One Little Change

I find it amazing that sometimes one little change, that you think is insignificant, can make a big impact.

I am still working on a triangle shawl system for the class I’m running at the Cabin Fever Retreat at the Fern Resort on Oct 25-27. We’re presenting 3 shawl shapes: crescent, asymmetric and triangle.

I’m going to present a recipe for working triangles with long tails. There will be lots of room for knitters to add in their own ideas. No two will look alike. Here is one with lots of texture changes throughout: garter stitch, stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette stitch and floating seed stitch.20190930_091752

If you are a shawl knitter you know that the picture you have of the finished shawl doesn’t always look like that on the needles. Actually shawls usually look like a great big mess, even to knitters. So once again I pinned out the current colour block shawl I’m working on to have a peek.20190927_104537

These two shawls follow exactly the same recipe. You might notice that something went wonky with the centre line in the Colour Block one. It’s definitely leaning.

The shawl on the left has an increase before and after the centre marker in the usual way. The only change I made to the Colour Block was to work only one increase at the centre, before the centre marker. That’s it. Only one increase instead of two. It changed the shape of the shawl. It is no longer a triangle!

One absent increase has made this a totally different shape. Makes you think doesn’t it? What if you added an extra increase somewhere else, what would that do? What if you switched which side the centre increase was worked on, what would that do? What if …

Gotta go, my fingers are itching to cast on a new one. How about you?

Deb

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Colour Blocking a shawl

Intarsia knitting? Are you on board with it? I usually don’t work with blocks of colour where you drop a colour, pick up a new one twisting the colours around each other and then continue on with the new colour. It doesn’t lend itself to knitting in the round but knitting flat, well that’s a whole different story. And shawls are knit flat right? Hmm, yes, there’s an idea.

I have a couple of odd balls, ha, ha. OK, I have lots and lots of odd balls. Not enough to knit anything large with but 100g of this and 100g of that. They are perfect for stripes but also, it finally occurred to me, for blocks of colour.

I can use the centre increase line of the shawl to change colours for blocks of colour on the different sides of the shawl. That’s pretty straight forward and as you can see that  only lasted a couple of rows. Then I thought, why not add stripes? I wound a small ball of purple from the outside of the purple ball I was already using, and started using the gold and small ball for the stripes on the one side and the large ball of purple for the other side.20190922_143834

I can’t stop picking it up. This will be another sample for my Triangle Shawl class at the Cabin Fever Retreat in October.

I’m going for a big pop of colour to wear against my mostly navy wardrobe. Do you think this will do it?!

What are you doing with your odd balls?

Deb

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Wedges Shawl

It all began because I had an idea. I like shawls with long tails. A perfectly triangular shawl does not give me enough of a tail drape down in front of me to hold the shawl in place. I want to get the stapler out so that it doesn’t shift around.

I thought that adding wedges to a standard triangular shawl would do the trick.

Take a triangle shawl …triangle shawl

and add wedges to elongate the tails.triangle with wedges

Even after the first attempt I could see that it would work. So the Wedges Shawl soon became an obsession.DSC_0547

I moved the wedges closer to the centre line but otherwise the original concept was kept intact.20190801_094302Here is the worsted weight version. I used 100g of worsted weight wool by Twishandshoutfiberarts and 100g of Paton’s Classic Wool (purple).

 

I worked all of the Wedge Shawl Variations: (left to right on the photo below) Garter Wedge, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Ridges Wedge and Eyelet Wedge. It certainly made things interesting.20190806_152607.jpg

Then I progressed to double check with Fingering weight yarn out of my stash. The purple is Estelle Alpaca Merino Fine and the variegated is by Richard Devries. I worked the Garter Wedge, Garter Ridges, Garter Wedge again, Stockinette Wedge, Garter Wedge once more and Eyelet Wedge. I was running out of yarn by the end and my Eyelet Wedge was only 4 rows deep, sigh.DSC_0549

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Next I needed to work out the Eyelet Wedges to my satisfaction since they were not matchy, matchy ( Symmetrical or Not). This one is Eyelets all the way. I love it and not only because of the orange in all the wedges (although it is a factor).20190824_141054 - Copy

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And look at those tails … nice and long.

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So now you can give it a try:  Wedges Shawl is now on ravelry. I hope you enjoy knitting them. I sure did.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Orange Wedges

“It’s been an orange summer”, a comment by my husband as I showed off my latest  Wedge Shawl. Yup, it’s been the colour theme around here for several weeks.

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Especially fetching with my flannel shirt, don’t you think?

I started with these odd balls out of my stash.

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When most of this was gone I dove into the odd ball bag again for just a little bit more.

 

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I think I like this Wedge Shawl the very best so far.

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All eyelets, all the time. Eyelet Wedges that are symmetrical!!

