My mom is the best possible kind of knitwear recipient. Every single thing I have ever made for her is received with a smile and an “Oh, wow, how did you make this? It’s beautiful.”
Granted, I am her firstborn daughter, and she is a pretty firm believer in politeness – I’m pretty sure that, even if I made her the world’s ugliest pair of worsted-weight socks, she’d smile gracefully and say they were lovely and make a point of wearing them when I came to visit. But she does seem to enjoy the things I knit for her an awful lot, and I’ve given her enough gifts over the years that I’m fairly certain she’s not just being polite.
Last year, on her birthday, I gave her an Ishbel. She wears it fairly often – not the way I wear my shawlettes, with a hoodie and t-shirt, but in a dignified Mom sort of way under a nice winter coat. The Ishbel was done in bamboo sock yarn, because (she claims) a lot of yarns are “too itchy” for her. Since she wears her shawl mostly in the wintertime, I wanted to make her something with at least a bit of wool in it, this year. After checking to make sure that Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label (70% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 375yd) passed the itch test, I set out to make her another birthday shawl.
This is not the best-lit photograph in the world, but it is the most colour true. I chose the “Chestnut” colourway, which is a lot of browns and oranges with a little bit of yellow, and – like the Sand colourway – absolutely maddening to photograph. It always comes out looking redder than it is. In real life, the overall effect when this shawl is on is sort of a deep maroon with yellow highlights.
The pattern is Knitting Kninja’s Arabella, worked on 4mm needles. I only modified it very slightly. The yardage I had available to me was slightly less than what the pattern called for, and the author stated quite clearly that the pattern used very close to the full 400yds required, so I knit seven repeats of the main lace pattern, rather than eight, and it turned out beautifully.
This was my first time working on an allover lace project – the pattern was fantastic, and very clearly written, but I’m not sure I like having to concentrate quite that much while I knit.
I mailed this off a couple weeks ago. Having spoken to her on the phone a few times since then, I’m pretty sure she likes it.