silvery greys at the moment! (They match my hair!)
    I have wondered over the past week or so what I would pack in my bushfire evacuation bag. Sadly I do not have a lovely box of shawls like you do! (Of course, I hope neither of us will ever need an evacuation bag). I think I’d need a huge suitcase for the special yarn, and that would be packed before the clothes…

  12. It’s a beautiful shawl, and lovely and lacy!! It is wonderful that your shawls are viewed as valuable!!I have a fire plan: water, dog food, I have a bag packed and my dog photo book!!! I hope I never have to put it into action.

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