It's done. It's beautiful.
When I dyed this fibre back in September, I was going for a jewel-toned green. HAH! My dye pot laughed at me, and shattered my dye. The resulting Corriedale was green, blue, brown, red and yellow. It was, in one word, absolutely beautiful. I didn't wait until the fibre was completely dry to start spinning it. I just started.
I took the fibre with me to Airdrie Centennial's Homecoming Weekend where I was doing a spinning demonstration.
When it was plied, I had 600 yards of the prettiest laceweight. It was luminous, and I knew it had to be a shawl. I started searching for the perfect pattern, but no luck. No pattern really called to me. Alas, what's a girl to do? I started designing my own.
What would I use for inspiration?
In the country of Denmark, there are several forests with distinctive trees, called Troll Forests, Troldeskoven. The trees are old and knotted, their branches twisting whimsically in all directions. One particular Troldeskov, near Jels in southern Jutland, was my absolute favourite. There was one tree that bent right upside down and then reached for the sky again, forming a perfect circle.
For a young child, it was as if the forest was magical. Completely silent and still, one could hear the birds singing, examine all kinds of squishy little creatures, watch the sun filter through the leaves and peer through the spiraling trees for signs of the trolls who lived there.
Several years ago, a hurricane swept through Denmark, felling 80% of her forests. My forest was decimated. On a recent trip, I went to see what was standing of the Troldeskov. I was sad to see that it was dying, slowly being replaced by commercial tree farms.
This shawl is inspired by my memories.
Troldeskoven's trees are so higglety pigglety, but they have a grace and beauty that are hard to find. The elements in this shawl try to emmulate that unexpected grace. They don't seem to belong to just one shawl, and yet they blend so nicely (and rather pleasantly for the designer, I might add).
It looks lovely with a pretty shawl pin and sits just so on my shoulders. This would be lovely in a heavier weight yarn on just right needles to be a warm fall shawl. The really lovely thing about the way this pattern is designed is that the knitter can make it as big or as small as they want. The elements, while dependent of each other, do not require a certain stitch count to work correctly. So, given plenty of yardage or minimal yardage, you can knit this shawl. As it were, I wanted it for when I return to Denmark next year for my grandfather's 90th birthday, when I will walk in the forests again.
One day, as I was knitting in The Knitting Room and visiting with the store manager and my friend, Annie, she was telling me all about how she's riding in this Ride to Conquer Cancer next year. She needs to raise $2,500 to do it. Well, since I was just going to submit the pattern for free on Ravelry anyway, why not help a friend out, says I? I know that knitters are pretty awesome people, and it's for a good cause.
So, friends, the pattern is written, charted, photographed and tested. I'm bringing it in to Annie later this week. Knit, enjoy and go for a walk in the woods. :)