Monday, September 22, 2008

Forest Canopy Shawl, or V for (Possible) Vendetta...

Forest Canopy Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino 'Acorn'
As I have stated before, I am a huge fan of the leaf motif, and by extension, anything within the semantic field conjured up by the word 'tree'. There is little doubt in my mind that I was initially attracted to this pattern because of the name. Who doesn't want to feel under the majestic, sheltering arms of a forest canopy? And now that I think about it, I likely chose the shade of Malabrigo 'acorn' in order to continue with the same theme. That's just how my mind works, and explains why I will never, ever do the Lizard Ridge pattern, because to be on a ridge and confronted by a lizard is possibly one of the most negative scenarios I could possibly imagine. Even linking to it gives me the creeps.
Forest Canopy Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino 'Acorn'
One thing I know about myself and my shawl enthusiasm, is that I am a fan of the shawl provided that it not be done in lace weight yarn. I am a proponent of the sturdy, rugged garment that only dk weight and above can provide. No femme shawls for me, I am all about butching it up a little. And luckily the Malabrigo Silky Merino really delivers in this regard.
Forest Canopy Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino 'Acorn'
The Specs
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence
Yarn: Malabrigo Silky Merino in Acorn, 2 skeins exactly! Your mileage may vary, ASHLEY.
Needles: Size 8 addi turbos
Time: about 8 days
Bad kitteh
If you haven't tried a lace pattern, this might be a good initial foray for you. The instructions are exceedingly clear and the result is a lovely little shoulder shawl that in its pre-blocked state, apparently makes an excellent bed for a naughty kitteh...
Forest Canopy Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino 'Acorn'
One odd outcome of the yarn and pattern combo here is that there was discoloration in the yarn that lasted for about 40 stitches. I am not quite sure why I didn't think to break the yarn at that point (you know, since I'm so totally on the ball normally), but I left it in, and the end result is a yellow strip on the bottom of the shawl. What's weird is that it is placed in a perfect symmetry and looks like I meant to create the letter 'v'. It's kind of like finding Mother Theresa's face in a cinnamon bun, only better. If only I were named Virginia or Valerie, it would be perfect. Maybe the 'v' stands for vendetta, which is what I will be preparing to mount if I have negative results at the farm show...
Forest Canopy Shawl in Malabrigo Silky Merino 'Acorn'
I never imagined that I would become such a shawl knitting enthusiast, but I must say that I now totally get the appeal. They are tremendously useful garments, and once you get the chart concept down, shawls are quite fun indeed. Of course reading the chart has been aided quite a bit by the use of my Knitpicks magnetic chart holder (one of the only things I've ever liked from that company. Thumbs up for their hardware, bug thumbs down on the yarn). I am in such a shawl frame of mind, that no sooner had I started blocking the Forest Canopy Shawl than I cast on for Kiri with some Llamajama wool/alpaca blend that I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool, a shawl that might be my favorite pattern yet. Stay tuned...
Kiri and Magnetic Chart Holder

45 comments:

KnitPastis said...

It's so cool looking! Look at all the brillant details. The silky merino is a yarn I am interested in trying for a shawl as well. So glad to hear you enjoyed knitting with it.

Kirsten said...

Beautiful! I actually had my sweaty paws on a few hanks of the silky Malabrigo in my LYS the other day thinking that I would be another copycat. Luckily my better self chimed in and reminded me about the bags of knitting surrounding my chair at home and how buying more yarn would be a REALLY bad idea. I will have to be content with lusting after yours.

BTW, I'm right there with you on the leaf/tree thing. What is it about those motifs?

lilibethsgarden said...

You are sooo funny, "....because to be on a ridge and confronted by a lizard is possibly one of the most negative scenarios I could possibly imagine"

But 'forest canopy' done in 'acorn'...ahhhhh.

DK and beyond, yup, definitely. I have yet to make a shawl because I'm not sure how I'd wear it.

Yours looks stunning!

nicole said...

Um, sorry to disagree with you here, but that shawl is anything but butch:
1)it's LACE
2)it's made out of SILK
3)it's a SHAWL (the least butch garment ever!)
4)it's super PRETTY!!!

Maybe if you knit it out of bicycle chain, or barbed wire...

The V is cool. Fun to think up some other "V" words that could work here.

indieknits said...

Lovely! Kiri is an addictive pattern. I love the fact that you can choose from 3 sizes!

Karen said...

Oooohhhh, love it!!!! How weird about the discolored yarn. But how cool that it formed a perfect V. That certainly makes it a design element. Have fun with Kiri - it's a great pattern. :)

Veronique said...

You've got shawl fever! I think it's a good thing to have :)
Also, can I just say: V for Veronique ;)
(And I hear you about KnitPicks yarns. Yes, they're super cheap, but cheaper is not always better).

Vicki said...

It looks so beautiful in that strong yarn. Awesome stitch definition.

kim said...

I love that you "butched" it up. I can't believe that the yarn was flawed like that. But your shawl had better win this year or else... we will know the whole thing is rigged! Oh, as far as KP's goes, I love their needles, but that is it.

Ashley said...

You are hilarious. Yep, that shawl is totally butch.

And I can't WAIT to find out whether I'll need more than 2 skeins. Mine is torturing me with its unfinishedness.

Kim said...

