Originally uploaded by fireflowerknits
This is the beginning of the Anniversary Shawl for my parents. It surprised me to find how much I love knitting this. It is a Pi shawl, which means that the stitches are doubled at increasing intervals and you can just knit even in a lace pattern in between. I love radial symmetry, I love lace, and I am really loving how the yarn is behaving. It is soft, naturally colored, and ever so slightly fuzzy. For me making this shawl is like diving into a mandala or a kaleidescope, and it really makes me happy. I would think that the notion of giving this away at the end would bother me, but really, I’m just thinking how much fun it will be to design one for myself so I can have the pleasure of making a round lace shawl all over again. I am really excited about being able to give this to my parents at the end of all the knitting, in honor of all their hard work to stay together over all these years. This New Year’s Eve they will have been married 30 years. I think they deserve an heirloom. I envision it thrown over the back of the sofa, wrapped around Mom’s shoulders for an evening out with Dad, and keeping them both warm on chilly nights while they watch a movie together.
When I was a teenager I crocheted piles of doilies while watching TV. Thread was cheap, I loved working in the round, and the patterns were interesting. It was almost entirely process oriented. I really had no interest in covering every surface with doilies, didn’t overly much care what happened to them when they were finished. Mom, however, loved my doilies. To this day she has a doily (some vintage some mine) on nearly every table in the house. No matter how many doilies she had, she always expressed regret when I gave one away. So, when I started to think about what to make in honor of my parents three decades together, it occurred to me that she would love a big lace shawl, effectively a giant doily to wrap up in.
If you are feeling the need to immerse yourself in lace and radial symmetry, the basic pattern for the Pi shawl is in Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters’ Almanac and also in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting Rules. For lace patterns, I am using Barbara Walker’s stitch pattern treasuries. I love the yarn I am using, which is KnitPicks Bare Peruvian Wool in fingering weight. It feels wooly, but not scratchy, like petting a lamb.
I am savoring this rare knitting moment, where pattern, yarn, love, and inspiration all come together into something nearly perfect. These are the moments that keep us knitting. I hope that you also find yourself in one of these moments very soon.