I can finally share something pretty that occupied quite a lot of my winter and spring:
Pattern: Silverleaf, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Woolen Rabbit Chantilly with Stellina (80 percent merino, 15 percent silk, 5 percent Stellina)
I designed Silverleaf for the Woolen Rabbit's 2014 Yarn Club. When Kim announced that the theme would be "Once Upon a Time," I knew right away I wanted to base my design on the Brothers Grimm tale of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (also known as "The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces"). This story of princesses who sneak away to dance every night was one of my favorites among the Classics Illustrated comic books my sisters and I read as kids.
In the story, a king can't understand how his 12 daughters wear out their dancing slippers night after night. Their bedroom is locked and bolted—so where can they be going?
He doesn't know that hidden under one of their beds is a secret passage leading to a magical underground world. Each night, the sisters pass through three groves of trees—one with leaves of silver, one with leaves of gold, and finally one with leaves of diamonds. They come to a great lake, where 12 princes in 12 boats row them across to a brightly lit castle. There they dance until the soles of their shoes are worn out. Then they return home to bed, pretending that they slept all night.
I loved the story's images of silver, gold, and diamond trees—and the whole idea of a secret underground lake and castle was so exciting and romantic! For my design, I decided to create a shawl a princess might wear on a secret midnight voyage. A leaf lace stitch pattern runs down the center of Silverleaf, to represent the groves of trees, and bands of lace on each side suggest the lake's rippling water.
With its wide center panel, Silverleaf is similar to Faroese shawls. But unlike traditional Faroese shawls—which involve casting on hundreds of stitches and working from the bottom up, Silverleaf is worked top-down, beginning with just a few stitches. The pattern offers two sizes—shown here is the larger size.
When Kim sent me the first test skein to see what I thought of the color, my reaction was, "Yes! Perfect!" Like all of her colors, it has incredible depth. The yarn's slender bits of silver (Stellina) add to its charm. Swatching and planning and knitting Silverleaf was a delight because the yarn was so pleasant to knit and the color so lovely. I feel honored to be invited to be part of this year's Woolen Rabbit club—and I can't wait to see what the other designers create!
Silverleaf is available exclusively to Woolen Rabbit subscribers for six months. It will be available for purchase in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy shops in late December of this year.
The photo shoot was just as enjoyable as designing and knitting the shawl! Big, big thanks are due to the beautiful Jennifer, who graciously offered to model at her farm.
Her "princes and princesses" made it the most laughter-filled and high-energy photo shoot I've ever experienced. The girls were excited to wear shawls, too, just like mom. Wonderberry is the red one (upside down, sorry!) and Peppernut is the grey one.
What a fun afternoon! The light was exquisite and I never really needed the light reflector. But I was glad I brought it ...
Thank you very much for reading. Have a beautiful Sunday!