Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Shawl Saga

I think the last episode of the shawl saga ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger. To recap - I bravely unravelled my attempt to make a shawl to feature the beautiful Shilasdair yarn I had bought in the Netherlands because I was dissatisfied with the pattern. I decided to knit Kate Davies Northmavine Hap, but needed additional yarn. After dithering about the best background colour for the shawl I ordered additional Shilasdair yarn from the UK in a rich mustardy colour - Tansy Gold. It arrived very promptly and I began the new pattern for the shawl. But after some knitting it became clear that the beautiful golden colour was a very bad choice. It was just too rich to fade into the background and allow the other coloured yarns to feature. Stymied again. I unravelled again.

I didn't want to give up on the yarn that had already caused me to obsess so much, but I couldn't justify spending any more money or air miles on this project, so I did what I should have done before I ordered the additional yarn - I went rummaging through the yarn I've been 'collecting' over the last years. Nothing seemed ideal, but I found some sticky Isager woollen yarn in a shade of beige-grey that was perfect as a background colour. (The yarn, by the way, had come to me from the queen of yarn destashing, who is responsible for many of the yarns in my stash. She seems to think that any grey yarn should find a home with me). The only problem by this stage of the shawl saga was that the Isager yarn is significantly thinner than the Shilasdair. Still, I guessed, and hoped, that the difference in weight might not matter with the stripey waves created by the feather-and-fan pattern of the shawl.

I was right. Both the colours and the weight of the yarns are a perfect match.


So, I knitted and knitted and knitted on the shawl. I wanted a shawl that could be crossed in front and tied behind, as traditional hap shawls often were, and as Kate Davies wears it in the illustration for this pattern. As Kate Davies is smaller than I am, I knitted several more repeats to the pattern and excitedly cast off. To my dismay, I realised Kate Davies is not only smaller than I am, she's VERY MUCH smaller than I am. So I unpicked the cast-off row and picked up more than 500 stitches. This took much time and even more patience. Then I knitted and knitted and knitted till my yarn ran out and I've just cast off again. I have a large shawl that I can cross and tie behind, but I can't show you yet. I still have this to manage:

Northmavine ends

I have to sew in the endless ends left after knitting the stripes. Someday soon the saga will have an ending. A happy one, I hope.


Rose Red said...

Those ends! I vote fringe!!
I do admire your ability to frog and redo. As always, another page in our "what would Lyn do?" book!

Yarna said...

Your perseverance is amazing! It looks fabulous but I think I would have given up ages ago!

Mo Crow said...

we live in the same neck of the woods I will watch out for you & this shawl in King St!

DrK said...

i do think it will be worth it, because its a gorgeous pattern and thats a great colour combination. im like Yarna, i would have given up long ago, so i admire your fortitude. and those ends.... thats what usually puts me off stripey knitting. but i cant wait to see you wrapped up in it!

Moorecat said...

Definitely easier to add fringe to the other side than sew in ends. Sewing them in would also add bulk on one side, which might be noticeable.

Or live with a one-sided fringe, asymmetry is all the rage, one hears.

I've just finished a linen stitch cowl in Malabrigo Worsted, a single ply yarn. Thinking of twisting all the ends into a corded fringe and let them be a feature...