Sunday, October 14, 2007

Presenting The Black Widow Spider King

You've all been so patient, waiting for me to finish this monster. When I finally discarded the convoluted, inaccurate grafting instructions I found on the Web and substituted a simple "follow the leader" process, the final step took ten minutes. I won't clutter this post with my moronic instructions, but I'll do a really short post in a day or two to show you what I did.

For those who tuned in late, the project started off as Hazel Carter's Spider Queen. Well, the first thing I fiddled with was the color, changing the boring white to dramatic black. Then I had some difficulty with the chart for the central square, so I fooled with that too, ending up with something sort of similar. I motored right along to the the inner border, which I didn't care for, so I discarded it and designed one featuring bouncing baby spiders. At this point, I kind of decided that the original pattern pamphlet was probably not guiding me anywhere, so I mutated a Japanese pattern named Mondnacht into the outer border. And of course, I had, by this point, no recollection of the original edging at all, so I dinked about in Excel and created something pleasing that also fit nicely into discrete repeats.

I have no idea what the copyright issues might be and the pattern notes are such a mess I don't think I could begin to convey the directions. If anyone is truly desperate for this pattern and is able to improvise a bit, I'll be happy to send along all the notes and charts. Everything is in electronic format in Photoshop, CorelDraw, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat.

The shawl used about 3000 yards of Yarn Place's Gentle and was knit on #2 needles.

It's quite large (about 6.75 feet x 5.5 feet, and 9 feet on the diagonal), so it was difficult to photograph the entire thing. When I have the energy to unpin it, I'll take one of those artsy, swirly pictures that show lacy shawls at their finest. For now, let's take a flatland tour.

I couldn't stand far enough away to get the entire thing in the picture frame.



But you get the idea.

Here is a closer shot of the central square:


And a bit of the edging:



Attempts to take meaningful detail photos were a bit of a problem.



But I finally got Harry to move over long enough to take this pix:


Of course, everyone decided to party right on top of the darned thing. Daphne, who is now living in Japan, sent a bottle of sake.



As you can see, the sake was rather potent...


A good time was had by all, although it took me twenty minutes to untangle the octopi from the now-empty sake bottle.

The entire set of photos can be found on Flickr, and I will soon upload a few to Ravelry, as well.

Please enjoy the views!

85 comments:

Janice in GA said...

Well done! It looks just WONDEFUL!

Ceallach said...

Fleegle, that is GEORGE US. and I love the generous proportions.....

mukimuki said...

Wow.... Most magnificent lace shawl I have ever seen.

Can you make me one in pink?

BadCatDesigns said...

WOW! You are amazing. I guess Harry gets some credit too...nice designs mutation. I also enjoyed the Sake party, if only vicariously. I noticed the glaring lack of cats. What does a feline need to do to get on your invite list? I love a good party on blocking lace.

KnitSanity said...

Beautiful! This was certainly worth the wait. It must be such a relief to have it finally off the needles.

susan said...

Just stunning! I would love the charts and notes if you decide to share them. Although this design might just be beyond my knitting capabilities. It's fantastic.

Fancy Pants said...

Wow! I am, as usual, left breathless by your abilities. That is really really beautiful. Stunning...

loribird said...

I'm in awe at the immensity of this project - it's truly amazing.
The worst part? If you're wearing it, there aren't many who will believe it's handmade. Really great job, absolutely worth the time put into it.

Laritza said...

The shawl is gorgeous! I have no idea what you would do with a shawl that size....but then I don't know how tall you are. As for the pictures they are hilarious!
Thanks for sharing. It is true work of art!

Judith said...

OH. MY. GOD.

--Deb said...

That looks absolutely wonderful! Great, entertaining pictures, too. But, did I mention that the shawl was stunning?? (grin)

Dave said...

Holy crap, I didn't realize it was that big. Big, bold, and beautiful. I am in awe. Harry did an incredible job. Someone in a blog somewhere refers to lace motifs as oogly-mooglies, or something like that. Oogly-moogly, however, is exactly how I felt when looking at these figures. Shivery on the spine type of oogly-mooglies. It was definitely worth the wait.

(Hope you're feeling better. I imagine getting this beauty off the needles cheers you up considerably.)

Kenny said...

Jeeeeeeeesus!!!!!! That is just absolutely gorgeous!@!!!! Step aside Hazel, here comes Harry & Fleegle!!!

Jenn said...

Stunning! Gorgeous! Breath-taking!

Agneta said...

Wonderful work

Kat said...

Absolutely stunning! That is just incredible! I wanna be like you when I grow up. :-)

Jessica said...

Oh my good. Such a monumental accomplishment. It's fantastic.

JRS said...

That is truly, truly amazing. Having seen your embroidery though, I am not surprised that you are such an accomplished knitter. Omedetou on its completion!

LittleBerry said...

absolutely stunning... am not a fan of black (nor white or red fan for that matter) but that looks incredible and so classy... I love the borders too and seeing Harry was inspiration I'm not surprised he wanted in on the photographs!!! looks like everyone had a good time at the "edging off" ceremony...

