So, from never having knitted a shawl before in my life, I’ve now knitted 4 in the past 6 months, 3 of which have been in the last month.
First up (after my wedding shawl) was a Sunday Market Shawl for a friend who recently had a baby.
The original pattern is for Noro Cash Iroha, which is a gorgeous yarn and I probably had enough in my stash to use it but it’s not machine-washable. Since the idea of the shawl was something that mum and baby could snuggle up under, I thought it best to stick with something that could be put in the washing machine when the inevitable happens. So, this was knitted in Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed instead. The Aran Tweed is a thick/thin yarn, like the Noro, so it kept the ever so slightly rustic feel of the shawl. The pattern itself couldn’t be easier since other than some yarn-overs at one end and dropping stitches at the other it is a stocking stitch rectangle.
In fact, I liked the pattern so much that I made another one.
This one is in Rowan Cocoon, colour Tundra and, if I can bring myself to give it away, it’s destined to be a Christmas present. The Rowan Cocoon is amazing yarn. It feels really soft and luxurious but only sheds a little. I also love this colour, which is impossible to photograph (especially using the built-in webcam on Steven’s Mac) but is light brown/grey and reminds me of wild rabbits.
Finally, I succumbed and knitted what sometimes seems to be the most commonly knitted shawl pattern on the planet: Clapotis. Being a contrary sort of person, I had always resisted knitting it, because I didn’t want to knit what everyone else was knitting. Then I decided that I didn’t have the money or energy to go shopping for a new dress for the Christmas parties this year and would instead spend a little money on some yarn and knit a wrap to liven up one of the large number of little black dresses that I already own.
Looking back, I think that all this was actually just an excuse to buy the skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in pink that had been calling to me in John Lewis for months.
Bizarrely, I didn’t really like the pattern, I hated the yarn but I love the final result! The pattern involves lots of knitting through the back of the loop, which made it feel fiddly and meant that it wasn’t really mindless knitting although it felt like it should have been. I also ran out of stitch markers at one point and had to make some more. The yarn was a nightmare to wind, tangling every time I blinked; was quite slubby, which I hadn’t expected in a silk yarn; and started pilling as I was knitting with it.
Fortunately, I love the finished shawl! Unfortunately, I’ve been ill and haven’t actually made it to any of the Christmas parties that I was invited to so I’ve been wearing it round the house while watching Doctor Who. There’s always next year, though.