Archive for June, 2008

I loved this yarn the minute Kaity dyed it.  It wasn’t supposed to look like this – when she dyed it (back when we were still learning) , it was much darker, bright, and vivid, but when she rinsed it most of the color came out, and she was not pleased.  I was VERY pleased.  And I was blessed when she gave it to me :o)

Immediately, two things came to mind, Monet and Hanami.

Years ago when my mom, sister, and I took one our a girl trips, this one to Manhattan, one of the places we knew we wanted to visit was the Guggenheim Museum.  When we got there I was thrilled to see they were having a Monet exhibit.  I’ll always remember standing there, drinking in the paintings.  It was one of those moments where you can’t believe you’re really looking at something, that it’s real, that it’s even more beautiful than you imagined.  I remember not wanting to leave, because when knew when I walked away I would never see it again.  I’ve been blessed to travel a lot of places and see a lot of things, but I’ll always remember not wanting to leave the Monet paintings.

The other thing that immediately came to mind was that this was the perfect yarn for my Hanami shawl.  It just said cherry trees and cherry blossoms to me.  The more I read about the tradition of Hanami, and looked at pictures of cherry trees in blossom – the more it became apparent that this was the perfect yarn.

I’m SO glad I didn’t give up on this shawl after the first few trials.  I’m so in love with it.  And, it’s already full of memories.

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That’s what I always ask the guys when they can’t figure something out. Actually – I preach on it.

Yeah – well, I spent the ALL my knitting time this weekend trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with Hanami (Ravelry link). Ever since Kaity dyed this yarn, I knew it would be for Hanami, and the mood finally struck – Knit.It.Now.

But, I couldn’t. Every time I got to row 6 I would get all messed up. I got on Ravelry and swear I read EVERY word ever written about Hanami… hmmm, no one ever had a problem. WHAT am I doing wrong, over and over and over??? I mean, come on, I just finished a lace shawl – I know know to knit lace and I’m actually getting pretty good at looking at the chart and figuring out what’s happening in my knitting.

But, no… I just couldn’t figure it out. I mean – come on…. if 375 other people have successfully knit it without so much as a mention of a struggle – so can I.

But no, I finally just gave up out of frustration and started and frogged three other shawls this weekend. None of them satisfied. They didn’t “click.” The were not what I wanted to knit – I wanted to knit Hanami.

This bugged me all night and this morning I woke up bound and determined to conquer Hanami. I mean – I HAVE to be able to figure this out! So, in an inspired moment of brilliance (NOT) I decided to actually read the pattern, not just look at the chart. Yep – there it was… explained all out for me. And the worst part – it wasn’t even particularly tricky – actually not at all. Kind of embarrassingly simple.

Oh well. I feel vindicated in my own mind at least – I’m smart enough to knit Hanami and now it’s coming along swimmingly. Doncha know – 6th time’s a charm :o)

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From  this

to this

This pretty Swallowtail Shawl was gifted to my sister tonight for her birthday.  Her birthday is actually not until next month, but she and her family are leaving in 2 days for a two week trip to Europe, and I wanted her to be able to take it with her.

This is by far my favorite shawl pattern.  Whenever I’m surfing Ravelry and am stopped by a shawl that really catches my eye, it’s inevitably a Swallowtail.  Now I need to make another one for me!

Pattern:  Swallowtail Shawl (Ravelry link)

Yarn:  Laceweight extra-fine wool, 2 ply, hand dyed, by Mary Kay, gifted to me a while back (thanks Mary Kay!).  I used 437 yds.

Needles:  KnitPicks Options, size 6

Mods:  None

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