Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I've been knocked low by a bout of some type of cold this week but nevertheless, the final stitches of Birch have been knitted, the ends have been woven in, and blocking has been completed. The first FO for 2006 has been accomplished!

I knit this Birch for my mother-in-law and needed to finish it as quickly as possible for two reasons. First, a package is going out to her and I wanted to make sure the shawl was included. Second, Knitting Olympics! I didn't want to set aside Birch for three weeks to work on the GarnStudios sweater -- that would have been too entirely selfish -- and it ended up being good training for deadline knitting. Apparently I respond well to pressure knitting though I wouldn't want to do it all the time. It would take a pleasurable activity and turn it into something not so fun...though having 3,000 other people knitting to the same deadline is certainly appealing to my sense of fun.

This is my second Birch and, not coincidentally, my second lace project ever. I didn't get the whole magic of blocking knitted lace until I did it the first time...and I'm fully hooked on seeing the transformation. I truly despaired while knitting the first Birch. It didn't look like leaves to me at all. But I pressed on, knowing that such a popular pattern in blogland had to have something to it.

On to the technical talk. I like the full immersion method of blocking Birch (kidsilk haze does have quite the odeur when wet, doesn't it?) and pulling it taught on strands of waste yarn that has been threaded along the edges. I use curtain hangers jammed into the carpeting to anchor the waste yarn.

I really like how this Birch turned out. It's quite a bit different than the first one which was knit in black kidsilk haze (for moi). I sure hope Maman likes it!

Close up of the leaves... Being a northern Michigander by heritage, I grew up surrounded by birch trees and therefore have a special fondness for this tree. I love the curling white bark, the fluttery leaves that are successfully mimicked by this pattern. I don't know to whom this future project will be gifted (maybe I will donate it to a conservancy in my hometown to be auctioned off) but I definitely plan to knit Birch in the Meadow colorway of kidsilk haze.

Next up: finish those toe up socks before the opening ceremonies on Friday. I've got about half the ribbing done on the second sock, so we aren't talking a lot of effort left here.


At 6:31 AM, Blogger Bronte said...

Your Birch is beautiful, and it's lovely to see a photo that shows the pattern off so well. It's on my ever-increasing list of projects to knit someday, one day... :-)


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