Sunday, July 20, 2008
Fly Away My Swallowtail
I'm such a child. I have a cookie recipe I want to share, but couldn't resist showing pictures of my Swallowtail Shawl first!
It comes with a story. A lesson really, I suppose. You see, I very nearly had a disaster on my hands. While I'm as careful as anyone could possibly be with their handknit items, I tend to be careless with projects that I'm working on. I toss them down with nary a care and little thought to keeping them clean and tidy. After all it's going to be washed and blocked when I'm done, right?
Imagine how sick I felt when I looked at this shawl one day and noticed that virtually the entire surface area was covered with a dark stain. My attempt to remove it by spot washing was unsuccessful and I thought that the shawl was ruined. I mentioned this in passing to my mother. Her response was to tell me that she would like it for her birthday present and that she wouldn't mind if it had a stain. Now that's love. Even with a stain, a shawl made by me would be special to her.
I made a few enquires of my blogging buddies "most likely to know" how to remove a stain from alpaca and Monika (Smoking Hot Needles) reported that glycerin is sometimes helpful and Marie (Knitted Gems) raised the option of an over dye if it couldn't be removed.
I am pleased to report that the stain is gone. It required copious use of Kookaburra Wool Wash, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, and Philosophy's One-Minute Daily Facial (glycerin based). Not a cocktail I would recommend under normal circumstance.
Now that I know the stain is gone, I'm going to give the shawl one last quick bath with a splash of vinegar and dash of hair conditioner to restore some of the natural oils that the cleansing process surely must have stripped. After that, I think this will be an incident I can forget.
But for the lesson. Where we find truth and beauty in this world we need to honor that. The truth and beauty here is that of parent's love. When you have a child ~ their joy is your joy ~ their pain is your pain.
I'll also remember the lesson that I need to be more careful where I lay down my knitting!
Specs: Swallowtail Shawl, Evelyn Clark design (free pdf pattern link here); US 5 needles; Blue Sky Alpaca Royal (3 skeins ~colorway 709 ~ most of the 3rd skein was left over); modified by increasing the rosebud pattern from 14 to 19 repeats using the method explained (excellently) by Pepperknits here.
I hope this shawl will bring my mother much pleasure.