So we've made it to the end of May.
May is not my favourite month of the year. Too many deaths of people that matter to me have occurred in May. My father at the start of May, my mother near the end of May, others that have passed on too.
I wonder what Mum would've thought of the shawl I knitted this month.
I spun the yarn.
I chose the Echo Flower pattern.
I started knitting.
And I kept knitting and knitting and knitting row after row, repeat after repeat of the flower pattern
Until I thought I should swap to the border pattern.
(I am glad I did swap over then - I don't think I had enough yarn for another repeat of the flower pattern.)
I nupped until I was done.
Then I soaked and blocked the shawl.
I think Mum would be surprised that I can knit lace. She told me not to knit it when I was younger. Much younger. She didn't think I had the patience or the counting ability/concentration. I knitted intarsia then, or picture knitting as we called it. I could also knit cables. And I did some fair isle too. she approved of all of those, but lace knitting was her domain. Matinee jackets, dresses, bonnets but very rarely booties. She didn't see the point of booties given that most babies remove them one way or another within minutes of them being put on. The only way to keep them on was to tie them with a ribbon and hope the little beggar was not yet capable of latching onto small things.
I was then and still tend to be a Good Girl. I tend to do what I am told without questioning it, though I've gotten a bit better at arcing up at things that go against my grain. It didn't really occur to me to question my mother's assessment of my abilities until about 5 years ago, when I came across a top I wanted to knit. It had lacey edges on it and I wanted to make it so badly.
So I learned how to knit lace. And I knitted the top (and learned a horrible lesson - do not weave an end in across your boob with slippery yarn - I often had a tassel... 8-). I knitted socks with lace in them. I learned to read charts. Blessed be the chart! I learned decreases that I know my mother would not have known about, techniques, stitch patterns that would've gobsmacked her. I saw remarkable pretties and had to make one myself. Or two. Or more.
The internet and Ravelry have changed the face of knitting completely, and Mum would've been right there, tackering away and jumping into discussions. But she isn't. It's nearly 20 years since Mum died and I still wish she had taken better care of herself so she could still be here today, giving me the odd kick in the pants and telling me to go use my gifts - I'm sure I'm not the only one whose Mum wasn't lovey dovey and kissy and cuddly.
Anyway, Mum, I am glad I didn't listen to your advice. After all, what else could I do with 800m of handspun finnsheep wool? And this one's for you :-)