Friday, January 20, 2012

Varve Shawl


Over the past few years I've knit a fair number of shoulder shawlettes which have their place and are very popular for good reason, including a delightful instant gratification factor.   But for my money nothing compares to the satisfaction of knitting a traditional lace shawl which is ethereal and warm and truly transformed from a good severe blocking.

 

The yarn I used for this shawl is a wonderfully rustic wool and the moment I saw it in the LYS I knew that it would make a beautiful shawl.  It's not a merino wool, mind you, which is both the good and bad news.  The good news is that it will hold this block 4ever.  The bad news is that I found this yarn a little obnoxious against my bare skin.  But it's perfect for layering and I will wear it most often while hiking with Simcha although I think it is elegant enough to be worn anywhere.
 

There are many popular knitwear designers and its tempting to want to knit whatever they are knitting.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, and I do my share of that too.  But sometimes you are best served to step back a moment and think about what speaks to you and not just follow the current trends.  The more you follow your own taste your knitting will more accurately reflect who you are and give you a fashion flare that is your unique signature.   You will feel and look your best when you do that. 


Particulars: Varve Shawl by Grace Anna Farrow (A Stitch to Wear);  Isager Strik Spinni (wool 1) 2 skeins (330 yds/skein); US 6 needles; no modifications whatsoever.   It's hard to see in the pictures, but this shawl has beautiful texture in addition to the classic old shale patterning.  It's a half circle shape which I particularly like.  Relaxed post blocked dimensions: 64"x 28."  Another shawl by this designer that I've knit is her Grade Shawl blogged as my Southwest Knit Shawl.



The MisAdventures of Simcha


I'm not the only one who loves to take a walk as the following anecdote reveals.

During the day I typically follow a fairly consistent routine and around 3 o'clock I take Simcha for an afternoon walk.  But the other day I was working at my computer and even though I knew it was time for Simcha's walk I ignored him when he began nudging me with his nose.  So he proceeded to grab me by my T-shirt and pulled me out of my chair.  I know I should never have allowed this pushy behavior but I was laughing too hard and wanted to quickly finish up what I was working on so I went back to the computer just for another minute.  At which point he brought me over one of my tennis shoes.  What could I say then but geez, if you really want to go for a walk you should have brought me my sweater....  Just kidding.  Of course I broke down and took him for a walk, I'm a softy.

The above picture is taken along Stunt High trail in Topanga, a hike that has lots of old oak trees, a beautiful creek bed, and I think is a particularly pretty place for a walk.

Until next time, be well and love well and take some time to think about how your knitting expresses your personal style and why you pick the projects that you do.

20 comments:

SissySees said...

Simcha has been talking to Sissy. When I get home from work, the dogs go to the pen for a break, and then the drama begins. Sissy spins, leaps, barks, rests her head on me, engages Gretchen in her antics... and we walk, even when I'm already dressed for an evening meeting and hadn't planned to change, walk, change...

Beautiful shawl. I'm sorry it's a little rough on the skin, but I'm glad you'll still get a lot of use from it.

Renee said...

That is the most luxurious and exquisite dog walking shawl I've ever seen! Beautiful!

Simcha - you clever devil! Who needs a clock with a dog around?

Monika said...

What a beautiful shawl! I love Grace's work too. I agree with you. I've been feeling to much pressure knitting certain things, and it's even harder when you signed up for shawl clubs! So far I've nothing but test knit this year. After that I'm going to step back, as you said, and relax, and enjoy some spinning, and knitting.
Ha, that Simcha! They have an internal clock for sure. :o) But I would love to go for a walk in this beautiful surroundings too.

Rachel said...

It's a beautiful shawl!

I appreciate that we should always knit things that are 'our own style'. On the other hand, I'm also a process knitter and I sometimes knit projects just because I'm fascinated by the design or the construction. If it isn't my style in the end, there are many folks in my life that love hand-knit gifts. So it's still a win!

Simcha's persistence, though pushy, is admirable. I loved that story!

lisagreenb said...

