Birch II

Birch, Unblocked, in Dubrovnik

Pattern: Birch, Rowan 34
Yarn: Morehouse Merino Laceweight, Charcoal, 3.5 skeins
Needles: US 8 Balene needles
Started: June 2006
Finished: August 2006

Notes: Failing to block lace is a heinous offense against the fiber gods. Do not think I am unaware of this. But having finished Birch II about a week before a long anticipated two-week vacation, time was short, and anticipating cool nights I packed her anyway and she served admirably, as you can see. The above was snapped at twilight in Dubrovnik.

Of course there isn't much that remains unsaid about this popular pattern (and some of it has already been said right here at Fig and Plum). So a word about the yarn. This is the softest, squishiest, warmest, non-fuzzy, non-sneeze-inducing, did-I-mention softest Birch you can imagine. My love affair with Morehouse Merino continues. I am concerned about durability, however. Morehouse lace weight is merino and single-ply at that, so over time I anticipate pilling. I also fear snags and holes, since the yarn is much more delicate than Kidsilk Haze (ironic since looks-wise Kidsilk Haze is much more Shelly Long while Morehouse Merino is on the Rhea Perlman side). These are constant trade-offs with merino though. All in all the choice pleases me. And there would be worse things than having to knit another Birch in a few years, would there not?

Posted by jess at August 27, 2007 12:11 PM | TrackBack

I like it unblocked! does that make me a heathen? :) I also really like that picture -- it is gorgeous. :)

[Ahh I need to knit a birch. Those purl-back rows get me every time though.]

Posted by: jess at August 27, 2007 1:40 PM

The Birch is lovely just as it is! Morehouse remains my favorite yarn of all time. It was the first that I picked up when I started knitting (years ago, now) and I still love it unconditionally.

Posted by: abby at August 27, 2007 1:43 PM

I love it! That is a very pretty yarn. I've wanted to knit Birch for a long time, but I don't really have a way to get the pattern :[ I hope you're having a nice vacation!

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 27, 2007 1:46 PM

I love the idea of a non-sneeze, non-shedding Birch. I've made two, both in a KidSeta (kidsilk clone), one for my daughter and one for myself. Both are lovely, but a bit of a pain to wear over black, dark brown, navy, anything, that is, that shows off the light mohair strands that always get left behind. Right now I'm doing an Icarus shawl in alpaca laceweight, but I could see myself casting on for a merino lace Birch again this winter. . .

Posted by: materfamilias at August 27, 2007 1:58 PM

beautiful shawl, but what's with the cheers references? ;]

Posted by: amy at August 27, 2007 2:01 PM

Jess, you look so perfectly natural and at home. What a wonderful setting, those rough-hewn stones.

Posted by: Karen B. at August 27, 2007 2:12 PM

I also think it's beautiful unblocked. I lurve it =D

Posted by: Chelsea at August 27, 2007 2:30 PM

I love seeing this pattern knit in different yarns/weights. Yours is very lovely, and not blocking it gives it a really interesting texture. Great job!

Posted by: Nicole at August 27, 2007 3:00 PM

That yarn does look really lush! Have fun on your vacation!

Posted by: yaiAnn at August 27, 2007 3:25 PM

Wow! The merino Birch looks lovely :) Even unblocked...

Posted by: Veronique at August 27, 2007 3:36 PM

One word: fabulous.

Posted by: delia at August 27, 2007 3:48 PM

I think it's beautiful! Unblocked, it has amazing texture, and that's not a bad thing either. Great picture!

Posted by: bellamoden at August 27, 2007 4:36 PM

It looks great!! Can't even tell it wasn't blocked. I just acquired a little Moorehouse Merino laceweight and now I can't wait to use it!

Posted by: An Abundance of Lisa at August 27, 2007 7:56 PM

hahah, forget the birch! i can't wait to see your croatia pics! :)

Posted by: gleek at August 27, 2007 8:47 PM

It's beautiful - you did a great job

Posted by: kae at August 27, 2007 9:48 PM

Gorgeous! This shawl looks great in a simple wool yarn and a classic color.

Posted by: Alice at August 27, 2007 10:14 PM

I think it looks beautiful. I think the fiber gods can forgive you forgoing blocking for a vacation :)

Posted by: schrodinger at August 28, 2007 12:23 AM

I like the texture. I have one in KSH but after seeing your Birch I wouldn't mind making one in another yarn type.

Posted by: Elena at August 28, 2007 1:07 PM

Des ouvrages qui me font toujours autant rêver... J'espère que tes vacances en Croatie et en Italie ont été bonnes.
A bientôt,

Posted by: anne at August 28, 2007 2:06 PM

Beautiful! I really love how it turned out & the color is very nice :)

Posted by: Preita at August 28, 2007 3:18 PM

gorgeous as always! and it looks like Dubrovnik agreed with you... cant wait to hear all about it! :)

Posted by: stinkerbell at August 28, 2007 3:27 PM

Wow!! Beautiful. Love the neutral grey and the unblocked-ness. It's rustic and pretty. =)

Posted by: Julia at August 28, 2007 7:09 PM

Unblocked lace has never looked so lovely.

Posted by: alison at August 29, 2007 1:18 AM

Oh my goodness, it's beautiful! I finished my first shawl this year and I'm not sure I like it...but maybe it's just not "my" shawl...Birch looks like it could be. Hmmm.

It's beautiful, I love the color. And it looks fine unblocked as well.

Posted by: Mrs. Brooke at August 29, 2007 11:21 AM

How pretty. I love it unblocked. Sometimes things are better unstyled. I happen to love tulips when they are almost dead and the petals have no strength left and the stems are bending. They are so graceful and beautiful.

Just like unblocked lace.

Welcome back.

Posted by: Karen at August 29, 2007 6:56 PM

It's gorgeous. I love the colour you chose and even unblocked, it's pretty.

I agree with you about coming home after a vacation. Blech.

Posted by: Dorothy at August 30, 2007 9:09 AM

I love Birch and have been wanting to give Morehouse a try - you may have just given me the excuse I need. Thanks!

Posted by: Laura at August 30, 2007 3:56 PM

I lurk here a lot, and I'd like to thank you for always making the effort to tell us what pattern you've used and where it's from. I've seen Birch a lot, but as with a lot of the common patterns I never remember where it is. So, I know it's a little thing, but thanks.

Posted by: Amy in StL at August 30, 2007 4:54 PM

Did you notice that unblocked Birch echoes the forms of the rocky Dubrovnik shore? Add me to the list of people who rather like it that way. ;)

Posted by: Sarah at August 30, 2007 6:23 PM

beautiful pictures!

Morehouse merino is a bummer that way. It's beautiful but it pills very quickly and even if you are able to remove the pills, it pills again almost immediately.

le sigh.

Posted by: jeanette at September 6, 2007 3:17 PM

Just beautiful!!

Posted by: Hazel & Henna at September 8, 2007 2:16 PM

Just beautiful!!

Posted by: Hazel & Henna at September 8, 2007 3:14 PM
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