16 May 2011

One down, three to go...

Okay, so the big project that has been in the works for a whole stinkin' YEAR is done. It's a shawl, and a very special one at that. You may recall that we go out to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve every summer to do living history stuff. Well, Chief of Interpretation Heather and I cooked up a scheme to make a knitted recreation of a Civil War-era shawl.

Me being me, I took it to the extreme.

That year it took me to do the shawl? Most of that was research. I combed the Internet, wrote to experts, and pestered yarn companies to gather every scrap of available information on hundred-year-old (and then some) yarns. It was my intention to reproduce this shawl as accurately as possible.

Mostly, I drove myself nuts.

After hours of reading, scribbling, and swearing, I finally came up with the information I needed. I even made sure to choose wool from breeds of sheep that were available at the time in question. Time to spin.

First came the two-ply black and violet yarn. Each strand had to be super skinny, which meant that A) it took forever, and B) I had to ignore everybody that tried to talk to me.

Yeah, I was popular for a while there.

More of the same ensued with the plain black yarn, ditto the gold yarn. Finally it was done. NOW all that remained was to knit something like five hundred miles of little-bitty stitches. Of dark yarn. On dark needles. I managed a mile per so per day before my eyes threatened to cross.

All good things come to an end, and just last week I finished the Grand Project: the 1864 shawl. It is beautiful. It is awe-inspiring. It is sitting in a bag on my nightstand.

Heather wasn't on duty when I showed up to deliver the shawl, and I have no intention of handing it off to anybody but her.

Hey, after a year of work, I deserve to see the look on her face, don't you think?


Tricia said...

That is one Fancy shawl!

Mags said...

Hey...Your shawl is a work of art...so beautiful. You must be so proud and pleased!
Your gorgeous project gives new meaning to the words, "From sheep to shawl!"
I'm in awe...

Dianne said...

Absolutely lovely!!!