Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The gift that was hard to part with; and, a prehistorical sewing memory

Here is a shawl I made for my sister Catherine's birthday (Catherine is the older one of my sisters - mommy to Robin and Florian for those who remember :)). 
The Cedar Leaf Shawlette is a very long and narrow shawl, so that it works more like a scarf (more practical for someone not used to shawl) yet retains the romantic shawl look - my sister is super feminine and delicate.
The (K)nitty Gritty:
Design: Cedar Leaf Shawlette, a wonderful design by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting.
Yarn: Rowan Revive (recycled silk, cotton and viscose) in Pumice (ecru, 1.6 skeins = 205m) and Granite (olive green, just over 1 skein = 137m)
Needle size: 4.5mm (US 7)
Project page on Ravelry

My sister and I share (among lots of other things!) a love for nature and a deep concern for the environment - constantly exchanging tips on leading a greener life; so I felt the leaves motif was fitting. To push the theme further, I chose to work with recycled yarn - the wonderful Revive by Rowan, in gorgeous muted shades of ecru and olive green. Both shades have little flecks of colour throughout. I made the leaves in a contrasting colour to bring out the motif.

I really like Alana’s designs; I am currently knitting her Spring Garden Tee, and loving it too.
I can honestly say that I have never found it so hard to part with something I made! I really love this shawl, and the leaves were quite work intensive, but so worth it. Catherine though is the perfect recipient for such a long-drawn work. She is not the crafty type, but she's always has an immense appreciation for the gifts I made her over time; and she is super meticulous with them. I know this shawl is in good hands :) She loved it, and besides we had such a fabulous family time last weekend that I know she will forever associate this shawl with the memory of this perfect moment.

And I can always make another Cedar Leaf for myself :)

And now a word about the dress. I didn't make it; it predates my sewing years by almost a decade. I was at the countryside in Northern France and hadn't anticipated such a hot summery weather when I packed, so I rummaged through my stuff there and found this dress. It may not be handsewn, but it is special: I bought it when I was 17 (eek - almost 15 years ago!!), and as it was too roomy when I bought it, my Grandma (you know, the professional seamstress whose work inspired me to started sewing) sewed darts and took it in to fit me better. Come to think of it, it was a sewing lesson of sorts - the only one she was ever able to give me! This is why I treasure this dress. (As you can see, I already loved wearing blue when I was 17. :))

Stay tuned for exciting sewing content coming soon - I have to tell you about the visit of a sewing friend, new fabric!! and my projects for spring/summer dresses :)


sylvie said...

il est magnifique !!!!

m.aziz said...

It is a Beautiful shawl! can you share some of your green tips on your blog? I would love it. thanks.

KarenV said...

That's so beautiful Isabelle! Perfect for covering up on slightly cooler days and very elegant.

Lori said...

Isabelle, your shawl is gorgoues, you sister will be thrilled.

Jennifer said...

I have some clothing like the "blue dress"..things that are still at my parent's house that I will never part with. Although the seams may 'part' when I try to stuff myself into them! Some are made by my mother, others are store-bought, but I understand the feelings that you get from the blue dress.
I love the Cedar Leaf Scarf. Since my childhood home is Cedar Grove in New Jersey, I may just have to take up this challenging project.

Shashi Nayagam said...

What a gorgeous shawl!! Love your dress and I am amazed that you can effortlessly still get into the dress even after 15 years!! Wish I could do that.

Vicki said...

The shawl is so pretty! Nice story too about the dress :)

Sue said...

Beautiful shawl - very impressive you can fit a dress from when you were 17!

Tracy said...

FANTASTIC shawlette, Isabelle! Catherine will love it... And, yes, you must knit one for yourself. ;o) LOVE the dress...and what a great thing you can still wear after so many years. Happy Days ((HUGS))

nowaks nähkästchen said...

It's amazing how quickly you grew into knitting! The shawl is really beautiful.

(If it makes parting easier for you: it is not your best color... ;-) )

Will we see another one in blue? ;-)

Armelle said...

Il est magnifique!!!!
Très jolies photos...!

Jali said...

The scarf looks elegant and cosy and I love the green elements.

Lovely dress as well. The next best thing to finding a pretty dress from when you were younger is finding out that it still fits as beautifully as it does. Hope you enjoy wearing it for a long time still.

Karoline said...

The scarf is gorgeous, congratulations

Isabelle said...

Vraiment joli ce shawl ! et c'est vrai... la laine rend vraiment bien ! Bravo !

Zoanna said...

The shawl is stunning, Isabel! Exquisite detail and so feminine. I can see why it was so hard to part with.

KarenP said...

Gorgeous! I can see why you had trouble parting with it. :)