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The Elder Tree Shawl

This feels like a milestone.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been wanting to knit this design, The Elder Tree Shawl, by Silvia Bo Bilvia (or it’s sister pattern The Lonely Tree) for a few years, and I’ve finally done it.  Maybe it’s just because of the pleasure I got from knitting it, or it could be that the timing of using this yarn as our leaves were changing color was just perfect.  I’m so pleased looking at it.

This is a true Fall knit.  The leaf stitch pattern in this gorgeous Autumn colorway from Red Sock Blue Sock Yarn mirrors what’s happening outside of my living room window.  It’s completely not cool outside.  My afternoon run will be a sweathoggish one, but at least leaves have turned!

I’m really not trying to look off in the distance, brooding for these photos.  I literally could not look up and hold my eyes open without blinking in the filtered sunlight that day.  I must have deleted 100 photos of my “high on knitting” half-closed eyes look.  I probably needed some sleep, too. from teaching Sunday School that morning after being out really late the night before at a concert.

I believe Silvia set this pattern up to be easily modified for any yarn weight and any size shawl you desire.  Thank you, Silvia!  I can see knitting another one, in fingering one day.  This was a pretty easy chart to memorize, too.  So I didn’t have to look down as I knit while watching Red Road with my husband.  (I have to pause here to say I’m really disappointed that show was cancelled.  At first I thought it would be another one of those series that’s made really well, but has a downer storyline full of irredeemable, selfish characters.  I hate wading through a season of that, expecting something new to be revealed that will flesh them out, only to find they’re all even worse than I thought and growing evil, pointy mustaches to prove it.)

 Also from Silvia is Fossil and Bone and Joy.  I love the lace and garter mix of Fossil and Bone.  I think the amount of textured garter, in comparison to the lacework, is the thing that gives it a wonderfully vintage feel.  Joy makes me think of a Brigitte Bardot, especially in a soft, angora yarn. Silvia has such talent and an option for knitters who cannot afford her patterns.  That kind of generosity warms my heart.

The details:  As I mentioned, I used two skeins of Merino Aran from Red Sock Blue Sock in the Autumn colorway.  I’m not sure what needle size I used, because I immediately slipped them into something else, but I’m thinking it was size 5s (I knit loosely.)  Friends, I used almost every single inch of these skeins to get the biggest shawl I could.  I actually cut most of the cast on tail off and spliced it with the end of the last skein to finish my bind off row.  There is exactly 1.5 inches of unused yarn hanging from the shawl.  I’m glad I went for bigger.

Blocking shawls is still an issue for me.  I still haven’t gotten blocking wires, though I keep talking about it.  So, I used a couple of layers of towels and just stuck my t-pins through them to get the picot edging to block out.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

I am now the Queen of Fall.  Now to find a big pile of leaves to romp in.  I miss having little kids with me all the time, legitimizing these urges.

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