Friday, 18 March 2011

Beaded Moss Green Shawl - Design LF106

I bought a few lots of hand-spun lace weight wool off a lady on Ebay whose late grandmother was a crofter in the Scottish Highlands and it is she who spun this yarn.  This particular yarn was spun and dyed in 1953.  Its pure Shetland Wool and I would take a guess by the colour that it has been dyed with natural plant dyes that can be made from lichens, twigs, leaves, berries, vegetables etc.

I have chosen an old Danish/Finnish lace pattern and bought some beads that work well with the colour of the yarn.

I started knitting this shawl on 20th October but was only able to work on this occasionally and for no more than about 2 hours a day.  I added beaded to some parts of the design, which added much needed weight to the shawl as well as highlighting some of the design.  I finally finished making this shawl on 16th March 2011 and there are 3700 size 8 Toho beads in colour 1209 marbled opaque avocado pink on the shawl, with each bead being added to the stitches individually so that they do not move.

It grew during the soaking and blocking process.  It was approx 25 inch deep x 50 inch across and grew to 31 inch deep and 61 inch across.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Lace Wedding Shawls: Part 1 - Triangulars

I love knitting lace shawls, they provide a challenge of concentration, take many many hours of work, can be adorned with beads, or not.  They do require a special finishing technique called "blocking", which is a major task in itself, but the end result is absolutely stunning.

There are thousands upon thousands of patterns available for lace shawls, coming from various parts of the world including Shetland Lace, Estonian Lace, Orenburg Lace, Faroese Lace, Icelandic Lace and many more.  Many designs are very similar to each other with only very slight differences, whilst others are quite unusual. 

They also come in different shapes and sizes to suit the individual needs of the wearer and to compliment different shapes or design features of the wearers wedding dress, ball gown or other outfit.  Colour is a matter of preference but even for a wedding, one does not have to stick with the traditional white or ivory.

In the UK, lace shawls are rarely worn whilst in the US and other countries they seem to be quite popular.  This could be due to the climate but lace shawls are surprisingly warm considering how thin they are and I am on a mission to promote lace shawls to brides here in the UK.

This week I have chosen to feature shawls that are triangular in shape and with the aid of some lovely talented ladies on Ravelry I can show you some of the designs available and how they can look being worn with wedding dresses.

All photos are protected by copyright and this is noted under each photograph.

(c) rooknits
(c) rooknits

Rooknits, AKA Ruth from Wolverhampton, UK made this herself from the pattern for the Aeolian Shawl designed by Elizabeth Freeman.

Ruth made it using a laceweight Silk/Merino blend yarn and she added some sparkly multi-faceted beads by Gutterman to the edging.

(c) clarabeasty

Clarabeasty, AKA Vicki from Ottawa, Canada made the Gail (aka Nightsongs) Shawl designed by Jane Araujo for her friend Liz, who had specific ideas about her shawl.

Liz wanted a shawl in fall/autumn colours and chose this particular pattern as it reminded her of leaves. Vicki knitted this using a handpainted laceweight 100% Alpaca yarn.

(c) clarabeasty

Vicki commented "A piece of lace doesn’t have to be part of the ‘big outfit’, it can just be a bit of fancy to toss over your shoulders while you’re running through the chill, rain, or snow from the church to the car or to wear in the cooler evening."

(c) AKM

AKM, aka Audrey from North Dakota, USA made the beautiful Haruni Shawl designed by Emily Ross from 100% Alpaca laceweight yarn for her sister's wedding.

(c) Midorian

Midorian, AKA Vera from Bern, Switzerland made the Luna Moth Shawl designed by Shui Kuen Kozinski for her sisters wedding.

Vera used a laceweight yarn that was 67% Mohair, 18% Silk, 10% Polyester, 5% Nylon and added sparkly beads to each point along the edge.

(c) Zibor

Zibor, AKA Robin from Rhode Island, made the Swallowtail Shawl designed by Evelyn A. Clark for her own wedding.

(c) Zibor

Robin used a 100% Alpaca laceweight yarn and added 1,208 4mm Swarovski bicone clear crystal beads.

I would like to thank all of the ladies who helped to make this blog possible by allowing me to use their photographs and I think that you will agree that all the brides featured look truly stunning.  Further blog posts featuring wedding shawls are to follow over the coming weeks.  Please remember that the photographs on this blog are protected by copyright law and may not be used without the permission of the copyright holder.