Monday, 25 June 2012

The Day flower shawl

This shawl I have called the Day flower shawl, as the motif in the centre of the shawl is of a small Chinese herb called the Day flower (Commelina communis in Latin). This herb has some lovely small blue flowers (see picture). I really love this pattern, and it is one of my favourites.
 I found this pattern in Barara G. Walker's book series ”A treasury of knitting patterns”. The pattern is called ”Dayflower”. The pattern in the inner boarder is called ”English lace”, and I found it in the same book. I composed the pattern in the outer border myself, based on a small flower motif I found in Siiri Reimann's book "The Haapsalu Shawl".
The centre and the inner boarder is knitted in two equal parts, and sewn together in the back of the shawl.  After the two halfs are sewn together, the outer border is knitted on. This makes the shawl symmetrical. For this shawl I used a beautiful mohair yarn, which I found on my trip to London last fall. The yarn is soft and elastic, and it fills in the pattern. This is important to make the Day flower pattern look good.

This shawl is relatively difficult to knit. Even after knitting a considerable number of lace shawls, I still had to concentrate when making this shawl. The reason was because the number stitches changed across the rows of this patter, making it difficult to remember and hard to block out afterwards, as some rows had considerably fewer stitches than others. It is however this change in the number of stitches that makes the beautiful arches in the stem of the flower. Thus, even if it is a bit hard to make, it is absolutely worth wile the effort.

Also the English lace is a bit of a challenge to knit, as the pattern is also knitted on the purl side. These are not the patterns you chose the first time you knit lace shawls, but if you are experienced and want a challenge, they are worth all the effort. 

Monday, 11 June 2012

A sensation of the forrest

When I visited London last fall, I went to one of my favourite yarn shops on the net, Loops. There I bought many lovely yarns, among them a silk and mohair mix called Alchemy from Haiku. I fell completely for this yarn, and bought many different colours, among them this beautiful green called Junep. It reminded me of the forest a summers day, and I tried to make a pattern that gave me the same sensation.

In the centre, I used a pattern called "Twin leaf pattern" from Siiri Reimanns bok "The Haapsalu Shawl". The inner board is a classic Shetland pattern I found in Sharon Miller's book ”Heirloom Knitting”. For some reason, it reminds me of spruce branches, even if I do not think this was the intention of the pattern. I made the patten for the outer boarder myself, based on the leaf in the pattern in the shawl centre.

This was not a terribly difficult shawl to knit. The biggest challenge was the inner boarder, as the pattern is knitted on every row. Also, I wonder if it would have been better to knit it as a stole and not a rectangular shawl, as the yarn made it a bit thick when it is folded. However, the Norwegian summer nights are not particularly warm, so the extra thickness may proof to be a blessing.