Grandma’s shawl

27 May 2009

When I gave my mom the Peacock Feathers Shawl, Grandma fell in love with it. She put it on and told me that I needed to make her something like it. Now, if you know my grandmother, you know that giving her an intricate lace shawl made out of 100% wool is just crazy. As a crocheter of lace doilies, she gets the lace thing. She appreciates the workmanship involved in creating such a lovely thing as lace. The problem is Grandma’s laundry habits. Everything is washed in hot water and dried in the dryer. When she had a yard, she hung the laundry on the line in the backyard, but that’s the only drip-drying she would ever do. The woman is hard on her laundry. Now, if you need to remove a 10 year old mystery stain in one wash, Grandma’s your gal. But she also has left a mass of felted wool sweaters in her wake.

Grandma turned 80 last Sunday. I knew I wanted to make her a shawl, but I had to carefully consider the pattern and the yarn. Initially, I thought superwash wool was a good choice. It would allow me to do a lacy pattern in worsted weight. The problem was that my LYS doesn’t carry any superwash wool suitable for this project. After using Vanna’s Choice for the Baby Surprise Jacket, I thought I’d look for some more of it in a different color for Grandma’s shawl. That yarn comes in a wide range of really nice colors. I settled on a lovely blue that I found at Michael’s.

Next, choosing a pattern. Since I would be using an acrylic yarn, lace was out of the question because of the lack of blocking ability. I spent several hours researching patterns on Ravelry and narrowed the search down to a few choices. The Landscape Shawl is what I eventually settled on because it had a lot of texture without much lace. So it wouldn’t bore the hell out of me, but was still simple.

Please excuse the kitties. They needed a nap. On the knitting. Right out of the dryer.

Anyway, I did something with this shawl that I’ve never done with a knitting project before – I faked it instead of purchasing the pattern. Normally I would buy the pattern, no problem. But this time I was really lazy. I didn’t want to hunt down the pattern at my LYS, and I didn’t want to wait for a hard copy to be mailed to me. So I looked at as many pictures as I could find and figured it out on my own.

Such tired kitties.
Such tired kitties.

The above photo shows the texture a little better. The bottom “V” is garter stitch. Above that is seed stitch. Above that is stockinette. Above that is moss stitch. The center triangle is reverse stockinette. A “V” of yarn overs separates each section from its neighbor.

And see this? It’s a picot edge.

A CROCHETED picot edge. Yeah, I rock. Never done more than a small bit of single crochet before. Armed with some awesome instructions in the last issue of Knitty (I love “Techniques with Theresa”), I grabbed a crochet hook and went to town. My hands hurt just a few inches into it, but I did it and it turned out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.

And Grandma?

She loved it.



  1. I love your grandma–that’s how I do laundry!! Ha ha! The shawl turned out great! And you were able to remove the kitties from it–that’s good. I hear they will make your back hurt when they come attached to shawls.

  2. LOL – I’m just picturing a trail of teeny felted sweaters behind her. 😉

    The shawl turned out fab! Excellent job recreating the pattern!

  3. What’s not to like? Grandma has great taste. Way to wing it!

  4. Your kittens are adorable. I’m jealous of how cozy they look!

    The shawl looks great and snuggly.

  5. Lovely shawl… and adorable cat pictures. I love cat pictures.

  6. The shawl is really pretty. When I first saw it laying on the bed I thought “Did she take up weaving?” It looked woven to me. The shawl is great.

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