I was lucky to see/feel this shawl in person and it is truly gorgeous yet functional - not an easy feat! I am inspired to cast one on and am looking for a lovely yet sturdy yarn to do so.
Simcha is better at telling time than some people I know!
xo,
Lisa G.

Willow said...

You are so right that we need to knit 'our style', knit what speaks to us. Me? Plain simple-styled knits are what I love, with occasional cables and textures.

I'm constantly perusing shawl patterns, loving them as they are. But do you know what? I seldom knit them for myself. I wish I did; I wish they were my style.

We drove through Topanga and Malibu Canyons this winter and realized there are so so many trails we need to explore!

Gail said...

What a beautiful shawl Claudia, I envy your knitting skills! Just gorgeous! Glad to see Simcha's getting you out. Looks like beautiful weather.

Jules said...

Whatever color that is, it looks gawgeous on you! That is your color for sure. The shawl pattern is lovely, so pretty. I agree, it does serve to think about what really suits our style instead of going for trends. I find myself culling my Ravelry faves on a regular basis.

Kristen said...

I'm in love with your new shawl. It's a perfect size, big enough to wrap up with. It's now in my queue. I have used the Spinni wool for a shawl, also a Grace Farrow design, and I loved working with it and wearing it, I could never have it against my skin.

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Beautiful shawl! The yarn is perfectly suited to the pattern.
I love your walk story - I have a friend who works from home, and she also walks her dog around the same time each day. His cue is from NPR - when he hears "I'm Neal Conan and this is Talk of the Nation" he gets up and nudges my friend out for his walk.

gMarie said...

Hmmm - very lovely post. My dogs would probably get walked more if they brought me my shoes.

I love that shawl. I do occasionally knit what everyone is knitting but it's usually socks. Everything else I knit because it speaks to me. g

Tracy said...

hahaha... Sweet Simcha. Pets have built in clocks, so we really don't need our own, they let us know the time. ;o) LOVELY shawl, Claudia... that color is beautiful too! I've not done a shawl in a while, so this inspires. At the moment I'm knitting a tea cozy for my sister, who just bought her very first teapot. She's long been a coffee-drinker, but is just now really taking to tea--something else for us to share. :o) Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS))

Linda in Waterloo said...

Simcha is a magnificent dog. I particularly admire his scarf picture previously. Wonderful posts.
Thanks.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thank you all for your nice comments! Linda in Waterloo, Simcha brings fun and laughter into our home. I appreciate that you enjoy the posts about him!

t does wool said...

this is stunning,Claudia..and most definitely your style..
and Simcha..give him a kiss on the nose from me~xx

Katherine said...

Your shawl is beautiful as you are, and Simcha is a gorgeous fellow.

Thank you! You have brought to my mind what may be the reason I have been depressed over my knitting. After knitting four sweaters last year, I recently stopped knitting an organic cotton, lace edged sweater simply because it was taking so long (size 3 needles). What followed was depression and the complete inability to be "happy" in any of my knitting. I felt that I should be finishing more--socks, shawls, mitts. More finished objects! Now I realize that the abandoned sweater is what I really want to knit. It is the thing that will make me enjoy knitting and fit my personality in both the knit and wear categories. You are a wise woman.

Hilary said...

Yes! Those are words of wisdom, Claudia! Sometimes, and for whatever reason, I feel guilty for never knitting socks and feel like I might be missing out on something. But I don't really like knitting socks! I'm going to keep this post in mind the next time those funny pangs come back. :)

And your shawl! STUNNING! I love how the bottom edge is rounded and the lace pattern sort of dips in the middle. So, so pretty.

missyinedmonds said...

This 'dog walking' shawl is beautiful Claudia! And that Simcha is so smart. Isn't it amazing how their internal clocks are so accurate?

knittingdragonflies said...

finally back to blog reading!! Wow, love the shawl! Simcha is looking handsome as usual.
Vicki

AlessandraLace said...

wonderful shawl. lovely Simcha. hugs