Beautiful! The yellow V is strange indeed but I like it. It must mean something, but what? I like shawls/wraps in heavier weight yarns. More substantial, warmer.

Amy said...

It's just lovely!!

nova said...

I am knitting a very girly shawl in very laceweight yarn right now--it's for someone else and it's sort of getting on my nerves. I don't mind a good shawl in fingering weight, but I think a dk weight yarn for a shawl would make it a really useful garment. I love yours, it's gorgeous...I especially like the v.

KeanaLee said...

Your cat looks like my cat, I'll have to send you a photo.

Jessica said...

Wow! It's just gorgeous with a more solid color (most of these I've seen have been quite variegated). Bravo!! Enjoy Kiri. It's a fun one!

Jodi said...

So beautiful and autumnal! That's quite a naughty kitty indeed.

I'm right there with you on the shawls -- I'm just loving them lately, especially in thicker yarns.

SJ said...

That looks delightfully warm and cozy! As much as I love knitting with laceweight, there is something to be said for a shawl knit with heavier yarn.

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Okay after being inspired by your shawl I am going to run out get some yarn and knit one for myself. Yours is beautiful!

Philigry said...

to die for! this is perfect. i am in love with that color.

Sonya said...

Beautiful! I have a thing for the leaf motif too. Now I know which shawl to try first.

knithound brooklyn said...

V for Victorious. As in Hooray for the gorgeous shawl. Good yarn, good pattern, good name and good link to the yarn color. A victory all around.

Nice - perfect for the fall weather!

Octopus Knits said...

It's totally lovely, and I think the little yellow V is great! I have been lusting after the acorn Malabrigo Silky Merino (though I have never seen it in person), and now I know my desires are justified :) ... Kitty certainly appears to agree.

I also find my Knitpicks chart holder invaluable.

Kiri will be beautiful...

Michael said...

I share your love of the leaf motif, although, I have to admit that I have never knitted it. I need to correct that.

I think the KnitPicks magnetic board is light years ahead of the Pattern Tamer magnet strips. It's too hard to reposition them quickly.

I just finished my first adult sweater (for me!!) in KnitPicks "Wool of the Andes" and I've love knitting with it. My attitude might change after it's worn several times and I experience the dreaded pilling, but I'm trying to be optimistic.

Kyle Kunnecke said...

I love your yellow "V" - it's perfect and makes this piece even more special!!! I like "Happy Accidents" like these....

Deb said...

the shawl is gorgeous. i'm just starting my first stole. i am envious of your photography skills!

vivian said...

Beautiful! I love the colour. It looks very cozy.

ali said...

Loverly!
I was actually already thinking of making that my first shawl, one fo these days...

And that 'v' thing- how positively serendipitous that it should happen to fall so perfectly aligned (I have a thing for symmetry...)

Happy knitting-
ali

weezalana said...

Ooooooh, so preeeetttty! I mean, *grunt* nice butchy shawl there dude *scratches self*.

Pikku- Kettu said...

It looks gorgeous!

Jennifer said...

Very nice shawl, and omg - silky malabrigo. (swoon...thud)

a friend to knit with said...

hey! maybe that is why i have yet to knit a shawl. (well, i did one. but i never wear it.) i need to make it a little more butchy! yep. a little more rugged for me too.
i really love this shawl. in THAT yarn. with a super cool v motif!

Emily said...

Gorgeous!

Denise said...

I much prefer the idea of knitting a shawl with dk or heavier. I haven't knit any as of yet and have 2 different skeins of lace should I be so brave as to think about doing a lighter one.
I love yours, love the lace pattern in that, I think I could handle it and might have to add it to my fav's for a later date.

wazz said...

Love the shawl - but what's with this lizard antipathy? (Is there a word for a lizard-specific phobia?)Have you thought of aversion therapy? Perhaps you could begin with a non-threatening lizard, on a very small ridge.

peaknits said...

Wow, this is really lovely - I am a huge leaf fan too! Nice job - can't wait to see the next one.

larissa said...

Or finding a Paul Anka pancake.

larissa said...

And oh, I love your shawl. I'm looking for a non-leaf lace pattern, myself, but I think yours is one of the most lovely leafy ones I've seen.

tiennie said...

That is gorgeous!! Now I want to knit one too.

Zarah said...

Pretty, pretty - I think it looks really nice in the heavier weight yarn, too.

Sourire11 said...

Stunning!

earthchick said...

It is sooooo gorgeous!!! I am with you on the love of shawl-knitting (though I like doing lace with laceweight as well as DK and worsted). So much fun - and yes to the magnetic chart keeper too. Love it. Also, I am SO with you on the love of all things tree/leaf related. (and I laughed at your Lizard Ridge scenario).

Can't wait to see Kiri!

=Tamar said...

The yellow V coming out in exact symmetry is amazing! I think it looks like a streak of sunlight coming through the trees.

ponyknit said...

LOVE love LOVE your shawl. Could very easily be my first shawl also. I love the pattern and color choice.

aquaknits said...

Temptress, now I've got to have some Silky Merino, and that colorway is Perfection!

The shawl is lovely, and the V definitely has to stand for Victory, as a hint of things to come at the farm show. So you've got a great new shawl, which also serves as a magic eight ball. :)

varun said...

nice range!!Shawls and Scarves