theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 15, 2011

From Sally — A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Filed under: Crown Prince Shawl,Updates — surly @ 9:33 am

Unfortunately, however, I simply can’t seem to take a decent photograph of my newly finished Crown Prince Shawl (from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia).  I’ll share some of my mediocre shots in a moment.  First, a few details.

I love the shawl design, but looking back it was a slog to knit; the nupps, while not difficult, became a bit wearing.  Then there was the outer border.  It is knitted in two pieces and sewn to the center of the shawl.  I thought about ways of avoiding that for several reasons.  First, it sounded tedious and I am not a great seamstress.  Second, the reason for making it that way was traditional technique based on lack of circular needles.  But I have circular needles and know how to use them.  Third, I thought it would be more difficult to block the shawl.  I finally relented and did it the traditional way because I liked the border (and it would have been more difficult than it looks to turn the pattern upside down and knit it outward from the shawl).  My original fears were not misguided, however.  I just don’t think this border looks as nice as one knitted onto the shawl would have looked.  I’ll take ownership of that — I’m sure much of it is due to my poor sewing skills.

I love the color of the shawl.  As I said in an earlier post, the yarn is Spirit Trail Fiberworks Atropos Bombyx Silk Laceweight.  The color is Dragon’s Blood — deliciously appropriate after watching season one of Game of Thrones with my 19-year-old.

I’m still concerned that the shawl is a bit small.  It did block out to about 52″ square.  That’s close to the size the shawl was supposed to be.  I think my personal preference would be for a larger square shawl so I could wear it a bit more dramatically, the way I can wear my large circular shawls.  This size means I almost have to fold it into a triangle to wear — and if I am going to do that, I should have done half the knitting and just made another triangular shawl.  Again, that’s on me.  I knew the size when I started it.  It does also look nice sort of folded in half  like a stole, so all is not lost.

So if I were going to grade this project the way that my sister sometimes does, I’m not sure what grade I would give.  It’s very pretty (which you won’t be able to see from my crappy photos), but I am not sure how much I’ll wear it.  Le sigh.

Here is the border being sewn on.  The color here is fairly true:

And now some woefully sad attempts at photos:


  1. I think it is absolutely lovely. I am inspired to get out my copy of the book and get knitting!

    Comment by Mary Lou — July 15, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  2. It is truly lovely, and someday when I grow up I hope I can knit as well (and quickly) as you do!

    Comment by Janet — July 15, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  3. I don’t know why you don’t like the photos– they look great. And so does the border.

    Comment by Katie K — July 15, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  4. Those are fine photos… it’s so really super beautiful ! Oh that red. Mmmmm. Gorgeous !

    I believe this may be my first post on your blog since friending you in Ravelry. I’m “jenjay” on Ravelry, or just ‘Jen”, so nice to meet you.

    Comment by Jen — July 15, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  5. Ditto above comments! It is gorgeous and so are the photos! That color is amazing! You can wear with great pride. From your former photos, it would also make a breathtaking window treatment and one I would love to try!!

    Comment by Kathy W. — July 15, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  6. It is amazing! Really beautiful! And all those nupps. I could never expect to finish such a thing in a lifetime. I considered making one of the less complicated shawls from that book, and I too was deterred by the sewing of of the border. More deterred than you, obviously. My big fear was casting on those thousands of stitches, knitting those millions of stitches, and then having it not fit on. Sewing it on did not seem like a pretty task either.

    The photos are excellent also.

    Comment by joanna — July 15, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  7. I love this! I think I need to knit one too 🙂

    Comment by CambriaW — July 15, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

  8. Personally, I think it is breathtakingly beautiful!!! I agree with the Comment left by Janet, above, ‘someday when I grow up, I hope I can knit as you”!

