Tag Archives: forget-me-not

Nothing is ever simple

I’ve been knitting a Flutter Scarf for my mother for Christmas. Ok, I lie. It was for her birthday, but I discovered, shockingly, that I couldn’t knit as fast as I thought that I could. So, since her birthday was yesterday and the scarf is only 1/3 of the way done, it has become a Christmas gift.

This reminded me of other “Christmas” gifts I’d like to make. Like my Forget-Me-Not Shawl for my grandmother. I’m not in the mood to wrestle anymore with mohair this week, so I decided to look up a nice cast-on, pick a number, and start knitting some soothing rows of stockinette stitch. I feel that this project would make me feel accomplished because I could get through 100 rows of stockinette in a finger-snap. Unfortunately, there are multiple methods of casting on. I’m undecided which is better and what I should use, or how many rows of a knitted border I should have.

So I moved onto looking for examples of the lace pattern – the Shetland cat’s paw lace. The cat’s paw lace creates six holes that resemble petals, and even though a forget-me-not flower only has five petals, a cat’s paw only has four main digits, so I think that I can be as “imaginative” as the Scottish people were and say that this is the abstract idea of what a forget-me-not flower looks like.

Unfortunately, there is not one single way to knit the cat’s paw lace pattern. Oh no. It could never be that simple. There are oodles of ways to make the lace pattern that causes the lace holes to shift and slide in different directions. Wendy Knits’ blog has a nice diagram that outlines most of them. And by “nice,” I mean, “it hurts to look at it too long.” Then there are a couple others that involve strange things like k2togtbl that I found other places. So now, before I cast on for anything, I must knit myself multiple little swatches of the Shetland cat’s paw, using all sorts of methods, until I hit on the one that creates the nicest, most round version. headdesk

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A pocket, a posy…

…a ring around the rosy…

Obviously I have  pattern design on the brain now. This week, it’s the contemplation of the perfect shawl for my grandmother. Well, I suppose I’ve been building toward this. First I had to acquire the perfect yarn:

Check.

Then I had to find some inspiration:

Check.

Then I had to find the perfect pattern:

Uhh…

See, the problem is that the yarn’s colorway is called “Forget Me Not.” The yarn itself looks like the flowers from a forget-me-not, and I was immediately drawn to the idea of creating a shawl for her that looked like forget-me-nots. At first I thought Miriam Felton’s Seraphim Shawl would be divine, but hers used fingering weight yarn and I really wanted something a bit more flowery. Unfortunately, the only flower-like shawl patterns are either ugly, or, in the case of the Forget-Me-Not shawl patterns on Ravelry, look nothing like the petals of this flower.

So I’ve done some research today. I wandered through my favorites first, looking for something that might look like a flower, and then through the other flower patterns on Ravelry. And I found something! As I was wandering through one of my lace books, Victorian Lace Today, I noticed a really intriguing edgework that implemented a design feature that looked like the six petals of a forget-me-not flower.. “A Curved Shawl with diamond edging” apparently uses the traditional Shetland lace stitch “cat’s paw” with some success. I think the best picture of the edging can be seen here, on jeanneknits2’s Ravelry project page. I don’t think “cat’s paw lace” looks anything like a cat’s paw. Well, ok, it remotely resembles a cat’s paw, but what it really resembles is a small button-type posy of a flower. After seeing it knit up on some other shawls I’m excited by the idea of a whole shawl knit out of it:

Photo courtesy the blog, "Knitting Through the Looking Glass" by Pamela Lee

I tried to find a pattern that used the petals like I wanted them to be used (starting at the shoulders with just a few and eventually scattering outward until the shawl is covered with them), but that pattern just doesn’t exist – except in my mind. I’m not sure I’m experienced enough yet to actually physically design this pattern, as currently my only lace shawl, the Ishbel, is sitting in purgatory until it learns to behave itself, but…we shall see. My grndmother is old, and doesn’t have many years left, so that should spur me into learning how to do this quickly!