Sunday, July 22, 2007

Four Wishes for Abigail

The "Four Wishes for Abigail" shawl was knit for the christening of my niece, Abigail Ann, which took place on July 22, 2007.

Tempus Fugit

The completed shawl measures approximately four feet across, including the points of the edging.

Design Sources and Inspiration

EdgeThe design is my own adaptation of the "borders outwards" method of Shetland lace shawl construction, as described by Sharon Miller in her book, Heirloom Knitting. The same work, which has been my constant companion from the swatch stage to the final weaving, was the source of many of the stitch patterns in the finished piece.

In addtion, the following works were consulted and found to be most helpful:
  • Creating Original Hand-Knitted Lace (Margaret Stove)
  • A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Barbara Walker)
  • "A Lace Alphabet to Knit" from Piecework (May/June 1998)
The project also had a long-distance godmother: Jean Miles. Jean's work, displayed and beautifully annotated on her Web site, stirred the lace-knitting impulse in my soul. It was she who introduced me to Sharon Miller's work, to Bridget Rorem's lace alphabet, and she who provided me with the Latin translations of the words worked into the shawl edging.

Beyond that, Jean's good-humored descriptions of her own works-in-progress have also been an inspiration. An inspiration to not throw the knitting out the window or run it through the shredder on days when, for example, one of the sides somehow acquired three extra stitches...again.

Design Strategy and Themes

On the chair

I knew I had to make this piece from start to finish on a tight schedule. It was, furthermore, to be my first large piece of lace knitting and my first piece of lace design.

I set myself a few limits. First, all motifs used had to have small repeats that I could memorize easily and work anywhere (including the subway) without a chart. Second, if at all possible all motifs had to alternate a row of patterned knitting with a row of plain knitting in order to save time and keep the level of difficulty moderate. Third, all motifs in the shawl center and borders had to read well on a stockinette ground, as I would be knitting in the round and wanted to be able to knit all the plain rows instead of purling them.

Blocked Corner

That said, I knew that shawl had to include motifs appropriate to Maine. I wanted it to have a certain robust beauty appropriate to the rugged terrain and the forthright people who live on it. Maine is breathtakingly beautiful, but the beauty is fierce. Odd as it may sound, I didn't want the shawl to appear too delicate.

And I knew I wanted the design to include words, a message of some kind to Abigail. The inspiration came for the final design came, oddly, from an afternoon spent flipping through photographs I took of inscriptions at Ostia Antica, the ruins of the ancient seaport of Rome.

I swatched everything, and there were still surprises both pleasant and unpleasant. However, swatching did minimize the unpleasant and definitely led to a better finished product. If you want to design your own lace, you'd better be prepared to swatch. If you just can't bear it, choose another project.

The Four Wishes

The edging comprises two design elements:
  • Sharon Miller's double scallop shell edging, and
  • four lozenges surrounded by faggot stitch, each containing a wish for the baby.
Robur

The wishes, written in Latin as befits a solemn occasion, are:
  • SAPIENTA (wisdom)
  • ROBUR (strength)
  • MISERICORDIA (compassion)
  • RISUS (laughter)
With those, Abigail should be well-equipped to deal with anything life has to offer.

I confess that about halfway through MISERICORDIA I began to wish the Latin word for compassion were somewhat shorter.

Other Stitch Motifs

The center of the shawl consists of a square panel of the pattern variously called fern lace or leaf lace (Barbara Walker) or candlelight (Sharon Miller). It is closely related to the traditional Shetland "fir cone" pattern. Worked in stockinette, as here, the decreases create a diamond grid that surrounds the openwork. In Abigail's shawl, the motif is meant to represent the white pine cone - the state flower of Maine.

On the Porch

Immediately surrounding the central panel is a stockinette band worked with roses, although we're going to call them hibiscus as a nod to Abigail's mother's adopted home state of Hawai'i.

The four trapezoidal borders are filled mostly with diamond trellis. Around the outermost edge of the borders, inside two eyelet rows, are pine trees: once again, an homage to the state of Maine.

The roses and trees come from Heirloom Knitting; Barbara Walker collected the diamond trellis.

The Yarn and Needles

The yarn is a natural white silk/cashmere laceweight procured from Sean at Wolcott and Company. I cannot, cannot, cannot scream and yell enough about how much I love this yarn. The color gives the finished piece a warm, antique look that I prefer to the chill of pure white. The silk lends a sheen so subtle it's barely a sheen; it's more of a glow. The drape and softness are luxury itself.

The entire piece was knit up on an Addi Turbo circular, size US zero.

The Gift and the Recipient

Abigail seemed to like it. Four wishes for her, one for me: I hope to live to see her happy children wrapped up in it.

Together

239 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 239 of 239
Maxine said...

Long time reader of your blog, delurking to say that the shawl and the love you knit it with (which has shined through your posts) is absolutely beautiful. Abigail is a very lucky little girl. X

Patty said...

You are genious! Brilliant! BRAVO!

Now -- get busy writing up the pattern because I, along with probably thousands of others, will buy it in a heartbeat!

