Way back in June I was contacted by a childhood friend whom I haven’t seen for thirty years and asked if I would consider knitting a shawl for her upcoming first grandchild.
I don’t normally take commissions for something like this, but she asked so nicely and was so obviously a fan of my work that I decided to make an exception and agreed on the basis that this would be my evening project. You know, the kind that you pick up for a couple of hours every evening so your fingers have something to do whilst watching TV.
The baby was due in early October, which meant I would have to get cracking as three months is not very long in shawl-knitting terms, and I estimated that about 60 hours of handknitting would be required. I had no problem choosing the perfect yarn – the softness of Alpaca combined with the smooth quality of silk made this the obvious choice.
A laceweight yarn, the silk adds a subtle sheen and would make an incredibly light and delicate shawl.
I ordered 4 skeins in “Wedding White” as the gender of the baby was to remain a surprise, and off white would be ideal. Each 50g skein contains 439 yards of yarn so, although I hadn’t yet decided on a pattern, figured that 1700 yards should be plenty.
Look how fine the yarn is!
And so the lengthy process began!
It soon became apparent that I had VASTLY underestimated the time and quantity of yarn that this beast would consume!
After 60 hours over 2 months, I was about two-thirds of the way through the main body of the shawl, and it took both boys to hold it up for me to take a photograph.
I also had to order another 2 skeins of yarn which took another 2 weeks to arrive before I could continue.
With the body of the shawl finished, I moved on to the pretty bit – the show-stopping lacy border, which was an absolute joy to knit after all those rounds of stockinette.
Despite being over a week overdue, the baby had now arrived…..but I still hadn’t finished the border.
It was a baby girl!
Eventually, all the actual knitting was complete and ‘all’ I had to do was to join these two piles of knitting together.
I commandeered The Boy’s bedroom and banished them for two days while it dried, pinned to a combination of three towels and the carpet!
When it was completely dry, I took it downstairs to try and photograph it as the contrast against the oak floor showed up the pattern more clearly.
Off it went in the post and I waited a nerve-wracking few days before hearing that it had reached its destination safely – what a relief!
Very soon, some photos were sent to me of the shawl in use, and I have permission to share them with you on the blog.
Do you want to have the final stats of this mammoth project?
– 2760 yards of yarn
– 137 hours of knitting
– 161,852 stitches
Would I do it again?
In a heartbeat – only next time it will have to be for MY grandchild because it was so hard to part with after all that effort!