Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thinking of Waves

I have been missing the ocean.  It's nice to have the lake here, but it's not the same, not for someone who always grew up nearby the ocean.  The waves are small and soothing here unlike the dramas of the Pacific.

I wanted to make a shawl using short rows to create the curvy lines and shapes as tides and waves.  A medium blue was what I had in mind but I didn't have any yarn of that color in stash, so I used white Lana Gatto Mignon, a fingering weight, that I bought from Elann.

The design was pure improvisation.  This was the most improvised project I think I'd ever done. I started with few images of the top section in my head and just went for it, not even knowing how short rows will work for my ideas.  I started thinking it will be a swatch, but it just kept growing and growing.  Then rest of it was created on the fly.  It felt very intriguing to have little idea of how the shawl looked as I progressed.  A top-down sweater was always fairly easy to visualize.  But my shawl knitting experience was somewhat limited, and with the stitches all bunched up, I never got to see how it looked stretched out.  I half guessed in all my mental visualization with this one.  It was kinda exciting I must say. Whenever I wasn't sure what next, I'd just get up and eat some junk food. Boy, did I eat a lot of junk food during knitting this. Sometimes I'd return with clearer ideas, sometimes I didn't and I still would forge on, just pretended I knew what I wanted exactly. When I got to the bottom section, I actually sketched out quickly some general shapes on the paper and just winged it thinking it will look somewhat similar to the sketch.  Well, yes and no.  The shapes turned out very similar but I drew the shawl more a half moon shape when it turned out to be more crescent moon. The shawl was more elegant than my drawing. What a good thing.

It certainly was exhilarting when the project came off the needles and stretched out before my eyes.

I overdyed the shawl with acid dye.  It came out a bit uneven but not bad at all. I just mixed teal with blue with brown. I forgot to wash the shawl first with soap and the dye was running even after tons of vinegar added. I would definitely think twice before overdyeing a sweater.  

I do love the shawl very much.


  1. Totally gorgeous. I love the way it turned out. I think the slightly uneven dyeing adds even more of a wavy feel to it. Love it!

  2. Beautiful! It really captures the liquidity of water and the pattern of waves lapping over each other.