Falling Leaves Shawl


In an ideal blogging world, I would have been able to take photos of all the knit things that came my way in the week leading up to and including Christmas Day. But, it didn't happen. I wanted it to happen. It didn't. So, now, I'm feeling like I'm dribbling this and that into my blog, and it just doesn't have the spark and zest it should have had. I guess that's what happens when you are still talking about holiday gifts on January 13. How did it get to be Jan 13 already? Wow. We've been back 10 days. And in 10 more, I'm headed back to KY again for mom's follow-up surgery.

Clapotis is still ticking along. I'm in the middle of section 3. It just feels like slow going. I don't know why, but it does. Mentally, I work really hard and fast to get to rows 6 and 8 of the 12 row repeat. Because you "do" something different on those rows, they stand out for me, and they're immediate goals every time I sit down and pick it up.

While I'm liking it (it's still hard to fully grasp what it's looking like, especially since I've switched it to a fairly short circular, which helps when I've got Spencer in my arms), I have had more than one moment where I questioned why I was doing this as an auction item. It's taking so long (my mind whines). I could have made something else (my mind whines). But I'm using up stash (my mind counters).

Still, having knit and knit and knit on Clapotis, yesterday, I decided to switch gears and cast on another novelty/felted bag. This time, I'm working with reds (almost all from stash), and I'm making the larger "everyday" size instead of the small one. Hopefully, I'll get around to felting the green one (and maybe even the red one - it's knitting up WAY faster than Clapotis!) this weekend.

While working on these auction items, Falling Leaves has been on my mind, and I'm sort of itching to pick it up again.

My mom gave me the Lavish Lace pattern book and Cherry Tree Hill yarns to make both Falling Leaves and Sangria shawls. Both of these shawls are triangular, which I love. I find the regular and rhythmic increases that constitute a triangular shawl really compelling.

She didn't have the book yet when she ordered the yarns, but Knit Picks had been showcasing kits from the book and were showing both Falling Leaves and Sangria. Mom surfed around and found the yarns somewhere else online (KnitPicks wasn't offering colorway selection), and I ended up with a wonderful box of "to-do" goodness.

Sangria uses Baby Loop Mohair, and Mom selected a really wonderful pink/purple colorway (it's not in here, or I'd check the name). I love the yarn. Falling Leaves uses Ariel, which is a cotton/rayon blend. Mom bought a colorway called Fall Foliage.

I'm not as big on cotton, but of the two shawls, I love Falling Leaves best in terms of patterning, so that's the one I started. And started. And started. And started again. I don't even know at this point how many times I started it. I had serious problems getting it started and then getting past row 25, which is the last row shown of the pattern in the chart. I kept losing stitches or adding stitches, and the whole time, I kept railing against the pattern. I just couldn't "see" how the pieces fit together.

There's no simple square chunk of stitches you repeat. Instead, it's almost like interlocking diamonds, so you're at a different point in one diamond than you are at the one next to it.

My mind railed.

I kept going back to this paragraph in the book:

    "After you see how the first two rows are knit, the pattern stitch becomes easy. There is no complex math and there are no decreases in pattern along a center rib. This type of triangular shawl design progresses in a rhythmic fashion that is easy to knit and easy to grasp conceptually. It is really a self-explanatory shawl."

Yeah, right. Mom and Megan both got quite a kick out of that paragraph when in exasperation I'd pulled the stitches off the needles yet again and then read that section aloud. I think as it kept happening time and time again, and my confusion and frustration mounted, they both got a little worried about me. Neither of them knit lace, so they both were of the opinion that I should just try something else.

But I knit on.

Then, one night, I sat knitting with mom, and all of a sudden it clicked. I don't know what changed, but suddenly I knew how to tackle row 27 and row 29 and the way I needed to approach tracking the pattern fell into place with what had to be an audible snap in my mind.

I was so excited. I was jazzed. I wanted to knit and knit and knit on it.

Then New Year's caught up with us, and I strung it onto a piece of thread so I could bring it home. Once a few more auction items are completed (most of the other things I've planned to make are painted, not knitted), I can pull it back out and get to work.

Photo taken after I took it off the needles to pack it away to come home. This photo doesn't give you a sense of the pattern. It's just a testament to the fact that it's underway.

I love the challenge of each new row. I love the variation in what you have to "do" each row. I love the way it's turning out even if it's not a fiber or a colorway I would have necessarily picked in person.

It's going to be so pretty.

I think 2005 may be the "year of the shawl" for me.


Did I hear you just say that the blog world is not perfect? Did you say you weren't on fire with blog zest? Did you actually whine just a little? Oh good...then we're all doing it right, aren't we? :)
I'm on a bit of a shawl tear myself lately. Year of the shawl, sounds fine to me.

I have to say that I found the middle of Clapotis incredibly dull to knit... Everyone who's knitting it at the moment is raving about how much they are enjoying it, but I had to force myself to pick it up and do 2 repeats a day to get that section done and get decreasing again.

It is a HUGE shawl, I didn't realise how big until I was about halfway through it! Keep going on it, once you get to the decreasing it flies off the needles I promise!

Love the look of that shawl, I will have to look up the yarn!


Don't you just love the moment when a pattern becomes clear in your mind? When you "get it?"

Everything that comes before that point can be nightmarish but it is so worth it when the moment arrives and all of a sudden you know!

I am knitting the "falling Leaves shawl" And just love it. I am making mine out of "silk/cashmere, originally I bought the yarn in a kit for a shawl from patternworks called ;"hydrangas" not sure of the spelling but it was a difficult pattern to follow. I ripped it out a dozen times, then I found this one in a book I got. It is a dream to knit. I wish you luck on yours.


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