That’s what I wanted. And that’s what I got!
Well, not an actual shrubbery, of course. And I did not say “Ni!”. But when I went through my stash, looking for knitting inspiration, and came across this skein of handspun yarn from last year, it was what I thought of.
I spun this last year during the MirkwoodArts Thriathlon, the Hobbits stage. It’s a mish-mash of green fibres and a rainbow braid. I loved spinning it and I was also looking forward to knitting with it. But what should I knit? It was almost 400 grams of DK/worsted weight yarn, 858 metres to be precise. Enough for a small cardigan, I guess. But I wanted something generous and rustic.
I spent an evening on Ravelry, looking for a pattern that spoke to me, but I did not find it. So, naturally I decided to come up with something myself. A shawl it would become, hopefully one that would use the entire skein. To achieve this, I took the asymmetrical triangular shawl that has been popular in the past few years as a starting point. First, you increase until you have used 33% of your yarn. Then, you increase on one side and decrease on the other until the decreasing side reaches the former middle. Then you either knit a border or decrease on both sides.
Starting with this formula, I decided to spice things up and add some lacework to the shawl as well. I decided on lilies-of-the-valley in the centre, surrounded by a leafy border. Enough theory, on with the knitting!
I started increasing and found out that it matters where you increase… Well, I did know that, but I didn’t think about it at first. That’s why the initial increases create a flowing shape. But I actually kind of liked it, it reminded me of an oak leaf, so I kept it. Happy accident!
I love love love how the green contains so many colours and hues. From a distance it’s undeniably green, but close up it contains the entire rainbow.
I also love the cozyness of garter stitch, especially combined with other textures like in this shawl. It’s neat, toasty, and oh so satisfying to look at.
When I reached the point where I had to knit on the border, I kept on knitting in pattern, just like in some of Martina Behm’s designs. I did decrease somewhat and made sure that I ended in pattern by decreasing the number of leaves.
Then I suddenly reached the end, binding off the single stitch that I had left. It was already evening, but I decided to go ahead and soak the shawl to put it on the blocking mats. I worked hard and finished it. The shawl was huge!
The next day I looked at the shawl and I noticed that I was blocking it wrong side up… oops! Freya also agreed that that was a bit stupid, but she decided to help me anyway. She moved around the shawl, sitting down in every available spot to properly press it.
It took a while to dry, and yesterday I took it off the mats. Well, I tried, but Freya was sitting next to me, and as I started pulling out the T pins, she got all territorial and she clawed at my hand to make me stop. Ouch! Later that night, she was sitting a bit further away, so I started pulling out the pins with one hand, and I pulled out one of the blocking wires and played with her with the other hand. This time it worked, and the shawl was free!
Today it was a chilly, rainy day. Perfect to wear the shawl! I wrapped myself in its green goodness and enjoyed. I decided to take some glamour shots on the balcony.