Wednesday, 19 April 2017

FO - Bobble Shawl

When I started reading knitting blogs, it seemed that every knitter in the world was always making either a shawl or a pair of socks.  In fact, it still seems like that sometimes - my Instagram feed is awash with pictures of beautiful speckled sock yarn and fine lace shawls draped artfully over shoulders.  Obviously, my childish impulse to never do what everyone else is doing kicked in and it took me until fairly recently to cast on my first pair of socks, and I only did that because Tam requested a handmade pair the Christmas before last.  Although I didn't care for the stop-start motion of using double pointed needles, I surprised myself by returning to sock knitting again.  I'm still not convinced that I need a drawer full of Elise-made socks (although Tam might have a different opinion on that) but I like the portable-ness of the projects.

Shawls, though.  I love big, chunky, squishy, cosy scarves, not delicate, lacy works of art on my person.  I was committed to this way of thinking until Helene posted a picture of her latest design on Instagram - a gorgeous, clean looking pattern speckled with bobbles.  Perfection.  I half-jokingly commented that I'd test it if not for the requirement of 4 ply yarn since anything less than DK weight takes me an absolute age to work through.  Helene was happy for me to use any yarn I liked as an experiment, so that's how I ended up with my first shawl knit in chunky yarn.

Pattern - Let's Get Crackin' by Helene Zechner

Yarn - New Lanark Chunky in Slate (375g)

Needles - 6mm

Notes - My mum picked me up a 1000g pack of this yarn at a craft fair for a ridiculously low price and since it's no longer available online, I'm guessing the colourway has been discontinued.   I'd already reserved a certain amount for a future colourwork cardigan so I only had 4 balls to play with for the shawl.  The testing was pretty straightforward - the only changes I made were to skip the I-cord bind off and the last pattern section.

I was a bit worried about whether I'd end up with a big enough shawl when I was in the process of knitting it, but luckily it blocked out splendidly, the only slight flaw being my method of slipping the first stitch of every row.  It's the way I was taught to knit and something I don't think twice about doing, but it didn't occur to me that it would make the neck edge tight when it came to blocking.  At least I know for next time!  And there will be a next time - I already have yarn purchased for a second shawl...

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