My First Handspun Shawl.
So I have frequently waxed poetic on the blog about shawls and my love for them, but my love has doubled, perhaps even tripled.
Everyone loves Hitchhiker shawls, right? You see them everywhere! I think it’s probably because they play so nicely with those variegated yarns that we feel compelled to buy and then have no idea what to do with. Well, they work just as well with crazy handspun.
I very frequently buy roving because I’m compelled by the colors, and then I spin it and it’s pretty yarn, but I know I’ll be mad about how it knits up. It turns out that I’m really bad at just letting things happen and feeling the zen. I like to know how things are going to work out, and I require balance and proper color mixing and well. I may be just the teensiest bit controlling about my knitting. (This is probably good actually, because it enables me to let stuff go in life. Knitting is probably responsible for how much I don’t pester Greg.)
Anyway, I bought some of the Malabrigo roving that everyone seems to have such strong feelings about. A lot of people have complained about felting, but I didn’t have that problem myself. Merino can be fussy though, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to get some felting in an industrial dyeing operation. I got the Archangel colorway, because it’s stunning, but it was all crazy sunset colors so I didn’t want to ply it and muddy the gorgeousness. So I decided to spin it as fingering weight singles, with the idea of eventually making a scarf or shawl.
Then I saw someone else’s handspun Hitchhiker and its destiny was revealed. I wish I could remember whose it was, but all I know is that it was on Instagram about four months ago. I have been working on it for a while, and now it’s finished!! Isn’t it beautiful? I totally love it!! The colors are lovely together, which is very typical of Malabrigo. I feel like it looks like a tropical sunset or the wings of a phoenix. It’s also incredibly soft. The slight unevenness in the yarn combined with the garter stitch makes it look like the striations of a rock formation in the desert, or the grain in a piece of petrified wood.
I do have one quibble. I ended up with one side of the shawl being longer than the other. The point definitely isn’t right in the middle. That may be because I knit until I ran out of yarn, and I had more than 500 yards. Has anyone else had that happen with their Hitchhikers? Is there a way to get it to come out more balanced? Mine has 48 teeth and the pattern recommends 42. I don’t really care that much, I still love it, and it will look TOTALLY SLAMMIN with my purple biker jacket. (yes, my shawls have their own wardrobe. why do you ask? 😝)
Until next time!
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