I just listed a new pattern on Ravelry – Valancy’s Island!
In the spring I reread one of my favorite books of all time, The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery. I decided that this summer I was going to design 3 shawls based on the book. This is the first one.
The book takes place in the early 1920s in Deerwood, Ontario (probably Bala, Ontario) and is about Valancy Stirling, a woman who wakes up on her 29th birthday to the knowledge that her life is small, and meager, and miserable, and it’s not going to get any better. She gets some rather bad news, and makes first one brave decision, and then a series of others. She moves out to the edge of “civilization” and then a little farther, to an island on Lake Mistawis (probably Lake Muskoka). There are lots of reverential descriptions of her new surroundings, and they inspired this shawl (and the two that are coming!)
Valancy’s Island is another of my Combination Shawls – it uses both edge and Pi Shawl increases to form a lovely crescent shape that hugs your shoulders without using short rows. It’s made with beautiful Tactile Fiber Arts Ferndale Lace – a lovely 100% Merino with 875 yards to the 100 grams skein. This colorway is called Kelp, and I think it’s just perfect – it’s so fresh and spring-like.
It starts with a Stockinette Center, but the lace has two parts. The Center Panel was inspired by the little woods on Valancy’s Island, and the waves that border it are, of course, Lake Mistawis.
Valancy is very fond of quoting nature books, and the picot bind off right on the edge of the lace was inspired by one of these quotations:
Behold the young wild plum tree that has adorned herself after immemorial fashion in a wedding veil of fine lace.
I’m very pleased with how this shawl turned out – I think it’s lovely and delicate and romantic, and it was quite fun to knit. Please let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to answer them. You can also find more information on the new Patterns sections of my website. The pattern is available here and on Ravelry for $6.00.