Sue said...

Wow, Franklin! The knitting alone is just unbelievable, but the thought and inspiration that went into the shawl leaves me speechless. It is truly a magnificent piece of artwork filled with love.

Julie said...

This is just beautiful, from start to finish. I was at my goddaughter's blessing (it would be a christening if any of us were Christian) last weekend, likewise in a park, and I also made four wishes for her, but I enclosed them in a small knit amulet pouch - nothing as delicate or graceful as Abigail's shawl. I hope that all of our wishes for the baby girls in our lives come true.

Jen said...

That is so beautiful, you can see the love that's been poured into that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin!

With the help of The Third Editon Thesaurus. 1995 for INCREDIBLE: amazing, astonishing, astounding, fabulous, fantastic, fantastical, marvelous, miraculous, phenomenal, prodigious, stupendous, unbelievable, wonderful, wondrous!!!

What an amazing gift of love to give to beautiful Abigail ~ An heirloom to last a lifetime...

Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring! You should be so proud of your amazing accomplishment.

Happy Knitting!!

Debbie

Gaile said...

Beautiful shawl, beautiful baby, beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing how you came to put this together, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

The shawl is beautiful beyond belief, and all my best wishes go out to your niece for her christening.

Best wishes,
Science Princess

Shan said...

Just in case you are somehow Confunded after all this adulation, and allow yourself to be Hagridden by your commenters, I would like to say in response to some of the above remarks: Of course you can't sell the pattern, for goodness' sake. Pimping out your baby niece's love gift - I think not.

(It's just occurring to me that it's possible you might actually intend to sell the pattern and are even now taking Umbridge...though I would be Stupefied.)

Seanna Lea said...

I thought it was impressive as I looked through the pictures progress and at the blocking. Then I read about the design. You have done truly spectacular work, more art than craft. I hope your one wish comes true.

Brown Berry said...

There are hardly words to describe the beauty of this, and the sentiment and thought that went into it...outstanding. I wish I knew more Latin so I could convey my awe a little better.

Well done, uncle; well done.

Cheryl said...

The shawl is stunning. The baby girl is adorable and the uncle is the uncle every child dreams to have.
Blessings to all of you on this momentous occasion.

Anonymous said...

Your shawl is beyond stunning! Absolutely breathtaking.

catsmum said...

Both shawl and Abigail are beyond beautiful. Every little girl should have such a fabulous uncle too.

PJ said...

Your shawl is the most stunning thing I have ever seen...and I just love the story behind all the various elements worked into the design. You are truely a knitting genious

Elizabeth said...

I am so awestruck by the beauty of this project and the love with which it was knit. Thank you for sharing it!

TracyKM said...

Stunning. Incredible. Totally beautiful. Oh, yeah, the shawl's pretty hot too! ;)
Thank you for putting in so much time and effort and sharing it with us! I feel honoured to be able to see it, I'm sure Abigail feels 100x more honoured to be wrapped in it.

Anonymous said...

Franklin-

What a fantastic work of art! I know your neice is going to treasure it for a long time to come. May your wishes for her come true.

Carrie

filambulle said...

This shawl is a masterwork.
I wish you both wealth and happiness.
Bravo!

Natalie said...

Franklin, that shawl is absolutly gorgeous.
i have been watching the shawls progress as you have been going along, but seeing it completed absolutely floored me.
Abigail is a very lucky little girl to have an uncle as loving as you. And I do love wee little faces wrapped in tiny perfect stitches.
Also, Abigail's christening is the same day as my birthday.
Great job
-Natalie

Ühltje said...

Oh, this is beautiful. I know I'm late to the party, but I could not not let you know that it was noticed. And boy am I noticing it! Please tell me, that you have since written down instructions, so I can knit it for a baby due on Christmas? Pretty please?

DK said...

Hey, Franklin. I'm a little behind in my blog reading (obviously), but I was catching up with your latest stuff and thinking, hey, whatever happend with the Christening Shawl? Maybe I should look for it here...

And I have to say, wow. Wow. There are simply not words to express what an amazing thing of beauty, dedication, and love that turned out to be. I'm just floored, man. Amazing.

That's one lucky little girl. And so darn cute, too!

Evelyn said...

After hearing the essay, I had to come see the shawl. Heirloom indeed!! I can't believe that mere humans can knit such things! Latin words knit into the lace! Un-freaking-believable!

Julie said...

Wow! This is not only gorgeous to look at but beautiful for the heart and soul as well. What a lucky baby - and her future children to be the recipient of such a gift.

Anonymous said...

Thank you admin
Film İzle
Dantel Dünyası
El Becerileri
Dantel

nyczoo said...

What a thoughtful, considerate, beautiful gift. And what an incredible, articulate description of the creative process that brought you to such a fine creation.

Simply, beautiful stuff.

ircscorpion said...

lida kullanmanız için size lida sipariş hattımızı öneririm bu lida sipariş hattında gerçek lida bulabilirsiniz vefilm izleyebilirsiniz

polo shirts said...

