Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Res Completa: Aestlight Shawl

And the summer of shawls continues...



Pattern: Aestlight, by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Shepherd's Lamb organic wool from a farmer's market in Santa Fe, 2 skeins of Indigo
Needles: US 6 circs
Start to Finish: July 19-24, 2009

Mods: Because I used a DK weight yarn and didn't think I'd have enough to follow the pattern exactly as written and simply create a bigger shawl, I thought I'd get my math on and recalculate things to fit my yarn. So, for the center triangle I only worked until there were 40 loops, which made it about the same size as the pattern's center triangle (calculated from gauge) and also gave me the number of stitches needed to do the Bird's Eye Lace evenly later on. After the Bird's Eye Lace and surrounding garter stitch border, I kicked myself because it appeared that I would have had enough yarn to do a bigger center triangle and a larger shawl. So I added another little panel of Bird's Eye (4 repeats), started on a second garter stitch border and kicked myself again. Totally right the first time, and I had nowhere near enough yarn to do the pretty border. And because I tend to be anti-ripping (when I rip, I end up not picking up the stitches correctly and messing something up 100% of the time), I just kicked myself a third time and bound off. I really do like it this way, but I'd love to make one true to pattern as well.



P.S. I have a confession to make. I originally made this as a gift, but loved it so much that I kept it. It's just so cozy...and such a pretty blue... Ugh, I am a selfish knitter!!!

P.P.S. I absolutely love all of Gudrun's designs. Am almost done with an Audrey In Unst from the new Twist Collective...

P.P.P.S. According to the label, this yarn is organic and was dyed with chemical-free dyes and was processed organically and they make a big deal about using a non-petroleum soap to wash it. But I also noticed that, though the wool comes from sheep in New Mexico, it was spun by a plant in Vermont. Though I fully appreciate the all-natural and low-environmental-impact state of this yarn, doesn't shipping it back and forth between New Mexico and Vermont come with a pretty big carbon footprint (because I'm pretty sure they didn't walk it there)? Or am I being too critical?

22 comments:

Lolly said...

I love Gudrun's designs too - she is so talented. And I love seeing designs like hers in capable hands like yours! beautiful blue!

Completely understand where you are coming from on the yarn footprint... I have considered this several times, especially with some of the yarns from South America. Since you did buy it at a farmer's market, you are helping that seller and the local economy, but there is also the impact of the travel. I would like to think that it evens out, but I just don't know... I think it is a choice that each person has to make.

Cheers~

Cyn said...

Hee! I actually like your version much better than the original, regardless of whatever self-kicking caused it to be that way. In fact, now I kind of want to make one...

barefootrooster said...

oooh, this is lovely. love this blue. and i think your point is an important one -- it does stand to reason that a yarn producer/seller who emphasizes the importance of non-petroleum based soap would at least talk about the fuel consumption/transportation cost in this production process. there are ways to thoughtfully engage these issues (carbon offsets, for example) and thus, be consistent.

none of that, however, changes what a lovely blue this is. i do not blame you for keeping it!

the Lady said...

Ha ha ha!!! No, you are not being too critical. I think the footprint of yarn is HUGE. And good on you for realizing it. Maybe the more people who realize it and tell their concerns to the wholesalers and producers, maybe the more truly local yarn options we'll have.

Now then - as to your not ripping, I feel ya, cause I am lazy 1/2 the time. But not because of not picking up stitches correctly! My dear! You must practice and get over this hurdle! You'll be on fire once you realize you can rip anything back successfully. It will help with all the future knits - you won't have a closet full of unworn sweaters you didn't rip back and so don't like! Trust me on this. Get some help. I'll help you if you like. Or practice on a swatch. Get with someone who can do it successfully and help you out.

I met a crocheter who doesn't knit for the same reason - she doesn't understand how to get the loops back on the needle correctly. I think this is sad, and something that can be changed.

And - bravo for working with math and stuff! Fun!

And there is nothing wrong with being a selfish knitter. It's like appreciating your own cooking or jokes - most people won't be as good at it as you are.

Kathleen said...