Monika said...

Breathtakingly beautiful!

Katie K said...

That is so beautiful. Someday I hope to be able to design like you do. I would love the pattern.

Dorothy said...

Truly magnificent! I would enjoy seeing your modification charts - at least the baby spiders and the edging. Spider Queen has been on my "to do" list, but now I think I won't be happy with white - it's got to be black!

Natural State Knitter said...

Fleegle, I am speechless! And that is so not me! I do believe your shawl it the most beautiful knit creation I have seen. If you need someone to put the instructions into pattern format for others, let me know. I am not sure I would ever have the patience to make it myself. I know what you mean about the grafting edging ends. Much travail and follow the leader is the only way. I look forward to seeing your explanation of this technique.

CrazyFiberLady said...

It is absolutely magnificent! Gorgeous work.

Melanie said...

That is a gorgeous piece, so beautifully done!

Kim said...

Love it. I especially like the way you balanced tonal values between the more dense and more lacy parts; and how the motifs you chose echo design elements, providing continuity from the center all the way to the border. An ultimo piece! Congrats on surviving the pinning out. -K.

Jeannie said...

Beautiful!!! I've been lurking ever since you posted about using a headlamp to knit with the black yarn. I love how you changed it and used patterns and charts from here and there. It all came together perfectly!

Ceallach said...

Fleegle, the reason for knitting a shawl that will cover Delaware, is because Delaware gets cold of a night!

Of course.

Rose said...

Absolutely fabulous! This is one I have on my to-do list (after my Xmas lace knits and the HK Wedding Ring shawl). I am so glad you figured out the kinks. Please share!

We are glad you're back!

KSee said...

OMG, that is spectacular!

fluffbuff said...

That is one unbelievable shawl. Of course you had help… that little Harry guy must have done something, right? You couldn't possibly have knit ALL of this yourself!

P.S. And you call *me* crazy… Ha!

nurhanne said...

Decidedly beautiful!

Mary said...

Absolutely beautiful! I've been reading your blog for a while now. You are very talented!!! I would love to get your notes on this shawl! I have some Skaska lace yarn in yak/tensel that would be great for this project.

Anonymous said...

It is beautiful, really, really beautiful. I think I would need a bit of sake in celebration if I had done the shawl! I shall be back many times to ogle. Terry

Rosa said...

It is so lovely and inspiring! Congrats on such an amazing piece of work.

Opal said...

What can I say that hasn't been said? I'll just reiterate then broken record I guess! It's beautiful! Breathtaking! Gorgeous! Spectacular!

missalicefaye said...

It's gorgeous, of course. Fabulous work!

Glynis said...

This shawl is truly a work of art and far exceeds the original design, which is beautiful, also. I have been watching the progress for a while now, hoping to see a pattern offered. I am one of those truly desperate for the pattern and would love to have whatever you have. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Glynis

vicki said...

Can only say stunningly beautiful. It is breathtaking and I am so in awe I can't say anything else.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

Your Black Widdow Spider King shawl is magnificent! A true tour de force. Harry was drunk on the beauty of it rather than on the sake. Beautiful beautiful work! Well worth waiting for!

Anonymous said...

Do you know, you truly would have been a tremendous asset as a fisherman's wife about 100 years or so years ago. Just think of the beautiful fishing nets you could have done in an earlier life.

Dee said...

Wow, that's all I can say...

Logan said...

FABsolutely Stunning! Gi-gorgeous! I love a large shawl (I've actually managed to trip over my Engeln shawl while wearing it), and have to admire a shawl that has a tail-gate party with sake to celebrate its completion. A spider shawl with ATTITUDE! Love it.

(oh, and great work!)

Susan said...

As already said, this is spectacular! I've just started reading your blog and wondered at the cryptic references to the Spider King...awesome!

Silvia said...

The most beatiful shawl I've ever seen. Enjoy it !
best wishes, Silvia

jenifleur said...

That is just jaw-droppingly beautiful. I think [hope, wish!] you should consider putting the pattern up for sale. I'd definitely be on the list. I could never in my wildest dreams design something so intricate.

Natural State Knitter said...

Fleegle; what are you going to knit next? Have you decided? I covet the Triinu's Shawl, but gasped at the price for the pattern. Will pass that one up and drag out my VLT book for a lace knitting fix. I made my son read your story. He enjoyed it immensely, as did my husband. You are gifted in many ways!

Caren said...

Spider King is spectacular. Congratulations on an absolutely fantastic job!

Soo said...

I love blogland - every time I think I've seen 'the most beautiful thing in the world ever' someone like you casually photographs another 'most beautiful thing in the world ever'. Long may it continue!

That is so amazing. No words to do it justice -- absolutely stunning.

sjmercure said...

I am absolutely in awe at your skills with lace. That is fandamntastic! I want! I want!

Kathy Wajerski said...

I'm just speechless!

