Wednesday 15 September 2010


 A few months ago I read a blog entry that captured my imagination.  A Girl in Winter laid out how wonderful Malabrigo yarn is, and showed pictures of the projects she had completed, using the yarn.  I fell in love with the appearance of the sock yarn and decided that I would splash out and buy a skein.

I bought a skein of Botticelli Red.

I loved this yarn the moment I opened the packet, but it wasn't what I was expecting.  The photo on the site that I bought it from, showed it being more red than rust, but the reality was a terracotta colour.  I think I wanted something more like the Tiziano colourway that A Girl in Winter used for her Clothide shawl.  Tiziano is a more blood red colour, which you may know is a shade I rather like.  Because I was disappointed I put the skein away until last week when my fingers brushed it in a search for some yarn.  The smooth squishiness of the yarn pulled me in and I had to knit with it.

I looked at all the projects on Ravelry that had used with yarn and finally settled on making the Aestlight Shawl.  This is designed by Gudren Johnston, better known as the Shetland Trader.  This pattern was designed with Malagrigo Sock in mind.  It uses less than one skein of sock wool to make a small shawlette.

This lovely simple design used a couple of techniques I hadn't used before, so I didn't begrudge the cost of the pattern.  I learnt how to knit on an edging and how to knit a triangular shawl in the traditional Shetland manner, of knitting a garter stitch triangle and then picking up edges to start knitting the lace pattern at the edges.  Both of these techniques are ones that I think I will use again.

The shawl is a decent size after blocking, despite being the size of a headscarf when it came off the needles, but I still think it will mainly get used for wearing as a neckerchief.

I would be quite happy to knit this shawl again, as it was fairly straight forward, but with enough interest to keep me focussed.  I didn't try to do the edging at knitting group, for example, as I knew it would involve ripping back anything knitted there.  I will certainly be buying the yarn again as it was a wonderful experience knitting in something so soft and bouncy.  Everyone who saw me knit with this yarn wanted to touch and squeeze the skein.  You know that is the mark of a great yarn, where everyone longs to touch it, even the non-knitters. 

I think this is another shawl for the gift pile, but I'm hoping secretly to have enough presents made before Christmas, for me to keep it for my own use when the cold weather comes!

Don't forget that you still have time to enter my blogiversary giveaway by leaving a comment on this post, before midnight (UK time) on 17th September.


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