My Eagle Has Landed

Actually, it was done over a week ago, but weather and life have prevented pix until today, which looks like a gorgeous spring day, but has a definite bite in the somewhat stiff, but irregular breeze.I dearly love this sweet little shawl! I love the yarn I dyed for it. I loved knitting it, simple as it was. I love the way it looks finished. I love that it took barely a week from dye to done. I love the way it settles gently on my shoulders and stays there as if it loves being with me. I love the way it makes friends with so many people it meets.And to think… it’s lemonade! It was born of the painful mistake I made in grabbing two different species of yarn when I was knitting my snow dyeing blank. I was near tears when I discovered what I’d done, and now it feels like an error that planned itself. 😉This is the darker of the two skeins from my Triumph and Tragedy post two weeks ago – the wool/nylon blend ball. I’ve since named the colorway “Alaska,” since I recognized where the feeling of familiarity with the colors was born. The pattern is Eagles Rest by Stephanie Rodger, and it can be purchased for a very modest price on Ravelry – a price perfectly reflecting the simplicity of the pattern, and well worth the small investment.One of the things I love about this garment is that it snuggles delicately around my shoulders and stays there. I’m currently just flipping a little half knot into the tails, but it’s become such a special member of my wardrobe that I’m in the process of obtaining a special little gift for it. Shhh!!! It’s a secret! 😀I had my Eagle done and blocked in 6 days, and I loved every addictive, relaxing moment of the knit. As much as I adore brain-bending knitting challenges, somehow this shawl fit my current mental set just perfectly, and I could barely put it down. The extremely simple lace design was built just right for a busy yarn like my Alaska dye – a rare find indeed! I very strongly suspect I’ll be tapping this pattern again  someday, perhaps with a finer yarn or longer skein, which is a very easy adjustment with this pattern.

It honestly feels strange to say this with so many lovely, complicated lace shawls to my credit, but my little Eagle shawlette is one of of my very favorite pieces, and it’s definitely a recommended knit!

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A real Beauty for sure!! Congratulations on your lemonade!!

  2. It is actually beautiful and the colors are so peaceful. I love when shawls stay on, so I went and bought the pattern (even though I have a few others of this type in my files!).

    OK…since I hand dye also (like what you do and it seems the “unplanned” always come out more beautiful than the others).

    Some questions:
    1. why is snow put on the bottom when you’re dyeing this way? (or why do you do that?)
    2. except for it being the darker coloration, why did you use the wool/nylon for this shawl? maybe the color is the only reason, but I was thinking about weight of the wool vs the bamboo blend one…was that a factor?
    3. Our snow FINALLY melted so I won’t try this until next year, but cannot wait. Should I read some others’ experiences?

    Thanks for possibly answering this as I’m all excited about this way of dyeing now.

  3. Thank you for your lovely comments! In answer to your questions:
    1. Originally the snow was on the bottom just because I did it that way. Remember, I was making up my own rules as I went! However, having now done this enough to really start seeing how it’s working, I think that the snow on the bottom slows down the dye going through the fiber? I know that the bottom layers of the blank I dyed for this particular shawl had quite a bit more color than the center layers. If I’m doing yarn, then it helps color the bottom side of the skein. I also know I like the way my yarn turns out with the snow on the bottom. This was the first blank I’ve dyed this way. I don’t get enough snow in the average winter to do a lot of experimenting with technique, so I’ve not tried it without snow at this point to see what difference it would make.
    2. The only reason I chose the wool blend was the color. The yarns were similar enough that I mistakenly grabbed one of each for the blank, so there wasn’t that much difference. However, they also would drape and block a little differently. In regard to the color, I actually wanted the bamboo skein for the other shawl I’m doing, and the darkest areas of the one I used for my Eagle reminded me of the pine trees, so it was a great fit.
    3. I created this technique on my own two winters back, at least in terms of using acid dyes. There are a lot of sites that discuss using fiber reactive dyes on fabric, but I only had access to acid dyes and wanted to do fiber and yarn. If someone else has posted their experiences, they’ve not shared with me. I’d love to have some other blogs linked showing how projects came out, as I do know a few people have tried it. Those who followed my instructions exactly as written have shared some beautiful finished yarn with me privately. Others have misunderstood the concept and have been much less successful. (Squeezing out the dye soaked yarn before nuking, or simmering the entire skein in the run off, for instance, don’t produce the same results!) I’m assuming you’ve clicked the “dyeing” link on my sidebar to find the reports on my other experiments and the original post with detailed instructions…

    I look forward to hearing from you next winter, and I hope you will have a way to post and link pix back to my blog! As for me, I laugh that now I look forward to snow in winter as much as my ski bum hubby does!

  4. I LOVED your dissertation above!! haha …..very mysterious are you….name?

    SO….since I don’t have a blog, I didn’t realize that those multi-fonted words above on the right were LINKS!! THAT’s what you were talking about!!! (one of your postings said something about them)

    Yes, I read alll the stuff about this shawl yarn dyeing, using the links within the postings…but now I have more to read!!!! 🙂 …now that I know about “the sidebar” and what that means …..

    I figured you took the “wooly” skein cuz of the coloration. May you never give this shawl away!!!..but of course, if your daughter asked for it, it would be off your shoulders in a heartbeat….don’t we just love when our daughters “mention” that they like something we did?????????????

    I just found a TON of undyed yarn that I bought years ago from ???? now if I can find the records of their fiber CONTENT….. and maybe craigslist for a snowcone maker? hey? hey? what do you think???

    Please don’t hesitate to ask me next year if I’m going to dye yarn “a la YOU method”. hee hee

    I live in Michigan…spring JUST came a few days ago! no snow (yeah, right) for awhile.

  5. Sorry, Christine. I didn’t realize my name doesn’t post. I’m De-De. Be careful – you might learn so much about blogs that you end up “needing” one yourself. 😉 Re: daughter… If I know her as well as I think I do, she’d just drop broad hints that she’d like “something like that,” and then she’d wait relatively patiently for me to make one for her. She loves the prayer shawl I gave her last summer, and she begged a shawl pin for Christmas.

    Congrats on the stash find. You’re set! Test your fibers with a burn test, or just check an inch or two to see how they take dye. That will at least tell you if they are protein fibers.

    Snow cone maker was suggested by someone in a yahoo group, too. I think a commercial slushee machine might be better. ;)Or maybe a cast off snow maker from a ski resort? That would be nice in a few more months…


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