It’s all shawls all the time here at chez Lolly. I want to knit all the shawls. My love for them has finally reached a critical mass, and I keep going through my yarn stash (it’s smaller than you might think) and picking out yarns that I think would be perfect for shawls. I cruise Ravelry and look at all the lovely patterns (I’ve even downloaded a few and saved them in a folder on my computer.) I think that they are both practical and clever, particularly if your lifestyle is such that you spend time in a freezing office where the extra warmth is extremely pleasant. They can also be exceptionally chic, draped elegantly around your shoulders. Plus, they are fairly lightweight, and make good summer knitting.
All these reasons, though logical, are not the true reason that I am currently hankering after shawls. My first foray into the world of shawls was so wildly successful that I am delirious with the joy of creation. I’ve been wearing it as often as I can possibly manage in the hot and humid weather we’ve been having in Boston lately. So here it is, the story of how I fell in love with shawls.
A braid of fiber from Violet Linx on Etsy. She does amazing things with luxury blends, and this was no exception, merino, cashmere, and silk. (The fiber blend, though amazingly luxurious, is part of why I haven’t been able to wear this much. This baby is seriously warm.) I decided on a single ply, and I ended up with about 270 yards of scrumptious goodness.
After searching and searching for just the right pattern to set off the lovely yarn, I decided on the Holden Shawlette, despite the fact that I had nothing like enough yarn. So I made modifications.
-The original pattern has you increase four stitches every two rows, but I changed it to six stitches every two rows, increasing every row on each edge until I had 91 stitches.
-I did yarn over increases in the center of the shawl, but make 1 increases on the edges.
-I then switched to increasing four stitches every two rows like normal.
-However, I started worrying about having enough yarn, so once I got to 165 stitches I started increasing two stitches on the wrong side rows again.
-When I reached 189 stitches, I followed the pattern as written for the smallest size, and switched to yarn over increases at the edges (for a little tiny bit of extra ruffle)
-I added an additional plain knitted increase row and a wrong side purl row before starting the edging instructions.
-The pattern has you knit two rows in order to give a purl ridge before the edging. I knit four rows before the edging, and increased on the right side rows with make 1 increases.
-I then did the picot bind off as written.
These modifications will give you a decent sized shawlette out of only 270 yards, which is great for those of us who spin and frequently end up with awkward amounts of yarn 😛
I love the gradient, it works perfectly with the pattern, and I think that this is the most beautiful thing I have ever knit. Creating a finished thing that started with a pile of fluff makes me feel quite clever, and it makes me excited for fall (so I can actually wear it.) I do, however, still wear it now, just only for a few brief minutes at a time 😛
It makes me feel like the prettiest princess. I adore it with every fiber of my being, and I’m still kindof shocked that I knit that. Also, I’ve gotten some really good validation of my efforts because a couple of my friends have tried to steal it right off of my neck! (Fortunately I have excellent reflexes!) I did let my friend Liz wear it when she was cold in a restaurant, but I kept a VERY close eye on her. She tried to make with the grabby hands, but I took it back safely.
I don’t think that I would ever have made this if I hadn’t started to blog. (For one thing, I would never have learned how to spin!)I have to say that blogging has been the best thing I ever did for my knitting skills. Reading about what other people are making helps me learn so many new things, and gain the courage to just try stuff! Sometimes, it works out even better than you could possibly have dreamed.