History of polo ralph lauren. Polo fashions had its humble beginnings in 1968 when tie salesman Ralph Lauren gave it a kick start. By 1969 he had a boutique polo ralph lauren factory stores within the Manhattan department store Bloomingdale's. ... Brands and luxury standard. Since Ralph Lauren's first brand, Polo Ralph Lauren, was launched, the company has expanded to include a variety of luxury brands such as Polo Golf, Polo Denim, Polo Sport. You can buy cheap Ralph Lauren Clothing at Ralph Lauren outlet.Also We provide polo shirts
Ralph Lauren polo shirt, 50% OFF! polo ralph lauren outlet online is your best choice!In 2006, polo ralph lauren outlet became the first designer in Wimbledon's 133-year history to create official uniforms for the tournament. As part of this year's event, which starts next week, polo ralph lauren sale will introduces the first ... determination to maintain and enhance the values for which our two brands are famous throughout the world. The rugby ralph lauren brand brings to Wimbledon the look of timeless elegance, drawing on our rich history and traditions

Anonymous said...

film izle - film izleReally liked your site very great paylaşımlarınızda occasionally I write a nice comment favorite topics:) Excellent site. Theme of a site is very nice. There are a number of us to our site. But you more beautiful and wonderful sites. Thanks you very much real admin and boss.. An excellent site is very great. Thanks you very much love real admin and boss.. Excellent site. Theme of a site is very nice. Thanks you very much real admin and boss.. A great site too. dah shares so great. Thank you very much. Done a wonderful site. Liked it very much. paylaşımlarınızda very great indeed. Simply amazing. good day .. dizi ve film - Thank you so much wonderful sharing... advertise

Anonymous said...

Such sites, and comments are very nice to throw a two-site within the ideals film indir I 've got really liked them too, you hopefully enjoy. memurlar Thank you in advance for visiting: D
have done a great profile article first contact site film özet is also very much, radyo dinle liked the color images in fast girebiliyorum everything. I 've got a couple of my article yazıorum for them programlama I really liked your site based on subject content in a pretty good article with content shared between each one looks good
I hope there will be more successful your site is very wonderful site. porna Thanks to the efforts of.like shares, are very beautiful.

Geoffrey said...

It won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I think.
cheapest price for Blouse | discount store selling YARNZ | discount Hunter Boots

Kumpulan Info Menarik Lengkap said...

nice to see your article bro, keep posting, i'll always support you
Tips Meninggalkan Kebiasaan Merokok | <a href="http://matiolestari.blogspot.com/2013/05/alasan-kenapa-anda-harus

Anonymous said...

Ccan apply by sending a CV to find the job you want on our website or you can contact a canlı bahis healthier job you want. By reference to one of the jobs you apply for jobs every replika saat day on our website revamped and time can elektronik sigara be achieved without losing the opportunity to take part in the new in your karın germe business.

Anonymous said...

In this article, full film izle you have a say in the flash game site Let ucuz ukash me introduce you. Bedava Sohbet As you know, the internet industry is very different sohbet fields leaders in their field, each separated by a large number of that site, or brand revealed. yol tarifi In parallel with all this, the online game market intenet has become an area of demand. flash game in this Türkiye uydu görüntüsü area site to have a say in their field play service offering hundreds abaküs satışı of achieved.

Anonymous said...

Meetings, conferences, seminars, davetiye excursions, engagement, wedding and asked to participate in activities such as opening davetiye ceremonies and publicize this event and inviting people to post short text. Invitations are usually selected from a specially crafted invitation card, invitation cards printing press is davetiye suppressed and attention is given to be appropriate to the kapış kapış nature.

Anonymous said...

Engagement invitation davetiye to the wedding ceremony by FotoğrafıNişan a lot less people are davetiye invited. Only parents, friends, or just bi ceremony attended only by davetiye their families can plan. Home, work, your spaces that are open in fine weather, dust, wind, ambar snow, rain, air pollution, stoves and heating ambar works, street powder, like the noise of cars affected ambar by external sources and becomes unusable.

Anonymous said...

lig tv izle, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter ve daha birçok uygulamaya artık televizyonunuzdan ulaşabilirsiniz.IQ’dan izlediğiniz programları dilerseniz canlı maç izle facebook hesabınız ile sayfanızda paylaşabilir; You Tube üzerinden sınıflandırılmış video seçeneği ile fuar hostesleri veya arama seçeneği üzerinden videolara erişim twitter sağlayabilir.

sextoy terbaru said...

greetings all. I was glad to get the content one of them that I see this, and I can not reply to what I can right it with anything other than a thank you. And various info here toko pusat alat bantu sex, jual alat alat bantu seks pria dan alat bantu wanita, meyedikan jua berbagai macam alat pembesar penis, obat kuat dan segala mainan seks terbaru.

andalangue said...

Blog Andalangue adalah blog remaja yang mengulas tentang kata kata , music, jasa, dll seperti : download musik mp3 gratis , kata kata cinta , cetak buku yasin murah jakarta , dugem house musik nonstop remix yang diupdate untuk pembaca setia blog andalan gue.

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 239 of 239   Newer› Newest»