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I’m going to look over the Wedge Shawl pattern about 100 million times more and then release it next week. I, of course, am on to another project. After all, I finished this shawl yesterday and now I have to knit something today. Might as well knit sleeves.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Shawl Wedges Improved

The shawl Wedges won’t leave me alone. I’m dreaming about them. It’s the first thing I want to do in the morning, not before my coffee of course, that would just be silliness, but before my breakfast which had to wait an hour while I started a new shawl.

I want to see if I can refine a process to get longer tails. I’ve started with a standard Isosceles Triangle Shawl shape. I find these shawls difficult to wear because the tails aren’t long enough to hang down the front and keep it anchored in place. This will be the true test of the Wedges for Longer Tails idea.

triangle shawl

I started with a garter stitch tab in the usual manner and worked in garter stitch until I was ready to do the first wedge. This time I’m working the Shawl Tip so that when I block it I will be able to stretch the top edge nicely.

Then I got a little a lot ahead of myself and thought I would add a mosaic pattern to the wedge. I was feeling very smug. I knew exactly what I was doing. The first wedge with mosaic patterning went really well.

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Although I tried and tried, I couldn’t get the second wedge on the other side to work well. Out it all came. Time for a break.

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Note to Self:  Remember K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!).

Keeping my own advice in mind I worked garter stitch wedges. Ahh, much better. Whew, I’m getting somewhere.

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Can I feel smug now? I’m trying not to.

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Writing out the pattern and moving on to my next wedge. Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Shawl wedges

In my search for a better fitting shawl I have found that I like long tails. The triangle shawl I like then is no longer a true triangle. With long tails I can wrap it around my neck and have two long tails hanging down. This gives me styling options which if you knew me you would be laughing right now, style, ha!! Ahem, to continue, I could leave the tails hanging (I’m sure this vertical makes me look taller, at least 5’1″). I could also tie the tails under my chin to keep my neck nice and snug.

So long tails … here the standard triangle shawl which starts at the top and has a spine down the centre with increases.

triangle shawl

You can make the tails longer by working increases every row along the top edge. That’s the shawl I was knitting as a sample for our Cabin Fever Retreat in October where we are diving into 3 different shawl shapes, the triangle being one of these.

long tail triangle shawl

Then, just as I was getting into it, I had a thought (this is not always good). Here is my thought. What if I put short row wedges in the shawl. Wouldn’t that make it wider than it is tall and produce longer tails?

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I think this is what is going to happen to the shawl I’m knitting.

triangle with wedges

Here is the first wedge knit in purple. The wedge is only 2 rows deep near the spine of increases and 4 rows deep at the outside. It seems to be rounding the top edge already.

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So I tried a couple more.

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The second wedge was shorted rows over 6 rows and the third was over 8 rows. Obviously more rows would make more of a difference.

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I think there is something I could do with this idea. More wedges or just wider wedges? What do you think? Wider wedges would allow space for some patterning which would be cool don’t you think?

I was also definitely sorry I didn’t work the Shawl Tip. Next time.

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It works. I knit it in 100g of worsted weight wool by Twist and Shout Fiber Arts and 75g of Patons Classic Wool.

Thanks for reading,

Deb

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Carry Yarn for stripes

Stripes, don’t you love them? They can be spontaneous and playful. There is no need to plan too far ahead. In fact they are an excellent vehicle for adding variety to a longer project. Use up some of those bits in your stash, bonus.

It is usually necessary to carry the yarn not in use along one edge for stripes. This can cause a tightness along the carry edge. We want to avoid this in a shawl which will be blocked and stretched slightly. I used a really simple method of carrying the yarn along the top edge in this Magic Symmetry Shawl.

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On the Right Side Row I knit the first stitch with both colours, in this case the grey and the navy.

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Then I picked out the colour I needed to work the row (just drop the other colour) and worked across. On the next row, I worked to the last stitch and knit the two colours together as one stitch. It’s simple. It works. It gives you little blips of colour at the top edge. You can safely carry several colours along an edge this way.

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I like the ease of execution.

I found myself still excited to knit one more Magic Symmetry Shawl (#3). Because I felt I was nearing the end of this particular obsession I dug into my stash for something a little thicker. I spent a lovely hour looking at all the possibilities. Decisions, decisions. I chose 2 100g balls of Estelle Worsted. The turquoise was a project that wasn’t working which I took apart. The navy was an single skein. I have no idea what I bought it for but I’m sure it was a good idea at the time. The small ball of grey was left over from some work socks. I thought it might come in handy.

magic shawl

I worked the Ditch Magic Rows.

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I was not scientific about when to add in the stripes. I just felt like changing it up so I did. Who’s the boss of this shawl anyway? Me, me, me.

I worked 2 row stripes and ditches at the same time. It turned out that one ditch was grey and the next ditch was one of the blues. That was unexpected. I’m going to pretend that it was intentional and that I totally planned to do that the whole time, really I did, aren’t I clever, ha, ha?!

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This Magic Symmetry Shawl is going to keep me warm while reading in the evening all winter.

Are you shawl knitting? Aren’t they the perfect summer knitting project? They must be because I just cast on another one with a new idea.

Deb

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