Azalea Spring (2021)

Marcy Petrini

September, 2021




Finally, after our post-vaccine wait, we felt safe for some outings: small gatherings with our vaccinated friends, meals at our favorite restaurants with outdoor seating, shopping sprees at the local shops, and a haircut! Also, some necessary outings, doctors’ and dentists’ appointments.

One day when we were driving in the older part of town, there they were: azaleas! In all of their feathery gorgeous colors: whites, myriads of pinks, salmon, lavender. We have azaleas in our yarn and our neighborhood, but not as beautiful and ours hadn’t even blossomed yet. But this part of town is known for the older plants that are just spectacular. I had forgotten how much I like them. As one of my friends said about the lock-down: it’s not just the things that I miss, but the things I have forgotten about.

Days later, I was still weaving scarves in memory of R.T. (see August blog) and I wanted to buy more of the yarn Birds of a Feather (by Interlacements, hand-dyed by Tracey Schuh, rayon) in a grey solid color; I was browsing the on-line catalog by Yarn Barn, and there were those azalea colors! The company calls the color scheme African Violets and maybe they are, but to me they were azalea colors.

I decided to weave a shawl to celebrate the azaleas; I could use the Birds of Feather for weft in a false satin, 3/1 broken twill, so I could have a weft-dominant side. Here is drawdown, weft dominant, how I wove it:



And this is the back of the drawdown, warp dominant:



I used a 10/2 Tencel® for warp, lilac color. I usually sett 10/2 Tencel® for twills at 24 epi, but it needed to be a closer sett for an unbalanced twill; however, the sett needed to be more open because the weft was larger than the warp. I decided on 24 epi after all.

Here is the shawl with the two sides showing:


After weaving 6", I decided the shawl needed some variation in this sea of purplish pink, so I wove one repeat of Caterpillar yarn, 100% cotton, color Paua, and repeated every 6” or so; the color reminds me of the greens of the azalea leaves, the blue sky that was framing them and the gold of the sun shining down on them.

Here are the close-ups of the two sides, the weft dominant:




And the warp dominant:



I wondered what the shawl would look like with a darker purple warp….. Next time.

Happy Weaving!