Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ketchup??? Fessin' Up!

Now if that title didn't grab your attention, I don't know what would :-) But the time has come for me to ketchup on my blogging and fess up as to what I've been doing for the last few weeks. My last few blog posts were filled with images of my spring garden. I love sharing my garden with ya'll, but the truth is I was working on a Top Secret knitting project so I couldn't blog about it. Why? Because the intended target always reads my blog, of course! Now the the mission was accomplished, I can tell all :-)

Several months ago I sent my dear friend Diana some yarn to finish a shawl she was knitting as a gift. She had that dreaded I'm almost done and the yarn is gone! experience. Fortunately I happened to have the very same yarn from the same dyelot even. Cool! So Ms. Di sent me her snail mail addy and I discovered that she lived in a really neat historic town in West Virginia--just the kind of place I love to visit. I dropped an atom bomb sized hint that I would love to come for a visit and see the territory. Diana figured it out and invited me to come. Oh joy!!!

Now my Mother raised me to be a proper lady and I know how to be a good houseguest (thanks Mom!). I started to think about what I could bring as a hostess gift. The first thing that came to mind was something knitted, of course. I was inspired by some Malabrigo lace yarn at my LYS in Diana's favorite color - purple. I bought 2 skeins and headed home to figure out what to make with it. Then I learned that Diana's beloved Father-in-law Bill was ill and she was very concerned. That's when I knew I had to knit a lace shawl. I scoured my files and the 'net for the right pattern, found one I liked, and cast-on. About 25 rows in to the bottom-up triangle shawl I realized the pattern wasn't right for the task at hand, I frogged the whole thing and started my search all over again. I had 1 month left to knit the shawl.

I learned that Bill's health was deteriorating about the same time that I ran across Myrna Stahman's pattern, Alix's Prayer Shawl, in my files. At last, the perfect pattern! I knew I had the right yarn and the right pattern, but the combo of the two demanded that I add beads as well, and so I did.

Cast-on: May 8th
Knit, knit, knit. Bead, bead, bead.
Cast-off: June 8th
Whew, just in the nick of time!

The scoop:
Pattern: Alix's Prayer Shawl
Designer: Myrna Stahman
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 2 skeins (100g) color-Jacinto (~80g used)
Needles: Addi-Lace US 5 (3.75mm)
Beads: Matsuno 8-0 clear silverlined, ~25g (513 beads used)
Knit Main Chart (a-d) + 8 reps of section d = 11 reps + 1rep modified edging.
Final stitch count (before last row and cast-off): 441 sts
Blocked Dimensions: 76" x 38"

I gift-wrapped the shawl along with a lavender "bottle" made with fresh lavender from my garden, packed my car and headed to West Virginia on June 11th. After an 8-hour drive up I-81 and a little jaunt through the country side I arrived at the humble home of Diana and Tony. Eager to see her reaction, I offered up my gift of love that night. The look on Diana's face was priceless. She was almost speechless...almost ;-) I think she liked it... a lot. I was *very* happy.

To be continued...


Diana said...

Speechless? Moi? Pfffttt. :^)

It's gorgeous, I cannot wait for slightly cooler weather to wear it more...and I have to say, the flowers modeling it are a perfect background.

Thank you again!

Bereni (BEAR-wren-knee) said...

I can't think of a more perfect gift. How beautiful. Lavender, too. Wow. I am enjoying your blog. Your garden must be amazing.