Knitting / Spinning

A shawl to live in

When I finished my last spinning project, I decided to start knitting with the resulting yarn immediately. I had already chosen a pattern, too: Braidsmaid, by Martina Behm. It’s an asymmetrical triangular shawl.

As I had 266 grams/886 metres of yarn, I expected the shawl to become large. I chose 4.5mm needles, which made the fabric supple but not too open. Then I started knitting at one of the points. This type of shawl is made by first increasing on both ends of the rows, then decreasing on one end and increasing on the other to shift towards the side, and then decreasing until the other point is reached. I like this construction, because the resulting triangle is shallow and asymmetrical, and easy to wear.

Rainbow!

I started at the outside of the yarn cake, with the blue part. As I progressed, the rainbow colours started to come through. I like the subtlety, it’s not as in-your-face as a pure rainbow, and I did take care while spinning to add in bits of random colour once in a while to break the gradient a bit.

The end of blue

Here you can see the bits of other colour, notably the green and a bit of yellow. This makes the colours a bit more lively, but it does not take away from the rainbow gradient, in my opinion.

Purple!

Looking from a closer distance, you can see the many colours that make up the blue-green of the shawl. Here, I had just reached the purple bits in the yarn cake.

I increased more and more, and when I had knitted 180 grams of the 266 (32.3%), I started shifting the braid by decreasing on one size of the row and increasing on the other. Finally, the braid became the border, and I became a bit worried about how little yarn I had left. But I told myself to trust Martina, and keep on knitting. In the end, I had about 1 gram of yarn left…! Another game of yarn chicken won.

Yarn chicken!

The shawl already looked quite good before washing, but I decided to wash it anyway to remove excess dye (if necessary) and to block it into shape a bit.

Blocking

It doesn’t look that large, but it is, its long side is over two metres long. I think that the pattern works well with the yarn and with handspun. It’s quite easy to knit, you just need to pay attention to when you need to cable and in which direction. The rest is simple garter stitch. And you can use (almost) all of your yarn, because the pattern works with percentages.

Colourful

Even though the shawl looks turquoise, there’s a lot more going on, as you can see when you move in closer. I do like the statement of the cable, that’s in the middle at first, and then transforms into edging.

Traveling cable

I’ve blocked the shawl using blocking wires and T pins. I didn’t block aggressively, just made sure that the shape is crisp and clear.

Overview

We also had a first: when I laid down the wet shawl after its bath and put in blocking wires into the shorter sides, Freya came up to it and laid down. The shawl was still very wet, but she seemed determined to claim it.

“How nice of you to spin and knit me this pretty shawl!”

I think that she thinks that I knitted her a very pretty cat bed.

I do really love the shawl, and have been wearing it non-stop (except for in bed) since it came off the blocking mats.

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