Saturday, 27 March 2010

Lilia's nightsongs shawl

I finished knitting a nightsongs shawl in my new Mulberry Silk yarn for my sister Lilia. I thought about keeping it as a surprise, Lilia is going to be my maid of honour at my wedding in June and I wanted to knit her, and my two bridesmaids, silk shawls. But then one day Lilia was over at my place and we were looking at all the silks and I was asking her what colour she liked (she eventually chose Blueberry as her favorite) and then we talked about patterns and one thing lead to another and I totally told her what I had planned. I won't show her the finished shawl in person until I actually give it to her, that will be the surprise. I do my best to take decent photographs, but the softness and the drape really have to be appreciated in person.

Without further ado... here it is!

Lilia's Nightsongs Shawl

I had some issues with the pattern the first time I knit this shawl. It is a free pattern and I hate to criticize something that I got for free, but I just don't get why someone would go to so much trouble to make charts and write instructions for such a beautiful shawl but then not follow through with proper editing and clarifications. Last year when I knit my first version I spent a good deal of time searching for helpful notes on Ravelry to figure out where to stop and start on the chart. For this version I thought that I remembered what I did, I had a section of the chart highlighted and figured something out. I omitted the double yarn overs that ran down the center of the shawl because I didn't love them in my first version and I think that I took better notes this time around.

Lilia's Nightsongs Shawl

The colour changes in the yarn were very difficult to capture in photos. The shawl is a purply-blue with streaks of brighter purple and turquoise running through it. If you look closely in the photos above and below you can see hints of it.

I still love all the things that I loved from knitting it the first time around, the pointy border, the organic feather shapes, the sheen and crispness of lace...

Lilia's Nightsongs Shawl

And oh the drape!!! I just love how it hangs. This might be one of my favorite qualities in my Mulberry Silk, the feel. Its hard to describe, it just feels so lovely wrapped around my shoulders.

Lilia's Nightsongs Shawl

Below is version 1 (on the left, I've been wearing it for months and haven't re-blocked it) and version 2 on the right. See the big holes running down the center of the first shawl and how I omitted them on the second? I'm happy that I did, but I think that in doing so I added stitches somehow and made the edge differently... I don't know exactly what happened there, I don't think that you would notice unless you laid it flat on the ground like this and examined it, draped around shoulders you would never see that it has extra points around the tip, but if I make a version 3 (which I probably will someday) I'll try and get the edging to look more like version 1.

Nightsongs Shawl - old and new

I learnt a lot while knitting this shawl. I've figured out some basic things that I like and that I don't like in a shawl construction. Things that are easy to modify in any pattern, and that is very exciting for me. I think that I'm becoming comfortable with lace and shawl design and I can start knitting shawls sort of like I knit socks. I'll read a sock pattern and then maybe substitute my favorite heel and toe, knit it top-down instead of toe up, make little changes that I know I'll prefer. Now, I can start applying my preferences to my shawls as well!

Lilia's Nightsongs Shawl

I've got two silk shawls down and one more to go for my bridesmaids, I haven't decided on a colour or pattern for the third, but I'm definitely looking forward to knitting with silk again!