Friday 21 June 2013

Striped Shawl Finish

Before I launch into my normal scheduled Friday FO blog post, I'd like to let you know about a thread I've started on my group on Ravelry.  The post is about the blogs and podcasts I watch/listen to.  I have created a list of links, and have already added some recommendations from members of the group.  I'm also happy to add links to group members' blogs and podcasts, if they list them in the thread.  I'd love it if you'd come and join in the recommendation process, and maybe find some new people to read/listen to/watch.

Now back to your normal scheduled programme!

I have a bit of a fondness for stripes.  If you've been reading this blog for longer than a year, you have probably noticed this fact.  If a project has stripes in i,t I'm about 90% more likely to knit it.  I just love how the stripes pull you onwards through a project.  This most recent project is probably my favourite striped project ever - which is a very bold claim I know.  This project is made of some of the loveliest yarn I've ever had in my stash.  It was made from three skeins of merino/cashmere/nylon sock weight yarn.  All three skeins came from indie-dyers and they were delicious.  The finished article was everything I wanted, and more.

En Haut Shawl 07

The shawl is light, warm and soft.  Because of the way it is constructed, it can be worn several ways.  The photo above shows the style that keeps me warmest.  It feels so cozy and warm being wrapped up in a double layer of garter stitch at the front and round my arms.  It is perfect for someone like me, who spends most of my time sitting or lying down.  I don't need much warmth around my back, which is usually pressed up against a sofa, pillow or wheelchair.  I need my extra warmth around the front of my body, and this shawl delivers that.

The next way to wear it, keeps it secure on my shoulders, even in a stiff breeze, but isn't quite as warm as the first method shown.

En Haut Shawl 06

This makes the shawl almost like a cape and is surprisingly comfortable.  The final way to wear it, is just hanging open, and this is the way I most often wear it.

En Haut Shawl 05

It sits on my shoulders beautifully and provides warmth to my arms.  The construction of the shawl can be seen clearly in the photograph below.

En Haut Shawl 03

It is essentially a standard triangular shawl with a further two sets of increases added after a few stripes were created.  I basically eyeballed where those additional increases would go, and I forgot to account for any stretch created during blocking.  This means the increase points are set quite far apart on my shoulders.  I think if I were to make this shawl again I would start the additional increases sooner.

The drape on this shawl is stunning, probably down to the merino content of all the yarns.  Every time I touch this shawl it makes me smile, so though the yarn was quite expensive in the scheme of things, I got so much pleasure from the knitting of this shawl, and the ongoing wearing of it, I cannot begrudge the cost.  Especially when it is so pretty too.  I used up pretty much every last scrap of yarn.  I knit the first section until I ran out of yarn and then I knit the last section until I ran out of yarn and then did Jeny's Suprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  I like the way that this technique finishes off garter stitch, and never pulls the edge taut.  It means the drape and stretch of the garter stitch is not impeded in any way.

It's really hard to show in photographs how much depth there is to the colour in each skein of yarn.  There is a really movement to the shawl that is solely down to the dying of each skein.  All the skeins are semi-solids and you just don't get that kind of look with the big yarn companies.  You can only produce this level of subtlety on a small scale.  I get so much pleasure from the hand dyed yarn I knit with.  If you don't usually buy from indie-dyers I really recommend you give it a try.  There are so many great ones out there, all over the world, and by buying from a local artisan you are feeding money directly into the local economy!  A skein of yarn might feel more expensive, and it usually is, but you get something unique and beautiful.

Oh, and this project adds another 1190 yards to the my Stash Dash 2013 total!

To see other finished works, click on the button!

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