Monday, August 9, 2010

A thing I did not knit

I did something.

A few weeks ago, a ravelry user was selling a silver Orenburg shawl from her collection. I managed to pounce on it before anyone else, Paypalled some cash, and waited anxiously, refreshing the tracking number page every few hours and sweating through two weekends.

I got it today, and I just—


I can't even—

inner frame

I am very moved by its loveliness, that's all.

It is enormous and very fine. (I have no wedding ring nor indeed any ring to try it out, but the seller posted a picture of it being drawn through one of those.) The enormity hasn't really sunk in yet because I am too fascinated by the details. It is very soft and it weighs next to nothing. The yarn has bloomed a little and developed a floaty fuzzy halo that doesn't obscure the stitches at all and seems instead to highlight the lace.

The other effect of the halo is that the shawl seems not to touch the surface it's sitting on, like a hovercraft made of goat down. It is very shiny, too—the yarn looks like down very loosely plied with silk, and it glows a little in the light. I feel mysterious and invisible wearing it, like I am shrouded in fog.

In terms of stitches and rows per inch, it's about the same fineness as the things I have been knitting recently, so there is hope for me yet. This is not an impossible beauty. It's so enormous though!


It's really interesting to see how the patterns are put together. There are a lot of different things going on in this shawl, and it is all very carefully laid out and symmetrical. For some reason it hadn't occurred to me that you could arrange a whole bunch of different pattern elements and have it come out looking harmonious. I like the fill-in pattern that makes triangles around the central diamonds and I like the zigzags in the inner frame and I like the outer frame pattern most of all; it looks like something cascading, I like everything about it. I like everything about the entire thing.

outer frame

(I have been excitedly pointing out all of its excellent features to my long-suffering partner, who is listening patiently even though these details mean nothing to him. Ah, non-knitters.)

My excellent friend A. made gentle fun of me for buying a shawl that someone else knit, when I can knit perfectly adequate shawls myself. All of that is why: a treasure like this is an inspiration and a call to action. I have some Gossamer Web yarn neatly balled up and waiting to be knitted into something lovely; it might be time to break it out. I am so tempted to get some mohair yarn and knit a wispy nothing out of it instead, though.

In other, more inane news, I made a twitter account for knitting-related chatter. My name is rebeccabeast.


Alwen said...

Ohhh, that is beautiful. I want to touch it even though it's horribly hot and humid out.

Anni said...