Saturday, 29 July 2017

My First Commission!

Hello, thank you for dropping in, I am so pleased to find you here.  School holidays began here a week ago and predictably, we have had a lot of rain!  However, we did fit in a lovely trip to the Berwyn mountains on Monday and the sun was shining when we got there.  I'll share it with you next week but today I'd like to share my knitting because I have made something beautiful (there, I've said it) and I am feeling SO proud of myself that I could almost burst!
 
 
Several months ago, a friend of a friend asked if I could knit a traditional white lace baby shawl for her.  I had never knitted one before - I had never really knitted any lace before - but I did fancy learning how to do it and I knew someone who might help me, a wonderful knitter who has been knitting baby shawls for more than fifty years.  I asked her if she would teach me and she immediately replied, "Do you want to do that circular one I've done a million times?"  Of course I did!  So, on her advice I bought a copy of Patons Pattern 8008, 200g of 3 ply yarn and a long 6mm circular needle and soon, I was ready to begin.  Get me, working on my first commission!
 
I am not a particularly fast knitter and it took me weeks months.  The pattern was not difficult to follow but a considerable amount of frogging was involved as I got to grips with it and learned to relax and knit loosely while counting to six over and over again.  The Best Beloved learned not to talk to me while I was counting because if I lost my place, it was his fault, obviously, and the consequences were not pretty!  Once the knitting was finished, I took it round to my knitting mentor and she showed me how to sew up the seam and weave in the ends.  Last of all there was the blocking which was problematic because I don't have a space in my tiny house which is big enough to stretch out a four foot circular shawl and leave it overnight without cats sitting on it!   What did I do?  I took it to my parents' house and pinned it out on a spare double bed, of course.  I sprayed it with water, opened the window, firmly closed the door (in a catproof manner) and went back in the following morning.  I gently removed the 54 pins and those lovely points stayed crisp and, well, pointy.
 
 
I delivered the shawl last week and the friend of my friend is delighted.  Phew!  She bought me an extravagant bouquet by way of thanks.  That's not bad, is it?  I got the pleasure of the knitting, the acquisition of a new skill, the satisfaction of making something beautiful AND some lovely flowers in return for my labour.  And in a few months' time, a new baby will be snuggled up in a soft, gossamer shawl given by an excited grandmother.
 
  
Before that, however, another new baby will be snuggled in an identical shawl, made by its grandmother with love in every stitch, for  when The Teacher saw the first one she asked me to knit one for the baby she is expecting in the autumn.  One, two, three, four, five, six, yarn over, two, three, four, five, six, ... 
 
 See you soon.
 
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

20 comments:

  1. How absolutely gorgeous. I'm always envious of people who can knit.

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    1. Thanks Janet. I had to learn at school, when I was eight, the whole class, boys as well as girls. I made an odd-looking puppet and I'm sure I must still have it somewhere. Nothing like a shawl! x

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  2. Hi Mrs. Tiggywinkle, Thought I'd leave my comment on your blog in case you didn't see it. Beautiful shawl, well done you. Love the cat references. My cat has taken a liking to laying on things at the moment too! x
    (Ref age comment) - Golly, this'll definitely be me for sure. The needle case was made from a lathe. It's very smooth to touch. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment x

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    1. Bless you, Cathy. Let's both remain 38 for ever! x

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  3. Oh how wonderful, you're having a baby grandperson! Congratulations. Your shawl is just gorgeous, a lot of concentration there. x

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    1. Thank you!! We are all super-excited, none more so than the Best Beloved, who taught a nursery class regularly a couple of years ago and declared that he was ready to be a grandparent. It took me a while longer but it is absolutely lovely. x

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  4. It's really a lovely shawl that will be cherished for many years. I know it takes many hours to knit something like this. Congrats! Enjoy your day, Pat

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    1. Thanks Pat. I didn't think modern young women were interested in handknitted shawls but I was, delightfully, wrong. x

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  5. Always wonderful when someone appreciates your skills and enlists you to do a piece for them. Congratulations.

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    1. Thank you Sugar. I was so flattered that anyone thought my skills were good enough to make something for them. x

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  6. Congratulations to your family on the baby news! The shawls are beautiful, and are a real labour of love, I know that these things take a huge amount of work and you did it most beautifully!!!

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    1. Thank you Amy, high praise indeed from you. I love your Little Women shawls and perhaps when my crochet skills have progressed I may be able to make one. x

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  7. No wonder you are proud of your work the shawl is beautiful and I'm sure you will knit the next one with joy in your heart - congratulations:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie. It's all very exciting. I had thought that the second would knit up a bit faster than the first but it's not proving to be the case - I am either too blasé or too excited to knit carefully enough and keep making mistakes! x

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  8. Hello Mrs T are you watching the tv prog about The Pickle on BBC 4 The Boats that built Britain 7:30ish Tuesday. 😊

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    1. I missed it but now that you've said it, I've just put it on. Any recommendation from you is good enough for me. x

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  9. Your baby shawl is exquisite and I can't believe it is your first try! The new Mom is going to love wrapping her little bundle of love inside such a pretty shawl! Well done! xx Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen, I can't believe it either! x

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  10. Oh, this is absolutely stunning - clever you! As you know, I struggled with lace and gave up on my shawl after three weeks - I need someone to help me get started and I definitely don't need Mr C talking to me when I'm counting! Marie x

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    1. Thanks Marie. Can you find a nice knitting group on PEI with someone who can help you? I started going to mine because I needed help and there is so much knowledge and experience there. A retired teacher is teaching me how to read crochet patterns at the moment. x

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