Based on a True Sweater

Jun. 23, 2006

Sweet Tart

Check it out, it's a finished knitted thing! (Click all photos for big. Especially click the ones on the grass and the stair rail, to see the amazing colours.)

I made this shawl out of some chunky hand-painted (maybe hand-spun?) wool, which ended up with me during someone's random act of stash-offloading, when I was in Calgary a few weeks ago. There was one enormous, messy skein of this, with no label. I had no idea how much there would be, or how it would knit up. I picked up a cheap 9mm (US 13) circular needle and made this shawl during the not-work hours in the last week and a half that Zak's been away, and I blocked it last night.

For those who have been reading a while, yes, it's another freaking Flower Basket Shawl. This would be my seventh. Perhaps I should pack it in and resort to the Shetland Triangle Shawl from Wrap Style, because it's soooo different (read: almost exactly the same). What can I say? I love this sort of shawl formula, I like the bold, all-over motifs that make up the fabric of the shawl instead of being details of the fabric, I like the lack of a separate edging and I love the pointy edges. I like the way this shawl has looked beautiful in every yarn I've worked it from, and there are others in my stash that would suit this sort of design equally well. I like the way the stitch pattern is logical and super-easy to memorize, so that it's easy to work while I'm paying attention to something else.

And I love the way this one turned out!! Only seven rows of flower basket motifs, and I have a full-sized shawl. (Keep in mind, I am six feet tall, so a full-sized shawl for me is no shrimpy thing.) There wasn't enough yarn to do the full number of edging rows, so the edge was actually straight instead of pointed; I made the points during blocking. There was exactly the right amount of yarn; the yarn tails at the beginning and end of the shawl, together, were less than a foot long. I love it when that happens.
The yarn was endlessly fascin ating. The colours are so strange and varied, and they shifted so much throughout the ball; I love how well the shawl shows them off. I've taken all these photos, in different types of lighting, is to try to do some justice to the colours. Susie saw the shawl while I was working on it, and we both thought the colours looked like candy. Specifically, they remind me of Sweet Tarts, or those Rockets candies people (used to?) give out at Hallowe'en; hence the name.

I'm very happy and satisfied with this shawl. I even found out that I can work with the big chunky needles after all, as long as I use circulars; I had given them up a few years ago as I find they hurt my wrists. I've been having a harder time then usual with this trip of Zak's. Usually it's not so bad, and I can get into having some time alone, even though I miss him. I'm not sure what's different this time. It's not over yet, but at least I've got a nice cat and this big shawl to keep me company.


At 2:27 p.m., Blogger AmyP said...

You're FBS is very beautiful. It's so different from all the other ones I've seen - a case of the yarn making the project!

At 3:02 p.m., Anonymous Emma said...

Wow ! That's gorgeous !

At 3:47 p.m., Blogger Robin said...

Beautiful! I love how you rhapsodize over your seventh incarnation of the FBS! It must be a good one!

At 4:29 p.m., Anonymous Kate said...

That is such a beautiful shawl - I love the way the colour plays in the light.

At 4:39 p.m., Anonymous Steph said...

That is gorgeous. Keep making them!

And I'm going to make one too.

At 5:48 p.m., Blogger Steph said...

Rockets do still exist !!!! They're just as nasty as they always were (but I love 'em). And you're right, the shawl is the colour of candy.

FBS the 7th is just as wonderful and unique as FBS the 1st.

At 6:29 p.m., Blogger Sharon said...

Looks like you're doing a series just like you would with your paintings. Each one having it's own personality and characteristics.

Did you cut your hair? Loving the back, it's almost inspiring me to cut my hair. I don't understand I've been growing my hair for years, and yet it's the same length???

At 9:02 p.m., Blogger spaazlicious said...


Looks lovely (And before we stage a FBS intervention: you like it, it looks good, why stop?)

At 7:03 a.m., Blogger jodi said...

Beautiful (as usual). And, you can still get Rockets. In the States they're called Smarties.

At 8:00 a.m., Blogger Visa Lisa said...

Must. Make. Flower. Basket. In. Chunky. Yarn. Now. (Or. Very. Soon.)(Hypnotized and therefore speaking one word at a time. I'll wake up if someone snaps their fingers and say "You (lucky bastard) already have one Mandy made... Go re-block it!" And I actually will. THEN I'll make me one.) I LOVE THIS SHAWL!

At 2:16 p.m., Blogger yarnahoy said...

Truly beautiful colors!
What a find!

At 7:45 p.m., Blogger knitty_kat said...

this is really, really nice! I'd say you scored on the yarn. . and practice makes perfect with the pattern!!

At 4:58 p.m., Blogger Visa Lisa said...

Just how chunky was that yarn? Could you compare it to something quality-wise?

I'm sorry I haven't called you back, though I think of you a lot. I'm just... dealing with life I think.

LOTS of love
your Swedish little knitting sister

At 7:57 p.m., Blogger Felicia from sweetgeorgia said...

Seventh FBS or not, it's freaking gorgeous!

At 2:41 p.m., Blogger ginabeana said...

I never even thought of knitting a lace shawl with a chunky yarn. That really is beautiful and I just might need one myself.

At 6:30 p.m., Blogger Zee said...

WOW! It is beautiful!!

I'd love to knit that. Wonder if I'll be patient. Where's the pattern from?

At 2:56 p.m., Blogger ladylinoleum said...

It's stunning!

At 6:19 p.m., Blogger Fiber said...

I so agree with you. I've made 3 myself, and I've got plans for another. The pattern is so completely comforting, and it's a gorgeous end result.


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