Friday, March 17, 2017

Wildflower, I Think I Love You

This lovely Wildflower Shawl and I have had quite the journey together.
We've brewed many pots of tea from English Breakfast to Earl Grey and all the way to my favorite Rose Petal Tea. It's been sipped from bone china cups, porcelain tea mugs and sometimes sturdy mugs.
Together we have finished an entire audiobook series.
At times I was forced to lay my sweet little wildflower aside and work on various other items that were needed for customers. But always my heart was being pulled back to a wildflower that was dancing inside my soul.
You might say I fell in love with it. Truly, I think I did. Even while I worked on other things I couldn't wait to pick up this shawl again and watch it magically grow beneath my fingers. Each row and each pattern repeat just seemed to come alive all on its own. I could hardly wait to see the dance of colors that lay ahead.
It was like watching the wind blowing gently through a Summer field full of wildflowers...
And I was dancing in the sunshine with them.
I found myself being soothed at the end of a long day by the gentle cadence of the fiber, the remembered stitches, the flowing colors and the promise of beauty and warmth that seemed almost ethereal in as much as it was solid. Sometimes shawls have this effect on me. They conjure forth that "old soul" I was born with. They whisper to the heart of my romantic nature.
It begins with the first stitch...
Then as the shawl begins to grow it begins to work its magic on me and I find myself away with the fairies in my mind.
 I am suddenly wrapped in that shawl, because I can already envision it finished and flowing all about me, and I am twirling in the sunshine... or strolling in the moonlight... or just swinging on my front porch with the scent of rain and wildflowers surrounding me in the freshness of Spring.
I can't explain it, but there's something about a Shawl that Sets Me Free.
It makes me feel warm and feminine, yes.
But it also makes me feel free.
All of these emotions must be the reason shawls are really my absolute favorite thing to knit or crochet. I enjoy the process of everything I make typically.
But a just simply feeds my soul.
When I got all the way to the very end of this beloved friend, I realized I would have to eliminate the final row in order to have enough yarn left to bind off.
No problem. This pattern instructs to bind off purlwise on the right side so I simply bound off knitwise on the wrong side and the effect was the same.
It made absolutely no difference in the pattern or the beauty of the shawl.
As with all things in Life...
All I had to do was Relax and Breathe and think it through for a minute.
Then it was time for blocking. I will tell you this...
I always block everything.
Now, that being said, I don't always block it out as seen in this picture.
I have a steam iron that could blast the feathers off a bird in flight and I use it for a tremendous amount of my blocking. Steam blocking works beautifully for potholders, dishcloths, all sorts of random small articles and even some shawls. However, with a lacework shawl it really needs to be dampened and properly pinned out to be seen in all its intended glory. If we are going to spend our money, our time and our talent on something we need to see it through all the way to the final phase. Trust me on this.
Blocking makes a HUGE difference!
By blocking this shawl properly it gained 3 inches in length from top to bottom point and 5 inches in wingspan. That was after I had steam blocked it first. The final measurements are 18 1/2 inches from top to bottom with a wingspan of 62 inches. The pattern is Knit Picks Reflection Line and I used only One Skein of Chroma Fingering Weight in the colorway Wildflower.
I absolutely love the way this shawl turned out.  It's lightweight enough to be worn with the gorgeous points and lovely colors cascading down the front. The color striping worked up perfectly in this pattern like it magically new what to do.
With proper blocking the lacework holes opened up
and the points did their thing beautifully.
The whole asymmetrical affect captures my spirit too.
Plus the versatility of how it can be worn
makes it pretty much a perfect wardrobe accessory.
So ...
If you happen to spy a wildflower dancing in a field
that looks a little taller than the rest,
just drive on by ... 

"You belong among the wildflowers.
You belong somewhere you feel free."
Tom Petty