Secular Shawl Ministry
January 12, 2009
Sometimes you want to knit something for somebody who is Up Against It. This needn’t be part of any spiritual practice you’ve got going, although it can be. I had a strong urge to knit this Kiri for a friend. Only while knitting it, and thinking of the recipient, did I realize that I probably wouldn’t be knitting it for her if she didn’t look so dang good in a shawl. Not everybody has shawl chops. Just saying.
The idea is that my friend will receive healing, galvanizing vibes from the potent fiber cocktail of cashmere shawl plus flannel nightgown (flannel nightgown sold separately). I imagine her curled up in a drafty house in the country, sipping a grappa in her Lanz of Salzburg nightie, looking impossibly romantic. She wraps the shawl snugly, thinking, “Wasn’t it nice of Kay to knit me a shawl?” (Be honest, my sister shawl missionaries. We totally want the recipient to think that.)
Orna volunteered to model the shawl. (She expressed her volunteerism by coming over for coffee. Thank you, Orna.) We had very bad light. You can tell it was snowing, from the light, right?
Here is how Kiri looked pre-blocking.
Here is Kiri after a very brief stint on the wires. Blocking is an amazing trick. So glad you turned me on to these wires. I really hate pin-blocking, but stringing a shawl up on wires seems like a fun craft project all by itself.
Git R Done Dept.
I’ve been in a rare state of productivity. This quilt came back from the machine quilter last week, and I got the binding on in a flash. When a quilt comes back from machine quilting, it is so very nearly DONE that I can’t wait to get the binding on. It’s no trouble at all to sit there for hours, blind-stitching away. I wish I felt that way about finishing sweaters.
For the quilters and future quilters out there, this is a pretty faithful rendition of Joelle Hoverson’s “Foursquare” (edited to add: erm, actually I think it’s called “Cutting Corners”) pattern from her fantastic book Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. The only thing I changed was the dimensions, so that I could make it with fabric on hand. I think it’s a little smaller than the one in the book. Perfect nap size. Covers lap and feet without smothering person or being a chore to fold.
I was surprised–honestly– to find that once again I put together the same colors I always do. “Hey! Chartreuse and slate blue!”–it always seems like a brand-new idea.
Finish a Blanket, Willya?
Remember this old chestnut, a random log cabin in Finnish wool, started long ago for Afghans for Afghans? It got lost in the knitting bag wilderness, and at the moment Afghans for Afghans does not have a call out for blankets. But I’m finishing it now, for this project for a homeless men’s shelter. I’ve dispensed with the “random” idea, which was slowing me down and creating a tangle of ends from so many narrow strips. Instead, I’m doing whole skeins in each direction. It’s a great subway/TV project. (FYI, Masterpiece Theatre is running those Girly Classics on Sunday nights again. Last night Tess of the D’Urbervilles finished up with much manly weeping. Next week it’s Wuthering Heights. A tasting menu of bad men. Fantastic!)