Lou's Kickin' Comfort Shawl

LouLou's Kickin' Comfort Shawl Back

Pattern: Summer Shawlette + Comfort Shawl by Sandi Wiseheart, free from Knitting Daily [raveled]
Yarn: Berrocco Pure Merino, 6 balls in Cadet
Needles: US 10.5, 24" circulars
Recipient: Lou


I think you've met my good friend Lou before:

lou and me, blurry but more fun than the other one!

(blurry shot, but a nice one of her!)

Lou's one of the most special people in my life. I save the word special for really special folks, because using it makes me feel a little, uh, special. But it's true about Lou. Lou's had a rough couple of weeks. She took a spill in her house, and while she wasn't seriously hurt, ended up in the hospital for a while so the doctors could check her out, help her get a handle on some health issues, and make sure she's strong and comfortable enough to go back to her current situation. Can you believe this lady is 91 years old? I visited her last weekend, and she's doing much better than she was, almost back to normal. When you ask her how she is, she usually says "I'm kickin' for an old lady!" but this weekend she told one of the nurses, "I'm kickin', but not real high!" So I named this her kickin' shawl.

LouLou's Kickin' Comfort Shawl Front

(you didn't see that end I forgot to cut off, did you? okay good.)

This is a combination of two patterns, the Summer Shawlette and the Comfort Shawl, both by Sandi Wiseheart (who has, like, the best name ever). I used the Summer Shawlette for its pretty lace panel on the back, although I only did it part of the way down, and the Comfort Shawl for its larger proportions. In addition, I used worsted weight yarn and went up to a size 10.5 needle, to make sure this would comfortably close with a shawl pin.

LouLou's Kickin' Comfort Shawl Detail

I made a couple of other modifications: notably I continued the eyelet line at the shoulder where the back and side panels meet as a double line until I started the lace panel on the back. That's farther than the Comfort Shawl pattern recommends - for some reason it stops the inner side very early and it looked odd to me. So I stopped increasing as specified in the pattern, but continued the YOs and decreasing one stitch into the stitch next each eyelet.

Also, I told Lou it's a good thing she doesn't see too well because the lace is riddled with mistakes and foolish attempts to make up for them.

This was a great pattern when time is short - I was able to finish what is a large-ish capelet / shawl in about a week because the needles are so large. The Faroese design also makes a lot of sense as a comfort shawl, since these shawls are shaped to stay on the wearer's shoulders without much fiddling.

This was my first experience with Pure Merino. I wanted a superwash for this project, and this was one of the only yarns that Knitaway had stocked more than a few balls of (Knitaway! [shakes fist]). It ended up being a happy accident, because this color looked splendid on Lou, and the yarn is spongy and soft (if a tad splitty, my only mild gripe with it).

Since we left Chicago I've been checking up on Lou, and she's kickin' a little higher every day. She'll get to go home sometime this week. And I'm glad, because this means that she'll get to enjoy the shawl at home, when she's feeling good and comfortable, and kickin' higher than any old lady I know.

Posted by jess at January 11, 2011 9:35 PM | TrackBack

Aw, it looks awesome! I'm about to rip my summer shawlette & redo it as the comfort shawl because I think it won't be big enough. But here is what is weird is that I am using that exact same color also. Bananas!

Here's hoping Lou high-kicks her way out of that hospital in no time.

Posted by: Ashley at January 11, 2011 10:35 PM

Beautiful story... beautiful shawl!

Posted by: Melynda at January 11, 2011 11:21 PM

That capelet/shawl is so beautiful and looks like it would be very cozy and comfortable. Is there any chance that you could write the pattern? I'm too new at this to be able to look at or combine patterns and come out with something this nice. I have a dear friend whose arthritic shoulders are always cold and I'd love to make this for her.

Posted by: mzmom at January 12, 2011 12:36 AM

That is incredibly sweet. Good for Lou to be kicking higher each day.

Posted by: Debbie at January 12, 2011 7:06 AM

Very beautiful, and the color is divine. It looks warm but delicate. Great combo!

Posted by: Brianna at January 12, 2011 8:23 AM

The shawl is beautiful as is the recipient. My best to Lou and Happy New Year to you both!

Posted by: Laura at January 12, 2011 8:32 AM

Aw, Lou is adorable (she definitely does NOT look 91!) and this is a lovely gift for her.

Posted by: lauren at January 12, 2011 11:45 AM

Tell Lou she looks damn good for 91.

The shawl looks good, too. And I like the loose end; I thought was my signature move but I guess I'm not alone.

Posted by: jessie at January 13, 2011 6:09 AM

Baw, yr srsly one of the most considerate ppl i know. fer realz. lordy, i can only pray i look that good at 71, let alone 91! shawl looks so pretty and cozy and warm. mmm.

Posted by: Sandra at January 13, 2011 9:39 AM

What a lovely shawl and an inspiring woman. I want to be just like Lou when I'm 91 years young and kickin'

Posted by: Karen at January 13, 2011 1:01 PM

Lou sounds like quite a nice one! I hope she feels better soon!

Posted by: Leila at January 13, 2011 8:12 PM

Love the shawl. Did you make it yourself?

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Posted by: Lex at January 14, 2011 5:47 PM

I hope your friend Lou keeps kickin' higher! She looks like such a lovely - and special - lady!

Posted by: Maryse at January 14, 2011 10:29 PM

Lovely color. I can imagine it'd look very pretty on Lou. What a lucky gal to get a sweet shawl like that. And nice that you were able to find enough yarn at Knitaway (shakes fist for you). :D

Posted by: Aimee at January 17, 2011 4:55 AM

Love it. I love how the eyelets form below a letter "v". The color is great too.

Posted by: Sara at January 21, 2011 3:21 PM

This is a most beautiful story of friendship and knitting with great love--I always say I knit mostly for myself and my husband and for people who appreciate hand knitting, but then I realized how many gifts I've knitted: scarves for friends, baby gifts, special socks for sisters and husband and friends. And I think this is one of the greatest joys for handknitters. This is a beautiful object that looks like it will be practical, comforting, and aesthetically appealing to your friend.

Thanks so much for sharing this with as little sop and sentiment (I seem to be adding that here), but purity in your relationship to the project and your friend.

Posted by: Loel at February 24, 2011 5:59 PM
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