How to spin a shawl

This post has been delayed a bit due to business travel.. But I still wanted to tell you all :)

I got this crazy idea. I wanted to spin and knit a shawl for my grandma – I knew she liked the Camomille shawl I made for my mom a while ago, and I know that red is her favorite color.

Oh, and the catch: I have less than a week to do it. I got the idea late on a Thursday night, and I am leaving (shawl should be finished and blocked) on the following Wednesday.

So, what to do? Get spinning!

Day 1: Friday evening
I looked through my fiber stash for red fiber, and found this bag with mixed reds, about 250g in total. Discarding about 125 of it (too orange and too purple), I was left with 2 different shades: a darker and a brighter red.

I spun the darker one, 3 short tops, which resulted in about half a bobbin of singles. After that, I started spinning the brighter red, getting about 1/3 of it spun up until I decided it must be bedtime by now.

Btw, I decided on a singles yarn. Trying for a fingering weight,

Day 2: Saturday
Hey, you know what? I am going spinning all day! A friend of mine had invited a couple of spinners to her place, so I was bringing my wheel. Not that I had to spin that much more for the shawl, but at least I could get the last bit spun, and  I could borrow her niddy noddy to wind it all up – only having a fragile swift myself, it is hard to wind up a singles yarn and stretch it after washing, as the circumference on the swift will slowly change while winding up the yarn.

All the fiber got spun, and I have skeined, washed and stretched the singles. The resulting yarn:

Darker shade: 68g, 567m (833m/100g)
Lighter shade: 64g, 463m (723m/100g)

Day 3: Sunday
Oh my, I had completely forgotten about the ‘Camomille effect’! Or ‘stripe effect’, or ‘repeated-pattern-effect’, whatever you might call it.. “Juuuust another row” is absolutely in place here!

Well, back to the beginning of the day:
The yarn wasn’t completely dry yet, but I had to wind it up to get started. Wound up appr half of it (well, 35g of each), then made a slip knot and placed a removable stitch marker in it, before continuing. As I know that half of the yarn should be plenty to make the border, now I know when to stop knitting the body without being afraid of running out of yarn!

Day 4: Monday
I had no time to knit whatsoever.. But no time to panic either, luckily.

Day 5: Tuesday
No time to knit again! Oh oh oh! Work and socializing came in the way. I’m a bit screwed now – deadline for finishing knitting was really today!

Day 6: Wednesday
Working and packing as though my life depended on it.. Finally on the plane, I could knit. Phew.

Day 7: Thursday
Started the lace border when I arrived at the hotel and was about to go to bed, and had to abort mission when I got too tired. Hard work day!

Day 8: Friday
Day off! 2 hour train ride to grandma’s, knitting away. At grandma’s, knitting away still – grandma looking at my knitting with pleasure and anticipation. That’s a nice feeling! We had a relaxing day, not doing much, so lots of knitting time. And knitting chat. Finished the border at about 9pm.

Blocked the shawl on my bed, leaving it to dry before we left for my aunt & uncle’s. Had such a fun day that I almost forgot about the shawl, until I wanted to go to bed!

The facts:
darker shade: 8g left (60g, appr 500m used)
lighter shade: 19g left (45g, appr 325m used)
54 snipps along the border.

Height center: 32cm (+ border, 6cm)
Top width: 106cm
Bottom width: 188cm

Height center: 46cm (+ border, 10cm)
Top width: 150cm
Bottom width: 260cm

It grew a lot, like expected :) And it looks so nice on grandma!

I’m pretty proud of myself. I managed to get it done within the time I had (the original deadline set was a bit narrow, I knew that!), and I think it looks amazing. Should I make one for myself as well? ;)
I really like the unevenness of the handspun yarn. The darker shade was spun very thin, the lighter shade considerably thicker in places. It shows. And several times I was afraid to accidentally snap the darker shade strand, which is used for the one strand parts of the shawl..

Details and more pictures on my Rav project page – though not more details than provided here!