    Sally, this is gorgeous! (Your photos are really very good also.) Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Comment by Barb — July 15, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  9. It is a lovely shawl and I think your seaming work is just fine but I can imagine it doesn’t lie quite as nicely as a border that’s knit on to the shawl directly. Lovely color and I like it best shown against the black — very dramatic. Well, I empathize with the “lovely but not sure I’ll ever wear it” feeling. However, it is such a gorgeous piece of lace work I’m sure you can use it for a table cloth if not for a shawl. You did a beautiful job!

    Comment by Wool free and Lovin' knit — July 15, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  10. Thanks for this post about finishing the shawl. This one is very interesting, I’m trying to get the nerve to attempt the Crown Prince after I finish the “melon” shawl for a friend. Melon shawl from the cover of Victorian Lace Today . Could you please post some blocking photos, as well as photos of someone wearing the shawl?

    Comment by Patricia — July 15, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  11. It’s lovely.
    I really like the colour.
    But I’m with you on the whole sewing on border business

    Comment by Sally — July 15, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  12. the finished shawl is very beautiful. very very beautiful.

    i had decided long ago that if i ever do knit this (and i do love it) i would knit the border on. i think it would have more give that way too, and seem like less of a chore. i really don’t like sewing things together at the end. knitting on, the knitting and the joining happen at the same time! efficiency!

    Comment by dana — July 15, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  13. I hope you do get good use out of it. It is very pretty and the color is so lovely.

    Comment by Beverly — July 15, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  14. I love your shawl. The pattern and color are lovely. Makes me want to reach into my monitor and touch it. I’m with you on sewing on borders. I do sew clothing and quilts but when it comes to my knitting I’m a no seams kind of girl. love top down sweaters.

    Comment by Robin F. — July 15, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  15. If that is poorly done, I want to see your idea of perfect.

    It’s absolutely lovely.

    Comment by Tiny Tyrant — July 15, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  16. Oh, I think it’s beautiful! Especially on your white patio love seat and it’s my FAVORITE color. Just gorgeous.

    Comment by Sheri — July 15, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  17. That’s an awful lot of work for just le sigh. I took the SOAR lace class in 2008 just before her book came out. Nancy BUsh had us make a shawlet in traditional design, and your sewing looks pretty much like hers, with the border appearing afterwards pretty much like hers.

    Comment by Laurie — July 16, 2011 @ 7:20 am

  18. Ditto everyone else! It’s lovely, your pictures are absolutely fine, and sewing a border on is insane.

    Comment by Suzan — July 16, 2011 @ 7:31 am

  19. I think it is gorgeous! Love the colour. I think we are are own worst critics and you are probably more sensitive to the sewn on job. I think it is lovely and will be knitting it soonish. I am going to do the one in the Haapsalu lace shawl book rather though, because of the size issue, and because I like the placement of the motifs 🙂 Will keep you posted. Xk

    Comment by Karen — July 17, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

  20. I love your shawl! Very beautiful, thanks for sharing it with us. )

    Comment by Lisa — July 18, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  21. One of my knitting buddies just came back from a trip to Estonia. She brought back a really stunning shawl. I took a good look at the sewn edging to see how it was done, and you know what? It was approachable but its very minor flaws did not take away from its beauty. I’ve also spent significant time with a trunk show from a major lace player, and some of those pieces were not perfect either.

    These small imperfections are the character of the thing, the uniqueness of it. Those small imperfections are beautiful. And so it is with yours.

    Comment by Needles — July 18, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  22. With something that beautiful – I’m sure it will grown on you. Leave it out.

    Comment by Chloe — July 18, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  23. When I said leave it out, I meant: don’t put it away. (I thought I’d better clarify) Maybe you could drape it on something or your dress form (I’m sorry I can’t remember her name). To get some new ideas to wear it. Plus it’s your favorite color! (And mine too.)

    Comment by Chloe — July 18, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  24. Stunning: color, lace, nupps…thanks for the photos.

    Comment by Linda — July 19, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

  25. Wow – I wish that I had the time and the patience to make these – My nan will be really interested to see this – fantastic inspiration!

    Comment by Nathalie — August 15, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

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