Look, Look, Look!!! Here is my Icelandic Lace Shawl!! It's finished. And right now as I type, it is blocking on the spare bed in Kate's room. It's hard to photograph because of the size but with some help from Peter Kevin, I got a few shots. We pulled it pretty hard but couldn't stretch it to the width it was supposed to be. It's supposed to be 76 inches across the shoulders but we could only stretch it to 66 inches. I wonder if it's because my yarn was different? It doesn't matter to me. I was unprepared for how wonderful it would look blocked and I wanted to just stand there and watch it as it dried. It took just over 2 months of knitting to finish. I started December 26th and finished March 7th. (I also knit some socks in there, too.) Once it dries, we'll try for some action shots! It feels weird not to have the bag it was hanging out in here next to me on the bed. I have knit lace before but nothing as large as this. All of my other attempts at lace have been socks. My blocking frame is not finished but I couldn't wait for PK to finish it. Kate is working on a shawl and we'll use it for hers. I used the blocking wires I bought last weekend and some pins. I can't believe how excited this makes me!

I have been steadily working on the Spey Valley socks. I have never used wool like this. It is minimally spun. I tried to get a photo but it was difficult to show just how "natural" this looks. Can you see how "unspun" it looks? It knits up beautifully. I think these socks are some of my 'prettiest' knitting. The stitches are so straight and even. I think these are going to be rather fuzzy socks once they're worn.

I was reading on my daughter, Emily's, blog about how she feels about being grounded and knowing about her family. It made me feel kind of sad. If you'd asked me when I was growing up if my family was close, I would have said yes. It's only now that I have grown up and have raised my family that I can say that I don't think we were close. My parents ruled the house. They didn't encourage us to express our opinions or if we did, they were often shot down. If my dad said the sky was green, it was green. It didn't matter if I thought the sky was purple. I haven't talked to my parents in a number of years. Once I grew up and had an adult relationship, it seemed like they didn't know how to relate to me any more. We never made the transition from parent/child to parent/adult. I used to try so hard to make everyone get along and make nice. It didn't work. I wasn't content to remain a child and they didn't know what to do with me as an adult. My sister just remained in the parent/child relationship and is content with that. My brother got lucky. My parents felt they had "lost" one child (me) and tried harder with him. But even he has only a minimal relationship with them.
All of this led to the founding of our family as a place where opinions are welcome, even if they're not mine. Where everyone gets a say in important decisions that affect the whole family. Where hugs and kisses are everyday events. Where no one is afraid to say "I love you". I feel so fortunate that my family is close. I look forward to sitting around with my daughters and their children and telling family stories and knitting. I can't wait to teach my grandchildren to knit. I love the idea of our family expanding to include new members who bring new opinions to the dinner table.
The best I can do for Em, and El and Kate is to tell them the stories I know of our family. And remind them of their place in the family. My aunts also can be coaxed into telling family stories and they can remember some doozies. (They are not all flattering,either!) I wish I could give them more but I guess it's enough that they grew up knowing they were loved and cherished.
So, I didn't mean to get so profound and on a Friday night, too. Must be the codeine in the cough syrup. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Rose Red said…
Your shawl looks so fabulous - yay you! Can't wait to see you wearing it!

I really admire the way you've made your family, I hope that I can have the same type of family relationship as that.
amy said…
Congratulations on finishing the scarf! Such a sense of accomplishment to envision a project and see it through to the end.

Oh, family. I'm watching mine just drift. I'm wondering right now how much effort to make on behalf of my children. My dad just checked out after my mother died, went to FL and is now talking of living there six months of every year. My children miss their grandfather. I'm working through how all the issues of my own crappy childhood are affecting my own parenting in ways I don't like, and I'm not sure I have the energy to fight this fight, even for my children.

I see your profound and raise you some dysfunctional. Sigh.
Duchess said…
Your shawl is stunning.

I admire you for building open and honest relationships in your family. I hope the Duke and I can develop that kind of family too.
Sheepish Annie said…
Wow! The shawl came out beautifully!!! Excellent job!

I think it's wonderful how you learned from your own life experiences and made decisions about how to raise your own children based on that. It's so easy to ignore the lessons and just repeat the mistakes. I admire people who rise above it.
Amy Lane said…
Congrats! That's such a lovely shawl--you must be so proud!!!

Sometimes my best knitting time is when I'm waiting in the car--it's so peaceful and controlled.
Amy Lane said…
You have created a wonderful, safe place for your children--and it's all they will need. And isn't it lovely, that in your adulthood, you have the wonderful, safe, welcoming place that you never had in your childhood?

You dear, are living proof that we create our own realities. You did grand.

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