Two of my favourite shawls made in the 2011. are designed by Shui Kuen Kozinski which probably doesn't come as a surprise- I've been a long time fan of her work.
And, although I could hardly pick my favourite pattern among her designs, when I made my first Fleur-the-lis shawl, I instantly knew that it was a love that would last for a long, long time. And so it was! What blew me away was the simplicity of the pattern capable of resulting in such a rich and breathtakingly complex texture. Moreover, the final shape of this shawl is so long lasting that even after months of wearing it you will still have firmly shaped peaky edges and an intact texture of the lace.
In addition to all this- it is an extremely fun knit and here I might want to add that I am a very impatient knitter. But, it appears that, no matter how many repeats you decide to make or how many lace panel you decide to include in your project, your whole (knitter's ) world suddenly starts spinning around the row in which you will finally make 9 out of 3 stitches and start making a new flower. Quite amazing!
Anyway, the story has it that, once upon a time, a (young and beautiful) knitter (whos blog you are reading this very moment) decided to made herself a lovely winter Fleur-de-lis shawl in ice gray. When the shawl was finished, she realised that it was a pure miracle- the most amazing thing she had ever see. Everyone else was blown away by its beauty as well.. People from her kingdom would instantly fall in love with it (the shawl, not the knitter!) and would ask her :"Can you make something like that for me too?" but the knitter would briefly reply: "Who am I, your grandmother? Make it yourself!" And so the beautiful young knitter continued enjoying her moment of glory the whole next winter.
One day, the knitter woke up and felt that the temperature had drastically changed overnight! It was spring! And, since the knitter lived on the Mediterranean, she knew quite well that she would soon melt like a snowman if she continued wearing her shawl. Her other option was to put her shawl into a closet along with the rest of her winter wardrobe but she knew more than well that, then, she would lose all her magical powers. So, she sat down and started thinking! And, after a few days of thinking, she came up with a solution to her problems - she would make herself a new shawl out of a much lighter yarn that could be worn in April and May! That way she would keep her powers forever (or at least until German tourists come to town and start making fun of the insane knitter in a bathing suit, swimming with a shawl around her neck!) And, so, she made herself a new shawl! And she lived happily ever after!
I have to say that, unlike many other times, this time I was really lucky when it came to picking the right yarn for the project- my first choice was the best choice (and I think that the lady in the yarn shop, used to my constant replacements and "better ideas", meditated on the idea of framing my picture and putting it on a wall for a long time after that! She must have thought it was candid camera!).
The yarn I used is a very strange tweedy cotton/cashmere/wool blend! Very hard to work with, actually, as the thread easily breaks during knitting but extremely firm when knit into fabric. It is also very blockable which is great for a shawl project! The predominant colour is natural beige (or sand, if you like) and, at first sight, it gives the impression of a hemp yarn but, in reality, it is extremely soft to touch (cashmere can do that!).
I do have to mention that some of the pictures were taken at least 6 months after blocking and, as you can see, she shape is still perfect!
The pattern for Fleur-de-lis shawl is obtainable from Ravelry here > Fleur-de-lis shawl pattern by Shui Kuen Kozinski .
The second Shui Kuen's design that I made this winter (don't worry, I won't be telling another story about a beautiful knitter and her magic powers!) is Leaf and Acorn Shawl, this time, in green. What a change after all the projects in earth shades!
I love it, I hearth it, I love wearing it but my dear friend is so desperately in love with it that i decided to give it to her! But she still doesn't know that so, in case you see her, don't tell her anything about this!
Here it is:
You can download Leaf and Acorn shawl pattern for free from both Ravelry ( HERE) and Elann.com (HERE).
Happy knitting! I'm going to bed! It's 3 AM and I think I'm losing my magical powers as we speak!