Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Today is my mother's 74th birthday, and I'm hoping that the package I mailed out to her on Saturday hits her doorstep today.

This fall I've been knitting a lot of things of my own design. Some have been relatively mindless knits, and can hardly be called "designs," like the plain stockinette socks I made for my daughter and her boyfriend (no, they aren't matching pairs, although the socks within each pair match, because I'm one of Those Knitters).

I'm back to working on Michael's Aran sweater that is part of my Level III work for the Master Hand knitting program.

I've done a lot of swatching of stranded designs for the Fair Isle hat (also for the MHK program), and have finally come up with a set of stitch patterns Sophia likes that I will turn into a hat, possibly over winter break.

I designed a shawlette pattern that I quite like (still not sick of it after knitting it three times) and it is currently with test knitters.

There was a cabled earflap hat of someone else's design that I completely re-engineered.

The package my mother will receive today (I hope!) was one of the few items I knit this fall that was not of my own design or heavily modified.

 My mother had back surgery in September and has been recovering well.  The pain meds have dampened her appetite and she still isn't very mobile, so she's been complaining about being cold.  Back pain means that it's a big deal for her to put on clothes and take them off, so I wanted to make her a shawl that would be easy for her to put around her shoulders if she needed some extra warmth and would stay put, even when she got up and moved around. This is especially important, because a couple of weeks ago she fell and broke a vertebra above the ones that were plated and pinned and screwed together in September.  She's going to be encased in what she describes as an "Iron Man suit" for the next month.

The pattern is Fundamentally Faroese, by Cheryl Oberle, and is knit bottom-up. What I like about Faroese shawls is that they are structured so that they stay on the shoulders.  When blocked and finished, the upper edge curves where it will lie across the shoulders.  The day after I finished it, I wore it all day, including while teaching, just to make sure I didn't need a shawl pin.  It stayed on my shoulders, no problem, never once slipping off.

The yarn is a handpainted, 2-ply DK from Rovings and is 70% Polwarth wool and 30% mohair.  I got this yarn from a Canadian vendor at Yarn Over a few years ago.  It has a gorgeous sheen and a wonderful halo. 

If this shawl wasn't intended for my mother, I don't think I'd have the strength to give it away.


Jean E. said...

It is beautiful! Your mother will love it!

Smuddpie said...

Lovely shawl. I do think that shawls are a nuisance to wear much of the time, so on the strength of your recommendation, I think I'll look into some more faroese designs. I hope your mom is recovering well.