Tuesday, August 4, 2015

a finished shawl and the beginning of a studio

Here it is at last, my finished Quill shawl! I rarely work on one project at a time...not sure that I've EVER worked on one project at a time before this. Anyway, it's happened. I put it down to the fact that I loved the yarn and the pattern, and the combination of the two of them together so much that I just was not interested in knitting anything else (like the gazillion important gifts that I should be knitting). 

I've loved this pattern from the very beginning, and when the beautiful Polwarth and Alpaca emerged from my dyepots I knew that it was meant to be. For a long time I had gone off of shawls entirely, or perhaps that was just the cold Canadian winter making me knit endless jumpers in an effort to survive. Whatever the cause, this project has brought back my shawl love!

The yarn is so light, soft and airy. Almost weightless, but completely cozy when knit up. I hardly even understand how such a wonder could be possible...and I ought to after working in the John Arbon mill for more than two years! I shall simply say it is some Arbon magic and not try to puzzle out this mystery any longer. 

I followed the pattern almost completely, initially intending to knit more stripes with more colours. When the time came to begin adding the stripes, however, I found that I loved the simplicity of the main colour I had chosen and opted to knit just 3 thin stripes around the very edge of the lace border section. I also chose to knit two extra repeats of this section, to ensure that I would have a very big and ultimately cozy shawl in the end. Success! The knit on edging was addictive and such a fun treat after miles of garter stitch. Phew, can you tell that I love this shawl?!

Just in case you're wondering where that lovely backdrop is, I shall tell you. It's the beautiful meadow at the store. My future home as well as the future headquarters of Viola. Pretty exciting stuff!

If you receive the newsletter, you may already know that renovations have already begun on the little shed that is to become my future dye studio. The week before last a little team of diggers helped to clear the old earth floor out and make way for the gravel that will eventually be covered by a new concrete floor. Who knew concrete could be so exciting?!

Much to my dismay, the digging did not revel any more buried treasures. It seems that the deer bones, rusty bits, old pepsi can and broken plastic comb will have to suffice. The only thing our weekend of digging yielded was a large hole and more rocks that I ever thought could possibly be in the ground. So many that I'm now distracted by wanting to build a stone oven! Anyhow, here is a silly picture of me with a pick.

The rather large pile of dirt that was removed from the shed is a satisfying reminder of all our hard work

And, here is the glorious hole that we dug! Doesn't look like much but by next week it's going to be a smooth concrete floor. To be honest, I didn't want the concrete and argued for keeping the charming dirt floor from the start. Turns out that there are some very sound reasons for all of this work, and I get to use a sledgehammer, so that's fun too.


  1. How exciting and your shawl is just beautiful.

    1. Thank you! I've been quite excited at the prospect of cooler weather and more opportunities to wear it!