Friday, 30 August 2013

Golden Dreams...

I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
'Farewell to Lorien' - Lord of the Rings

Its done! Its finally done! This is my In Dreams Shawl by Susan Pandorf. I originally started this as part of the knit along in November 2011 when it was released. I picked out some lovely blue yarn from my stash... then hated it, ripped out out, and went yarn hunting. Then I found Eden Cottage Yarns, and Victoria's Theseus Lace in Harvest Gold and it felt right. The design is based on Galadriel's crown from the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films, and they had inspiration from the Mallorn leaves, which turned gold in the autumn but did not fall till spring when the new growth came through. So I bought two skeins and off I went.

I opted not to bead it after trying with the blue yarn. It was gorgeous, but the time investment... I wasn't up for that. I was slow enough already. I was a little slower than the clues release, but even though it was ambitious, I plugged away at it, and once, when I made a serious mistake in one of the lattices I did some major surgery to fix it. Then in February 2012, I found out I was pregnant with the princess. I had two options. Either plug on when I had zero ability to concentrate on something complex and not get any baby knitting done, or put it into hibernation and do the baby knitting. The latter won. 

Then last month I finally dared to pick it back up, find where I was, and tried to carry on. And carry on I did. A little here, a little there, until this week, I finally cast off. There was even a moment as I was on the last twenty rows when my husband looked up from his reading one evening and finally took in what I was knitting with a shocked 'bloody hell'. I could tell he was impressed when he started asking whether I would be too frightened to wear it for ruining all that work (and said he would be in my shoes). And could I repair it if it snagged. Bless him, he finally noticed just how much I have learned! But back to the shawl.

The yarn had been a joy to knit with, and I even learned the braided join for joining the two skeins together, because the merino content in the Theseus lace yarn is superwash (a little peace of mind when handwashing that you aren't going to ruin all that hard work!). 1114m of yarn and 4 months of work (when you take out the hibernation) and I was done. It was finally time to wash and block this monster. 

Oh my gawd the pins! The number of pins! My fingers and thumbs were numb from it, but I finally got there.

Not the best colour contrast to get an idea of the pattern but there it is, all pinned out. And to give an idea of size, those six mats almost entirely cover my king sized spare bed. Its wider than my entire arm span finger tip to finger tip. I am 5' 3 and a bit inches and it covers my rear in length from the back of my neck. It is not small! It also super soft. The merino and silk yarn really does feel luxurious and is lovely to knit with.

Finally it was dry, and let me tell you, finding a good spot to take a decent picture hasn't been easy but darn it I was going to find a way. So here you are, the best two shots I came up with. I still don't think they do it justice though.

I am very proud, and can't wait for an excuse to wear it!

For now, I am back onto small projects for the winter and the missy's birthday, christmas presents, then I have something special to work on. But more on that nearer the time!

Till next time

Kat xxx