Quick skip back to early 2016 and one of my more extraordinary projects. This. Shawl. Is. Huge.
It is light, it is warm, it is enormous. It was a pleasure to knit and it’s a pleasure to wear. What I have realised though, trying to orchestrate a photoshoot, is that it’s also quite tricky to wear in a casual over-the-shoulder way. To properly show off the pattern and the shawl’s beauty you actually have to position it quite fussily. As I have so far only worn it to weddings, many of the photos of me wearing it in the wild show me, let’s say, a wee bit glassy-eyed and rosy-cheeked and beaming enormously, and usually with the shawl inexpertly slung round my neck. So what you have here is a set of photos which were half taken in the glamorous surroundings of a Premier Inn hotel room (post-wedding) last April, and half taken in the garden one sunny autumnal day last October.
The yarn and pattern are both from Belinda Harris-Reid, who pops up at various yarn events around the UK and who I was introduced to at Ally Pally 2015 by my knit-night friends (who are all big fans). I’m writing this looking out into our garden, where all the flowers are blooming, and (bear with me) it’s making me think that her designs remind me a bit of peonies (coincidentally just coming up in the garden now) – flamboyant, a little bit blowsy, and you can’t help but smile at them. And her yarn is to die for – butter-soft and sustainably-sourced (it’ll ruin you for anything else). Anyway I saw a sample of this shawl at her stall back in 2015 and was immediately entranced enough to buy a kit. With a friend’s wedding coming up in April 2016 I had a deadline, and the actual knitting on this was done in three months. A really fun and happy-making project all round (ahahaha, DYSWIDT).
NB: blocking it was a right arse. I borrowed some blocking squares from a friend to augment my own and even with wires it took a good few hours to stretch out. It also required the entirety of the spare room floor (just as well we didn’t have a spare bed occupying that valuable real estate back then).