Constance earthquakes
Wednesday July 30th 2008, 11:53 am
Filed under: "Wrapped in Comfort",Knit

Constance shawl pre-blockingOops, I need to snip that end in back.

back of Constance pre-blocking

One time when we had an earthquake about the size of yesterday’s, I was at the funeral of a 95-year-old friend and the bench I was sitting on suddenly jolted upwards hard while the chandeliers were swinging wildly overhead. I figured it was Al waving goodbye–I could just picture him laughing.  (And I was grateful for California earthquake codes.)Constance shawl blocked

Thank you to those who’ve been checking up on us, but no, we’re an eight-hour drive north of where yesterday’s quake was.  You know why the US Geological Survey folks put earthquake predictions in 30-year increments?  Because 30 years is the length of the average mortgage.  They want people to realize that it will happen in their time–and we’ve definitely had a few, but nothing worse than superficial cracks in the chimney grout so far at our house.  The kid across the street can you tell you, though, about being swooshed out of his swimming pool during the 7.1 Loma Prieta.  Well, no, wait–after that one, our kitchen cabinet doors in a modern-circa-1950’s sliding style fell down at our heads rather than slid across every time we tried to open them: a good incentive to remodel.  Which we did.

Meantime.  This is the Constance shawl from Wrapped in Comfort, with a slight modification in the yoke pattern: I changed one pattern row from k1 *yo k1 sl1-k2tog-psso k1 yo k1, to a pattern row of, *k1, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso, yo, k2.  In other words, I switched places on the yarnovers and single stitches next to the double decreases–not a big difference, and simply for my own amusement.  I was using one strand of a fine laceweight cashmere and one of a fine laceweight silk from Claudia’s Handpaints (but not painted) that I bought at Purlescence.  (Where, by the way, you can order a copy of the book and I will go in and inscribe it for you if you’d like.)

Constance shawl, backUsing a silk yarn with a cashmere yarn made for a far different effect than if I’d bought a blend: the silk sparkles and twinkles prominently around the visually quieter cashmere, a very pretty effect. The separate silk strand was a little slipperier to knit than a blend, and the doubled strands in such thin yarns looked a bit messy on the needles–but blocked! This is part of why I launched into the project I reknit yesterday–I like how  two laceweights play together, how they look finer, blocked, then a fingering weight of the same overall weight, and I wanted to play with the idea more, adding differing colorways to the idea.

Oh, and, since I was using finer yarns than the original Constance called for, and since the Constance is one of the least full patterns in the book, I widened the width by using the template for Tara’s Redwood Burl shawl (minus the two extra stitches at the end of the row on the Tara) and swapping in the other lace patterns.  361 stitches.

The recipient for this one is quite petite, someone who actually makes me feel tall (and that’s saying something); I think I got it a good length for her.  I’m going to show it off at Purlescence tomorrow night, and then it goes to the grandmother of my new daughter-in-law.

13 Comments so far
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The shawl is so beautiful! Does your daughter-in-law’s grandmother know she is receiving it? Delighted she will be!

Comment by Joansie 07.30.08 @ 11:59 am

You never cease to amaze me. I want to learn to be brave enough to just “swap stitches around” as you so casually do!

Comment by Channon 07.30.08 @ 12:30 pm

Beautiful!! I am glad the earthquake didnt affect you guys 🙂

Comment by Danielle from SW MO 07.30.08 @ 12:42 pm

Ooo so pretty. Maybe this is what I’ll make for Melissa and B.

Oh, and we are a go for the scarf, if you’re still willing…lemme know!

Comment by Kristine 07.30.08 @ 1:19 pm

It’s classic elegance – she’ll be thrilled. Once more I have to say “ya done good”, my friend!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 07.30.08 @ 1:24 pm

Hmm…I can’t resist… “A hole lot of shakin’ going on” with that beautiful shawl out there in California…swap stitches? Did the earthquake make you swap ’em? *smirk* (I know you were way too far away to probably even feel the quake, but a pun is a pun!) The shawl is fantastic and the model is beautiful, too!

Comment by Karen 07.30.08 @ 2:56 pm

It’s beautiful! And thanks for outlining your thoughts on designing. I’m itching to mess about with stitch counts. However, I promised myself I’d knit Bigfoot as written first. I’m working away and am getting better at lace.

Comment by Kathy 07.30.08 @ 6:40 pm

Very glad to know you where nowhere near the quakes. The shawl is very pretty, she will love it.

Comment by Sonya 07.30.08 @ 7:19 pm

I clicked on the pictures & looked & looked…& looked & looked. I LOVE this shawl!! And I think I’d like the sparkles & twinkles, too. Great goin’.

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 07.31.08 @ 4:33 am

That is stunning! Anyone would be blessed to receive it and how can you not feel the love knit into it when you wear it. Going to big the pictures now – thanks for the daily inspiration. g

Comment by gaylen 07.31.08 @ 9:46 am

Gosh – we didn’t even hear about the earthquake over here – glad you weren’t affected though.

I love this shawl! The two yarns together sound like a really beautiful combination. Is there any chance you could post a close-up of how they look?

Comment by PrincessPea 08.01.08 @ 2:22 pm

I knew you were okay as you were too far away from that earthquake. I had immediately gone online and checked where friends were in CA to see how close everyone was. A friend of mine in San Diego was on the phone with a person in Los Angeles when it hit, though. Was a comical story while my surfer dude friend told the story!

Comment by Amanda 08.02.08 @ 6:05 am

You’re right; the shawl came out gorgeous and soft-looking. 🙂 Doubled laceweight, ahoy!

Comment by April 08.07.08 @ 2:23 pm

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