Saturday, June 12, 2010

A trio of triangular shawls

Never one to be deterred by the fact that I already had several projects in progress, I recently came acrodd the Daybreak shawl pattern, and decided that if I could find some Malabrigo Sock yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival, I would make one. Then, of course, I made it a priority to track down some Malabrigo. I instantly fell in love with the Indiecita colorway, but struggled with what to use for the contrasting stripes. The yarn I picked initially just didn't work -- there wasn't enough contrast to make distinct stripes -- so I went off in search of an alternative. I found the perfect color, Violeta Africana, at Fibre Space. And here's my (first) Daybreak shawl.

My next project was a design that I'd seen worn by the designer at Md S&W, the Nancy & Judy shawl. For that one, I selected a deep blue yarn by Tess. This was not the smoothest project ever. First, the yarn rubbed off blue dye onto my hands the whole time I was working, although the vinegar rinse I gave it at the end seems to have solved the problem. Then, I struggled to execute the left twist stitch that has to be done hundreds (thousands?) of times in this pattern. But in the end, I got this gorgeous blue shawl.

While I was still working on Nancy & Judy, I listened one day to a Stash & Burn podcast (episode 84) devoted largely to a discussion of knitting shawls with sock yarn. That led me to look up Ishbel, which became my next project. I pulled out some Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Lovers Leap colorway that I had already decided should become a shawl or scarf rather than socks. As I was working, I kept thinking that the color was too vivid, but once I put it around my neck, I fell immediately in love with it.

So now I'm hooked on fingering weight shawls -- at Webs recently, I picked up four more skeins of sock yarn just for that purpose, 2 Malabrigo and 2 Madelinetosh. The Malabrigos include a dark blue that will stripe beautifully with the yarn I decided not to use in my first Daybreak, and a spectacular turquoise called Persia. The tosh sock was my first of that brand -- and they are perhaps the most gorgeous green and brown yarns ever. I haven't decided yet whether to stripe them together, or make two separate shawls. Either way, the finished product will undoubtedly be lovely.

I'm going to New York next weekend via train, so now I just need to decide which new shawl to work on en route.

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