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.

22 comments:

Bridget said...

Gorgeous! How could your mother not love it???

Silvia said...

Really very beautiful! I'm so glad you could get the stain off. YOur mom will be so happy with it. I'm not great with my WIPs either. The other day, I left my lace on the couch and J sat on it, resulting in the loss of several rows of work...

Denise said...

Oh I love that last picture of you with Swallowtail wrapped around your head. Absolutely gorgeous. Whenever I see someone's lace shawl project I want to knit one, but then I find the whole thing rather intimidating and think it would take me at least 12 months to complete! Since winning Amanda's lovely lace I am determined to find a pattern that doesn't scare me half to death and get started on one as soon as I get back from vacation!
I'm wondering though, where did the stain come from in the beginning?
Glad you got it out, however it happened to be there.
Have a blessed Sunday.
5 days to go before we're off :-)
Hugs Denise

amanda said...

Oh thank goodness you got the stain out! I would have cried for you if not. I love that last picture too - very chic.

Kelly said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!
sooo glad you got the stain out!

Firefly Nights said...

It's such a pretty pattern and it looks so nice on you. I'm sure it will also be lovely on your mother.

Thank you for sharing the info about how you removed the stain. I'm sure we'll all find it useful at some point. Glad you were able to get it out.

Mr. Puffy wasn't hiding somewhere during your efforts to remove the stain, was he? Mosby had the audacity to suggest that perhaps Mr. P was a little lax in his tea time etiquette and used the shawl to remove jam from his paws.

Monika said...

I'm glad you've got the stain out. This is such a beautiful shawl pattern, and you choose a lovely yarn. Your mom's a wise Lady. I wish I'll be as wise and loveing as she is to my children, and hopefully soon (the wise part). :o)
I think I have to knit this shawl again.

Theresa said...

wonderful that the stain is removed,but it is truly love to want your handwork-stained or not...she will wear it with pride,I am sure,and now you must be so thrilled that it is as near perfect as a knitting project could be...lovely and of course gorgeous!!!

Pat K said...

Beautiful shawl! And I'm so glad there was a happy ending to the story.

sue said...

It is beautiful. I am so glad that the stain came out too.

jillian said...

Gor-geous! What a good match of yarn and pattern.

And good lessons indeed.

Windyridge said...

What a lovely photo and a beautiful shawl. You mother will be proud!

Channon said...

As with all of your finished projects, it's stunning. Your mother will treasure it, but I'm sure that would be true if the stain had remained. Sissy had me taking great care with my works in progress, but as she's learned a few manners, I've become careless again. Sigh...

knitting dragonfly said...

Wow this is lovely, glad you got the stain out of it. I'll file the info in my stain removal file. (one minute daily facial?, I'm glad to know it came to the rescue)
Giggles
This makes me want to knit some.
Vicki

amanda said...

it's beautiful - and thanks for the FYI on stain removal. very helpful!

Marie said...

Oh, I'm so glad you were able to remove the stain in its entirety. It must have been such a relief. Not that your Mom wouldn't have loved it anyway, but it would have plagued you to see the stain everytime she pulled it out.

BTW - It's beautiful!

tiennie said...

It is gorgeous! All your hard work at getting the stain out is worth it. She'll love it!

Alison Boon said...

There is no depths to a mother's love. It is a stunning piece of work, well done. Glad the stain came out but it would have been beautiful anyway.

raining sheep said...

That is an absolutely stunning shawl. I have seen some in 'real life' as my LYS had a knit-along on this piece. Unfortunately, I have never really knit lace and I was in the middle of a sweater project so I did not make one. The pattern is so beautiful; it's almost like a delicate spiderweb. You did an amazing job on that. BTW, Thank you for visiting my blog.

Teddy Rose said...

What a beuatiful shawl! I'm so glad that you were successful in getting the stain out. Thanks so much for sharing how you did it.

Linda from 'Your History' and 'Dances With Wools' sent me your way with the award nomination. I'm so glad she did! I can use my knitting blogs and am adding you to my Google reader supscriptions.

Hilary said...

Aw, I loved your story! Your mother will absolutely love that shawl. It's gorgeous and you can't tell a bit what that pretty piece of lace went through!

Kookaburra said...

That shawl is beautiful! Wow!

And thanks for using Kookaburra! :)