For once, it was not the yarn or the pattern that was the challenge, it was the beads with this month’s shawl! I have been knitting Fine Vine by Marisa Hernandez, a nice shallow crescent shawl with a pretty border. I had some lovely pearlescent size 6 beads that looked ideal to match the Wharfedale Woolworks yarn in Demeter, a splendid earthy semisolid. I planned the layout of the beads, but didn’t count the total required – 650ish would be enough wouldn’t it?! The problem was compounded because the beads were variable in overall size and very variable in hole size. I ended up having to abandon the fine crochet hook and thread some of them onto the stitches using cotton. When it became obvious that I was going to run out of even the smaller beads, I tried to buy some more, but the shop was closed over Christmas and New Year, so I bought some Miyaki size 6 white perlescent beads instead. They turned out a little whiter than the original beads and so I planned their inclusion gradually so that it looked deliberate instead of desperate! I used all of the second set of beads and needed just one more bead to complete!
The border and body of this shawl are pretty, but I did have trouble with the top edge. The shawl is knitted outwards from the centre top, and the increases at the edge are achieved by knitting front and back into the first three stitches at the beginning and end of each right-side row. This construction results in a very tight edge, despite trying very hard to keep the increases loose. The blocking was therefore rather a trial!
On the whole, I am very pleased with the shawl; the colour is beautiful, and unusual for me as I normally avoid browns. I like the border as well, especially the heaviness of the beading. I’m looking forward to wearing this!
Pattern: Fine Vine by Marisa Hernandez
Yarn: Wharfedale Woolworks Yorkshire Rose BFL, colour Demeter
Needles: Hiya Hiya steel 3.5mm circular 100cm, casting off with a 5mm needle to ensure a loose cast-off
Yarn remaining: 14g (approximately 49m)
Finished dimensions: top edge 150cm , widest point 46cm
The last shawl of the challenge! I can hardly believe it! I have two really pretty blue skeins to choose from for this one and a fabulous pattern, Lady of the Blue Forest by Ashley Knowlton.
There are two versions of this shawl; one is almost square and takes nearly 500m, the second is triangular and takes half that. I shall be knitting the smaller of the two, but would really like to knit the larger one at some point in the future. The yarn I have selected is Amana, which was November’s colour in the Wharfedale Woolworks Colour Therapy Sock Club of 2015. I have failed to find the meaning of Amana and it’s relevance to the colour blue, but there is no denying it is a very pretty semi-solid. I shall not be using beads this time!