Breathtakingly beautiful.

Melissa said...

Words fail me!!! Unbelievably gorgeous. A sight to behold. Possibly the most gorgeous piece of lace knitting I have ever seen. Well done!!!!!!!!

miyamojo said...

This is an heirloom! I hope you're going to keep it! I'm totally unsatisfied with my current lace project after seeing BWSK! The celebration party and photo op was hilarious!

Pat said...

Absolutely fantastic! I'm always amazed at the work that you do.

Courtney said...

Beautiful job!!! There are no words to express.

Lucy said...

Stunning stunning stunning - OMG Fleegle you've outdone yourself this time - Many many Congratulations!!

michelle said...

That is amazing. Very well done, indeed. Brava!

Yosemite said...

The shawl is stunning. I'm speechless.

Dallas Schulze said...

Absolutely stunning!

Jason said...

Oh so beautiful. So amazing! I have to bookmark this so I can come back often to be inspired! :-)

Nautical Knitter said...

Fleegle,

I would be VERY interested in the charts, files, etc. Thanks!! I have to make this or something similar! It is so fantastic!! You can contact me at: dkatislandzephyrdotcom

Knit Witch said...

Beautiful!!!!

Jane said...

This is gorgeous! I'd love to get whatever design bits you have and try to create my own version at some point...it will be a bit like getting DaVinci's notebooks to work from - woo hoo!

This is what I consider to be inspirational lace of the highest order! Being a bit dense, I didn't see an email link - what's the best way to contact you?

Clueless Jane

Patti said...

OMG that is soooo beautiful. I'm feeling very inadequate right now. I'm off for a glass of wine while I finish up my cute little baby cardigan while fantisizing about lace.

Carol said...

Absolutely gorgeous! And what is it about drunken revels at your house by the various sea creatures? How do they drink? Straws???

June said...

What more can possibly be said?! Wow.

Kathy said...

Beautiful Fleegle, just beautiful.

You must be so glad to have it off the needles.

K

Lorette said...

That is just magnificent. Other than that, I'm speechless!

Biz said...

THAT is incredible!

I bow at your feet knit goddess!!

Biz said...

THAT is incredible!

I bow at your feet knit goddess!!

Sheri said...

That's is absolutley beautiful! You are very talented!!!!!
Sheri in GA

Patty said...

Amazing and gorgeous!!

madonnaearth said...

First I was speechless. Then all I could say was Oh. My. God., but Judith beat me to it. The words "museum quality" and "The Yarn Harlot needs to see this" keep popping up now. I love it! Great work!

ClaireEJ said...

Beautiful work. There just aren't the superlatives available to do this one justice...I'm sitting here drop jawed in utter awe thinking "I'm not worthy".

KnitYoga said...

Absolutely magnificent!!

sarah said...

Wow. Just... wow. That is more than magnificent. I would be very grateful for a copy of the pattern mash; it would give me a lace-knitting goal in life. (I'm Ravelry swroot)

Excuse me while I go and gaze at it again.

hege said...

This is just amazing! Breathtakingly beautiful! It looks wonderful in black, that is the perfect color for it.

Anna said...

It's lovely! If you still feel comfortable about sharing your notes I would LOVE them!

My address is: anna dot danielsson aht xlent dot se

jtmx said...

Your spider is gorgeous! Without a doubt much improved.

Would you mind sharing your notes on your modifications?

Thanks for the blog!

(P.S. I'm jtmx@yahoo.com)

momtat92 said...

This is just gorgeous!!!! I have been following your progress and would love to have your notes and graphs if you are still offering them. Don't know if I could ever do them justice, but I would love to try. Thanks so much for the generous offfer

Sue said...

I to have been following your progress on this beautiful shawl. I would also appreciate any notes you have if you are not totally overwhelmed by demands.
Sue in Ohio
slohne_2000@yahoo.com

armydentalchick said...

I was just awe-struck! Left you a comment on Ravelry too. Could you please send me your notes etc (only if you can, appreciate the fact you are probably swamped by requests). Re-incarnation only of the highest flattery are my intentions. : )

You are an embroiderer too? So am I, do you have pics posted?

Thank you!
armydentalchick (on Ravelry)
tceisenmenger@ns.sympatico.ca

Shiau said...

wow....It's really gorgeous.I would love to try one.Do you still offer your notes and graphs? Very appreciate for sharing.
My e-mail:nitze07@yahoo.com.tw

jtm924 said...

Hi Fleelge

I've just stumbled across your gorgeous Black Widow Spider King Shawl and my knees buckled, it was so beautiful.

Would it be possible for you to send me your notes & graphs? I really enjoy the challenge of knitting and this one would certainly be that.

many thanks
jtm
email: jtm_924@hotmail.com

Nikki said...

This is the most beautiful shawl I've ever seen - true!
If you wish, please, please, please send me all the stuff you have about that pattern (the corel, photoshop stuff, everything).
Honestly, this should be framed and hanged on a museum.
You rock!