My aunt, Auntie Marion, was known as Blossom in her family when a small child with two older brothers and a younger sister (my mother).  She was born at the time the farm’s fruit trees were coming in to bloom.  She initially embraced the name, but was indignant when she realised that this was the name also given to one of the cows.  So the name only seemed the stick amongst her brothers.

Auntie Marion was perhaps my favorite aunt.  She seemed incredibly exotic to my young self.  She had lived in Papua New Guinea, and then lived in sub-tropical Queensland.  She was full of fun and would use funny words like wizzel-wozzel.  She would help me cook things like cannelloni and Italian cakes with ricotta cheese and glacé fruit (this doesn’t sound remarkable now, but was unusual in the 70’s).  She wore batik sundresses and was always travelling, not to the usual holiday destinations, but the more remote or romantic sounding places.  In the 1970’s Australians didn’t travel as much as they do now, so Laos, Russia, China and Finland seemed the stuff of adventure.  She would bring me back a doll from everywhere she visited, so I would vicariously try and imagine the wonder of those far-off places.  Even now, Auntie Marion’s most recent trip was to Nepal at the age of 79.

shetland collage

My middle name is Marion, and my mother would always put my discontent at living in suburban Geelong and more eccentric behavior down to my taking after Marion.  I certainly seem to have inherited her wanderlust and curiosity about the world, some of her sense of adventure and seeking of new experiences.

So when Auntie Marion recently turned 80 and hosted a family gathering at her home, I wanted to give her something special.  She didn’t want or need things, so I thought something that I made, something useful and beautiful and a bit more advanced than a quick project would be called for.

shetland unblocked collage

Enter the Shetland Triangle.  I had been dying to knit a fine lace shawl, and others had said that this was one of the easier and not too time consuming options.  And the results certainly belied this, it looked incredibly intricate.

I used Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply in Koala, a nice but non-boring neutral that would mix well with the batik and tapa prints that I imagine Marion in.  After a few repeats, I had memorised the stitch pattern and it just flew.  I think the whole thing took three weeks.  It was so addictive that as soon as I cast off, I wanted to cast on another.

The only difficulty I had was blocking.  I tried three times as I couldn’t get it even or the points as scalloped as they should be.  Next time I’ll try blocking wires like Suse’s

All in all I’m quite happy with it, and it was ready in time.  There will definitely be more Shetland Triangles in my future. 

shetland

Oh, and the lace stitch pattern is the Shetland pine cone design, a nice parallel with the great pine windbreaks that are one of my strongest memories of the farm where Blossom grew up.

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