Friday, May 27, 2011

Headline news and my summer project

Original picture source: Daily Mail, UK
My summer project and knitting that is making headline news . . . . some of you may be aware of recent knitting news that has become increasingly popular, I am talking about, HRH Duchess of Cambridge, Kate's Shawl pictured and I too am smitten! 
So when I discovered that members of the knitting forum Ravelry, have embarked on creating a hand knitted version, I just knew that this too would be a summer project for me.
Never before have I ever considered wearing a shawl, let alone knitting one, but like I said, I was smitten; love the colorway, the drape, the ruffles and how fashionable it looks on Kate also because of what it will represent for me personally . . 

Firstly I have always been keen on latest fashion trends and try to keep that in mind when creating outfits for my dolls, doll-sized knitting works for me; it is very rewarding and offers instant gratification. Yet having a special adult-sized knitting project puts a spring in my step!

Secondly, I adore watching royal news and I too watched the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton take place; I cried, I smiled and I rejoiced with the world over. Since I was born and raised in the UK, my interest in the royal family has been one of intrigue and fascination of a world I cannot even begin to imagine, a royalist? perhaps, but I am both proud to be British, AND an American!

Thirdly: With the recent loss of my dear Mom at the beginning of the year, just over 2 years of losing my Dad, and then a month later losing my aunt, my grief has at times been overwhelming . . . my knitting is of great comfort to me, and serves also as a tribute to my mom, who taught me at a tender young age. I need this knitting challenge. . . 
Today, I can finally say that I am smiling more now with my wonderful memories.

And finally: My mom and aunt were avid royalists, I even inherited my mom's newspaper clippings of the Queen's coronation. So in knitting this shawl for myself, I can wrap myself in their love, and feel that spiritual bond, and be proud of the art of knitting, of being both British and American, I love all the excitement and comradeship involved with re-creating this shawl and feel honored to be part of the group on Ravelry dedicated to making this happen. I can only hope that my efforts reflect such talented designs. 

So I thought I would post my progress here . .. with sooooo many stunning patterns to choose from, offering intricate workmanship, I have narrowed down my choices to three contenders, two of which I have worked doll-sized, to get a feel for the pattern, from there I will choose and cast on for mine!!

First up is a textured stitch pattern, called: "CopyKat Shawls" by designer Rose Beck, whose own story is very inspiring, and who kindly gave me permission to sell my finished doll-sized shawl, please note this will be a one-of-kind, my 18in Gotz doll, Elisabeth is modeling it, I chose her because of her hair coloring, to match with the heavily published photo of Kate shown above.  

For my second choice I chose this stunning pattern, "Princess Kate Shawl" by British designer Eleanor Lee. I worked the kerchief version, which in turn works great as a small shawlette pictured here on my 31in Himstedt doll, Henni. This second contender is simply stunning, as is the pattern support.

And so I have decided which one I will be casting on for my adult sized shawl . . . .  "Cambridge"  by designer Carol Sunday.

They all are truly stunning designs, but this one, Cambridge, called to me to most. I am hoping to be casting on today and be finished before summer is out! Who knows, I may just work another!!! . .  but for now I will focus my efforts on this choice.

Of course for those interested in my doll designs, they have taken a back seat, but only for a short spell, while I take a much needed summer break to spend some quality time with my husband and children; explore our new area; tend to some chores that I have neglected, and have some time for reflection, especially since losing so many family members recently . . my knitting is of great comfort to me and helps promote relaxation along with learning how to simply be, while at the same time offering a great learning curve that will naturally improve upon my knitting skills and perhaps inspire new designs. ~ thank you for reading, Deb.