I have been fussing.
I have been spinning this yarn:
from this wool
, which Lindsey gave me, dyed blues and sent off to Morro Fleece Works
I started spinning for *the next* lace shawl: Frost Flowers & Leaves by Eugen Beugler, from A Gathering of Lace
. There is a method to my madness, in that this shawl would be another step in the lace knitting repertoire of skills: it is knit from the center out, in a square, like Kerry Blue. But it is charts only (gasp! learning curve), and has a whole section of lace-every-row, rather than the more comforting lace-then-knit-then-lace row construction of the previous shawls I have worked.
So, a cursory glance at the yardage requirements (which meant a bit of sleuthing as the book itself is very unhelpful on this point) and I figured I would need about 3600 yds. of wool yarn. The skeins were coming out at about 300 yds per skein, so I needed twelve of them. I spun and plied ten, and have four more bobbins spun to make up the remaining two, when I decided it was time for a closer look and a little more figuring.
Ahem. This shawl, when made in laceweight on size 6 needles, works up to a 72" square (biggish). My yarn, bigger than laceweight, would make a bigger shawl, bigger than 72" square. Hmmm. I could use smaller needles and make a more dense fabric (but my handspun is already more dense and heavier than commercial yarn, how heavy would this be?). Well, each skein weighs about 3 oz., so twelve of them would be 36 oz, or just over 2 lbs. Hmmmm, indeed.
Perhaps a re-think. Maybe I could do another Shetland-style square shawl, using simple lace patterns for the center, the border and the edging, and try my hand at designing my own, within the rudimentary lace skills I have acquired so far.
Well, so a swatch or two was in order:
These are several eyelet patterns from books by Barbara Walker, Vogue, Susanna Lewis and Sarah Don. Local friends Lindsey and Dee have been very encouraging, loaning me out-of-print books, showing me their own lace projects and generally egging me on (whether or not that was their intent). I looked through their books, picked a few patterns and knit away, happily dreaming of various pattern combinations and how I would choose them. It was great fun, by the way, this contemplative phase of the process. I recommend it.
Then I went to Colorado, spent some time looking through the extensive collection of patterns at Shuttles
, and found this:
Too pretty. Swatches aside (they were useful: I liked the size 5 needles fabric better than the size 6, and may even try a size 4, yikes, I've succumbed to swatch fever), I'm starting Boundary Waters next. Any tips, hints, pitfalls-I-should-know?
The Falling Out of the Sky Part? I had to call Shuttles and order the pattern, it came winging its way to me this week. I liked it when I saw it, talked myself out of it (more patterns
, who needs more patterns
?) when I was in the shop, and thought about it all the way home on the plane (more sky). I called, I ordered, Maggie sent. I recommend the nice people at Shuttles, who send me things I *need*. Funny word, that.
The fate of Frost Flowers and Leaves? It's still on the list, still a very pretty shawl which will teach me a few things in its making. I will spin some more wool for that, a finer, softer twist yarn, more in line with the yarn used by the designer. I may even have to buy (gasp!) a sample skein to use as a guide, me, the inveterate spinner: the no thank you, I use my own yarn
person. There's some Polwarth safely stored in a nice box in a yurt somewhere, it just needs a bit of color added to make it properly spinnable.