A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lily of the Valley Update

I have both very exciting news and a knitter's dilemma to share. First, the good news, as these photos will show, is that I finished the body of the Lily of the Valley Shawl... this pattern is very easy, once you get the rhythm of it, and I want to try it again with a laceweight wool and slightly smaller needles to see what happens. My version is a cotton/rayon, probably fingering weight, from Textiles a Mano.

This photo shows closer detail of the lily of the valley stems, and the bobbles that make the flower clusters. It also shows the top edging, a nice wavy edging, from Edith Haller's pattern.

I can't believe it, but between the first photo, taken at mid-afternoon yesterday, and late last night, I completed the body of the shawl! The early morning light in my family room relies on rather dim bulbs, but I wanted to show Sylvia the actual size for the medium version. Look at that drape! I was a trifle worried that this fiber combo would slide right off my shoulders, but now I think not.

I need some help and suggestions from everyone... the pattern came from an issue of Spinoff a few years back, and Edith Haller, the elderly lady who made hundreds of these, knitted an edging for the bottom of the triangle and then sewed it on, to match the knitted edging that is the shawl's beginning up at the top. I don't know about the rest of you, but I simply cannot imagine the sense of knitting it, then sewing it on, when I could be picking up stitches and working an edging that was complete when bound off (do I need this for structural integrity? - the bobbles add greatly to keeping the large needle/fine thread combo from stretching out too much).

I would have to reverse the rows (and think my way through that first, so I don't make a lot of mistakes). Another option is to do a different knitted edging (check out this one that Sara is adding to her current shawl project - Sara, would you email the directions?), also by picking up the stitches around the two bottom sides of the triangle. The shawl will sit over the weekend while I ponder my options. Please, give me some suggestions!


Blogger margene said...

You should be able to knit the edging on but I'm not the one to tell you how. The shawl looks fabulous!!

10:10 AM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

I'm afraid I can't offer any edging suggestions, either. I can say that it's a GORGEOUS shawl -- bobbles are not my favorite (to do) knitted decoration, but oh, aren't they beautiful as lilies-of-the-valley? Good luck!

10:52 AM  
Blogger suzann said...

Hi Birdsong! Your shawl is so pretty. I love that lily-of-the-valley pattern--lacy and textured.

Here's my idea about the difference between knitting the edging separately vs. picking up sts and knitting out: when you cast on a pattern like that and knit, the cast on edge looks wavy. When you bind off the same pattern, it never looks as nice on the bound off edge. I don't know why. It's just my own experience.

So if you like the wavy edge, you may just have to suffer for your art and knit it separately and sew it on. It makes me shudder, too, but at least you only have to do it once, and then it's done forever!


12:15 PM  
Blogger Yarngirl said...

I wouldn't even know what to tell you about what method to use, but I could not resist telling you that the shawl is gorgeous! I've long admired that pattern and I think it's lovely in the yarn you chose.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

When I knit mine, I didn't add the border. And I didn't knit the edging at the top, either. So it was more like a little scarf. But I remember thinking it would require some work to figure out how to attach the edging as the shawl is knit.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Whoa, I'm with you: knit it on. I found the pattern in my old SO, and I think you could just pick up the right amount of stitches and knit away. It looks fabulous as a finishing edge.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

I'm no help on the sew on/knit on/leave off edging, but I have to say, the shawl looks great! And nice and drapey too.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, I'm not familiar with the pattern, but I absolutely would not sew on an edging. I'd pick up the edge stitches and knit the edging whether it's a modification of the pattern, or a different edging.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Beeeeutiful! I think you will inspire me to be a shawl wearer yet! You make such beeeutiful lacy shawls!!

6:43 PM  
Blogger knitnthings said...

The shawl is amazing. Personally I'd knit the edging on. If I knit it seperate - it would stay seperate forever cuz I'd never get around to sewing the two together. But that's me.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

What about soething like the Beech Leaf Edging from BW's 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns, page 362? If it were mine, I'd pick up stitches and do a sideways border. I'd get a knitted border done and then it would wait forEver for sewing.

6:47 AM  
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