Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fairy Tales

Tying up loose ends, I feel a bit out of it having not yet posted about the Fairy Tale swap I participated in.

I branched out a little bit at the suggestion of my friend, Lyndsey, to try swapping in another group titled "Odd Ducks Swaps of Ravelry."  This group is dedicated to hosting swaps of all kinds, that don't really fit into any other category.  There are strict rules about participation and guidelines for your swap package, but it's all intended to be good fun.

Since I really enjoy fairy tales, especially those of the modern variety, I chose to take part in this swap (there were a ton of other options, but seeing as how I could only do one, this is what I chose).  To put it simply, everything we put in this package had to related to fairy tales in some way, based on the interests, likes and dislikes of your swap partner.  It didn't have to be Disney princesses or, strictly based on any one fairy tale, but you had to be smart and try and make it fun.  There was a $ minimum you were expected to spend, which guarantees everyone gets a nice package, but doesn't require you to spend a lot of money if you don't have it.  Participation without breaking the bank. :)

My swap partner had mentioned that she, like me, enjoyed the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood.  She had mentioned a couple others, but this is what I chose to focus on.  Since I enjoy these stories as well, I felt I could put the best package together if it were something that I would like receiving.

I knit two items, both of which were enjoyable, but one of which I wish I could have kept for myself!  I really wanted to knit a shawl.  Although Red Riding Hood is known for her red cape, I didn't think that very practical.  Little girls are cute in capes, and capelets can be pretty, but I have a hard time seeing the functionality of one if you're a busy mom, on the go and not just stopping for  photo shoot.

I chose the Be.Leaf pattern by Kitman Figueroa.  My hopes were to knit a shawl reminiscent of the forest through which Red would travel to get to Grandma's house.  A really neat color for this would have been green, with splashes of red and brown here and there, as though catching a glimpse of the forest floor and Red's cape, but I wasn't sure if she would like that.  I also thought of a gradient yarn that would start with brown at the top and transition into one or two shades of green (i.e., tree trunk up to the leaves).  But, again, I wasn't sure if that was her cup of tea so I stuck with simple.
I knit the shawl with Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in the colorway Kenai, which is a lovely dark teal color.  While the yarn was a bit rough on my fingers while knitting, it was lovely and soft after blocking and had a fantastic drape when finished.

I blocked the majority of the shawl with pins, but left the ruffle without wires or pins so the integrity of the ruffle wouldn't be disturbed.  It meant that because the pattern ends in stockinette and is bound off in pattern it would curl a bit, but I thought that the curling would fit within the ruffle just fine.  In the future, if I knit this again, I might choose a different edging/bind off to create the edge from rolling.
I really wanted to keep this for myself....
(The color is most accurate in this picture.)
The second knit was Mary Margaret's Lace Tam by Mary Craver.  Now, this isn't Red Riding Hood, but instead is a pattern someone designed to recreate the tam Mary Margaret wears in the tv show Once Upon A Time. You can't see it here on my styrofoam head, but it's a very pretty lace pattern, and when on your head, opens up a bit.  My dummy-head just wasn't big enough... (my swappee was the one to point out the hat in our discussion thread so I thought she'd enjoy this).

The directions for blocking this called for pulling the tam over an inflated balloon.  I'd never blocked that way before.  In the future, though, I may try a dinner plate instead.  This was knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Tidal.  It's beautiful! :)

I also included Red Riding Hood stitch markers shaped like books,

sheepy soap (to wash up with after the long trek through the woods),
a Red Riding Hood bag to hold her goodies for Grandma,
Kit Kat bars to stave off hunger on her journey, or to distract the big bad wolf,
and a skein of Shelter in Long Johns because I just had to include something Red for Red's cape. :)
Overall, my experience was pleasant.  I got a lovely package from my swapper included the movie Red Riding Hood (the most recent version starring Amanda Seyfried), a huge chocolate bar, a handmade necklace (like that worn by Danielle in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (she wears it on her head...)), and a white shawl reminiscent of fairy wings (again, to be like the wings Danielle wears to the costume ball in Ever After).  My partner also crocheted a little pouch/bag that is lined with tulle and can be either a bag, or a decorative head piece.

Although it was a bit uncomfortable swapping in a new group (I'm so used to the Itty Bitties), I would swap with them again, and feel better after having the first swap under my belt.


  1. You put together such an excellent swap package! Everything was so relevant and cute. LOVED that project bag and the richness of the Kenai - what an interesting colorway name.

  2. Your swap package looks great! And you must be a very patient to have knit this lace shawl with fingering weight yarn. Well done! It's beautiful!