Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Find your fade

Sometimes a shawl just hits your knitty radar so consistently, you decide to knit it before you realise that you have already surreptitiously stocked up on the yarn for it. Sometimes my subconscious is just plain sneaky. I have a nice little stash of sock weight yarn, all nicely handpainted and I had grouped them all in colour coordinated bundles just waiting to be chosen! 

I have noticed that there are certain knitting patterns that just hit the spot with their simplicity and beauty, and it's no wonder that the masses adore them. Find your fade shawl by Andrea Mowry is just one of those patterns.

I saw it, I fell in love with the possibilities in colour it allowed, and I fell in love with its cosy, ginormous, slightly off kilter design. I knew that I would enjoy the process of picking my colours, and knitting it. The whole tactile nature of the yarn, that squishy heap of comfort in your lap as you knit, just drew me in immediately.

So I decided to wait until our holidays before casting on, knowing that living away from home for a week, would hopefully lead to a lot of late night knitting. 

I picked out two different type of colourways for consideration and mulled over it for a while. I wanted to use what I had in my stash, so I was left with 2 bundles. one with cool pinks and purples and the other with warmer greens and reds. The little people didn't even hesitate when I asked which they preferred and they made a beeline for the warmer, richer, nature hues, so I went with them with the mental footnote to use the pinks and purples for a fade jumper by the same designer!

The pattern itself is simple and it is perfect TV knitting. Once you reach the full stitch count, you don't increase anymore for the rest of the shawl, which is a really clever pattern idea. I made good progress on holiday, but it took another week at home to finish it off.

I wasn't sure how I was going to block the finished shawl either, as it is huge! I don't have the floorspace, so I ended up folding it in half and very gently blocking it with pins. Mostly just to freshen it up after handling it for a fortnight. Just as well as the folded shawl was at least 5'6"...

The merging of colours was fun to do and wondering what I would do by the time I got to the 5th colour (the original pattern uses 7 colours) kept me going right to the last moment. In the end I just went backwards with my colours, but even at that my colours ran out and I ended up melting in the lace instead of the garter stitch. Still, as the merge is subtle enough, I don't think this detracts from it at all.

Needles: 3.5mm Chiaogoo Red Lace Circulars
Yarns: LITLG Fine Sock in Barley Cove (33 yards used)
LITLG Fine Sock in Chlorophyll (149 yards used)
Araucania Botany Lace in 1797 (418 yards used)
LITLG Fine Sock in Quiet Forest (433 yards used)
Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Kaleidoscope (251 yards used)
1,282 yards used in total
Finished Size: Ginormous! At least 11 feet wide!
Time taken to complete: Three weeks

I think I am hooked on squashy garter stitch shawls now. It makes a pleasant change from squinting at fine lace in cobweb!

Alas, now that I have finally finished it, it's back to the Princess Shawl I go. I promised myself I would finish it, now that I have gotten so far, so finish it I must.

I will post a Princess update post shortly, I need daylight to take some decent photos!

Until then

Happy knitting


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