Let me set the stage: Late last year, autumn. Except it didn’t feel like autumn in Southern Idaho. Our weather was still in the upper eighties, our grapevine was still in full production, and our maple tree didn’t give the slightest hint that it was going to turn red anytime soon. I found myself being a little stressed out, and when I’m stressed out, I clean my tiny room like a madman.
Upon cleaning, I happened upon a bundle — no, that sounds too organized for reality — a skewed pile of swatches. Some were giant and more than a few were too small to be even considered swatches, but I was organizing, and nothing was to be left untouched. At the bottom of that skewed pile, there was a largish square that was light and drape-y and pretty. I held it up in the light and started doing some brainstorming. Not in a crazed-scientist-with-beakers-with-smoke-and-green-liquid-frothing-out-of-them sort of way, but a I-want-this-water-to-boil-eventually-so-I’ll-put-it-on-the-back-burner-on-low way.
The last time I’d picked up that swatch, I had been rejected by someone who can reject indie designers, and it had been rejected somewhat harshly, in my opinion. The criticism that is the harshest is always the criticism that you wish didn’t mean anything to you. But. This person did have a valid point with what they said.
Every single time that I start to clean my room, I get distracted by something much more important. That time was no different. I cleared the various papers and yarn scraps and things that I liked when I was little but I don’t like now off my lap and went back to the drawing board with this stitch pattern.
Being an autumn deprived blogger probably helped too, because, when I was done with the re-work of the stitch pattern and the design concept, I had a surprisingly spring-like shawl design.
[As an aside: yes. This post is gonna be long, so make yourself a cup of tea. You probably deserve it.]
About this time, Ana from Toil & Trouble put out a call for designs on the Designers group on Ravelry, and, being the easily-enticed yarn lover that I am, I fell for her colors in a split second. And I had this design I was working with on hand. And I felt that those colors could really make this design sing. And I was just smitten by her pretty yarn pictures. So, I decided to put an email together with the new concept and swatch.
Long story short, she said that she’d like to collaborate and sent me yarn. Which was glorious. Her Allegory fingering base is an exquisite single-ply 100% Merino, and the color that she sent me, Isa, was delicate, yet undulating and complex.
It took a bit to figure out stitch counts and how many repeats of the lace could I get out of a 100g skein of fingering weight yarn, but I succeeded.
Another reason that I’m excited about this pattern is because this is the first one by me that I haven’t taken photos of. Now I do like photography, but the pattern photography is the most stressful part of the process for me, and it usually takes about three different sessions before I have photos that I’m happy with. (The last pattern I did, Taj, was proof of that.) The photographer that I’m hiring to do most of my pattern photography from now on out is the completely brilliant Callie of Callista Reine Photography. Her 365 photos in 2016 blog is HERE, so please check her work out. It is just as brilliant as she it.
Alright, now for all the details:
Width: 12 inches
Length: 52 inches
Toil and Trouble Allegory Fingering [100% superwash Merino wool; 400 yd/364 m per 100g skein]; color: Isa; 1 skein
32-inch or longer US #6/4mm circular needle
32-inch or longer US #8/5mm circular needle (or a circular needle two sizes larger than the one used to obtain gauge)
18 sts/30 rows = 4″ in garter stitch, worked on smaller needles, blocked
Gloria is my great-grandmother. She’s in her nineties. She loves putting together puzzles and writing poetry, making simple things complex. There’s this picture I’ve seen of her on the beach, looking out across the ocean with her arms stretched out, above her head, soaking it all in and smiling. Whenever I think of her, that’s how she is in my mind: free and filled with joy. Late last year, I decided I would make an encomium to her, to show her how much I loved and appreciated her, and this shawl was what came out of that concept.
The garter-based stitch pattern I contrived for the edging reminded me of the way that some artists portray flying birds in the distance, like little Vs. It consists of basic lace, slipped stitches, and knitting into the stitch below, as in Fisherman’s Rib. The crescent shape was a natural choice for this shawl; I loved the way that the shape influenced the look of the stitches, making it look more birdlike and delicate. The body of the shawl is knit in garter stitch and is shaped with short rows.
As to yarn, Toil & Trouble (an indie-dye company based out of Salem, Massachusetts) provided one glorious skein of sea-glass-colored singles yarn called Allegory that puts a spectacular finish on this design. However, if you’re going to substitute, I’d recommend a yarn with similar qualities and a gentle colorway.
Herlighet is the Norwegian word for “Glory.”
This is my ode to her.
The pattern is available for individual download through Ravelry HERE, but there is another buying option that I’m quite excited about. This pattern will be sold as a kit with the recommended yarn from the Toil & Trouble website at discounted rates. Click HERE to view prices and order! Also, the sample shawl will be at T&T’s flagship store, Circle of Stitches in Salem, Massachusetts, in a week or so, so if you’re in or going to be in Salem, stop by there and send me a picture. I’d appreciate it. 😉
To wrap this incredibly long post up, I would like to thank a few folks. First is Ana from Toil & Trouble for supporting this project. She’s given me some great insight for the time that we’ve been collaborating. Then Anna, from Aersknits for being the World’s Greatest Tech-Editor. 🙂 Callie, for taking amazing photos. 🙂 And finally, my mother for putting up with my hours of seclusion while working on this.
To you following my blog, I should be back next week with TSM’s first BLOG SERIES about creativity and inspiration.