Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Shawl For My Sis

Last week my sister had a key birthday.  Her favorite color is Periwinkle. 

Meanwhile, I had gotten "The Shawl Bug" which seems to happen sooner and later to spinners and knitters.  And after a lot of obsessing, THIS shawl is something I'm thrilled with.  The reason is... well, long story short, the first shawl I made was a disaster.  I liked the looks of it in terms of stitch pattern, but it had the same problems I've found in just about every other knitted shawl I've tried on, and that's a LOT.  (All yarn stores seem to have a zillion of them hanging around, and you betchum that I've tried on all of them.)  They just don't fit!  They don't want to stay on at the best, and at the worst, you have to fight off the antithetical build of their shape just to get them to wrap around you, and then all they want to do is find a way to fall off.  Talk about frustration no one needs.

So after I made that shawl, I hated it.  It was too small (partly my fault but not entirely).  But then also, while it met in the middle at the neck (almost, okay, it really didn't), the front edges just spread out from there on down so that it was just not flattering at all. 

So I frogged the whole thing, just sat there unraveling hours of work.  And started over, this time with a calculator and a whole lotta measuring and picturing the dynamics of "hang."  So I kept the stitch pattern design.  Totally changed the build.  I was semi-happy with it, actually more than semi, but not entirely.  But it served as my prototype from which to make more modifications.

And voila.  The second one I made was this one for my sis, and THIS one FITS!!  Also, to make it tailored to my sister's size and lengths, I sneakily got measurements by asking her to play "dress form" on the shawl I was re-making for me (after frogging the whole above first try).  She never knew I was taking her measurements, not the shawl's. 

So here it is.  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  It stays put.  It meets in the middle in your choice of two places (high neck or lower V), and it keeps meeting in the middle all the way down.  Yes, yes, finally Yesss!!  I also added some moving room on the sides (where arms DO exist and move around, hello?)
All her kids came with families except those who couldn't because of distance.  We all brought a dish including a super tasty birthday cake made by her Daughter #1, and yours truly spent a full day going through zillions of 1940's music to ferret out 2 hours worth of music by original artists (Mills Brothers, Inkspots, Earl Bostic, Andrews Sisters and the like) into a master mix, each and every one of them being music we both grew up with during the very happy childhood times.  Many were among the "Our Songs" of our parents, all stuff we listened to daily when Sis was 3-10 years old.  Jenny gave her a hand woven project for her kitchen which I happen to know hits the spot on Sis's taste, and Sis's #1 Daughter also put together a phenomenal picture book where every page spread was themed around each person in her life, whose HANDWRITING appeared in letter form, each telling stories about times with her that were so meaningful to them.

It turned out to be a pretty amazing birthday day, not only for Sis but for all of us.  Very much like old times, with something very magical about the whole day, from start to finish.  If you believe in Sainthood, my Sis is one of those.  Dusty sense of humor and all.

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