Your shawl looks lovely! And I hear you on the selfish knitting, though I just gave my Ishbel to my SIL - I loved it, but it was really perfect for her.

Green Mountain Spinnery (guessing that's the company that spun the yarn) is well-known for their very green process, so your yarn producer may have felt it was worth a slightly larger carbon footprint to get the yarn to such a small-footprint place for processing. Small mills are difficult to come by, so beggars can't always be choosers, and not all of those mills will process other folks' fiber.

Jodi said...

Just beautiful! I'm in a similar yarn quandary with my Damson shawl.

Finding a micromill to spin to one's specs can be tough. There are a few boutique mills a bit closer (WI, OR, MI), but Green Mtn. Spinnery is definitely known for best practices. We do what we can and hope for the best.

Team Knit ! said...

Gorgeous shawl!! No wonder you decided to keep it, it's beautiful!! And that blue is perfect on you. I think the yarn is great, given that the majority of yarn out there is shipped across the planet, dyed with harsh chemicals and tonnes of water wastage, and then shipped around the planet again. Yours is at least organic and chemical free, and it's travel is only in North America(Mexico- US). As awesome as it would be to live down the road from an organic merino/alpaca farm where they spin and dye everything with natural products, it's not always possible!

- Julie

Eliza said...

you are so productive! Gorgeous shawl! Love the color and pattern!

and yes, about the carbon footprint. There is a wind powered spinnery in Maine, and the owner was complaining about someone who shipped their wool to him from somewhere in Europe, and the he was supposed to ship it to someone in Washington State. It sort of defeats the purpose.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

It's beautiful - and the perfect color on you - there's no question you couldn't possibly give this away!

I believe she has designed a cowl which I intend to make. Something called....it doesn't come to me.

I'm not a big one for ripping either - love how it came out! Awesome save.

Sophy said...

it's beatiful! and really, you have a talent for picking the prettiest colors for your projects!

CanarySanctuary said...

Keeping the good ones makes total sense, man - I'm entirely that way meself (although truthfully, it's not difficult to keep them all for me when I only ever knit for me...)

It looks lovely, and very cozy indeed! Your version is beautiful.

Jacey said...

It's okay to be a selfish knitter sometimes. You should keep it if you really love it. Your mods turned out well, and I like it in the thicker yarn. I've got this one in the queue as well, but I haven't picked out my yarn yet.

Journeying Five said...

love it! the colour is really good!

Gudrun Johnston said...

It looks great and such a lovely colour for you too!
Can't wait to see your Audrey!

Claire Allison said...

That blue is wonderful, and the shawl looks so good on you. It was meant to be yours! Don't feel bad and knit something else for that person. :)

Philigry said...

oh, i love this one. i need to add it to my list. with jeans and boots...(and a shirt, of course!) i love that look.

peaknits said...

What a gorgeous shawl! Thank you for the links!

larissa said...

i absolutely love the modifications your made! and the DK weight is perfect here! now I want to knit one - using your mods. i love the simple garter edging.

Sayschnicklefritz said...

No way are you being too critical; you've simply pointed out somethign we should all be aware of: low-toxuicity dyes may be good for teh enviroonment, but should we really pat ourselves on the back if the energy used to get the wonderful products to us may be more polluting than the aforementioned dyes? Sometimes I think we should just cut ourselvess some slack and buy the yarn that we like, regardless of dying or treatment methods.

Congratulations on the shawl. I LOVE my Aestlight, too!

hyeknitter said...

I love that pattern! Yours is great.

keri said...

Gorgeous shawl!

I agree with you on the footprint thing - I often think that spinning my own yarn helps a little bit but then you still have the rather large fiber generation footprint. Perhaps the most eco friendly thing is to shear our own sheep, process it, then spin it and knit it? Quite time consuming but an interesting proposition. =)

Jessica said...

Your shawl is beautiful!

I'm working on one of these & have 60 stitches on the base triangle myself... and already I'm getting tired of it.. maybe I'll do what you did & intentionally do more than one panel of birdseye lace... especially since I only have one skein of fingering weight yarn.. that'll give me room to stop if I see the yarn supply is running low...

Though I could always dye another skein later on as I still have some dye left...