Shawl Scheming

Last night was New Year at the Ottawa Knitting Guild.  It was so great!  There were old friends and new faces.  We heard all about the big plans for the year (speed dating for knitters in November! The knitting challenge theme is Brioche stitch! So much to think about!).  And then, my favourite part, Show and Tell was FORTY ITEMS.  There was everything.  From cool new tools people got, to a dress someone knit for an American Girl doll (I would not have thought to knit for that).  It was so lovely.  I had really missed that crowd over the summer.

So of course I came home all extra double excited about knitting.  And despite the fact that I am currently working on socks, a mystery shawl, a fair isle cowl that I REALLY want to finish by November for reasons I’ll tell you about some other day, and have a few other things poking around the needles places probably…I spent my pre-sleepytime scheming what to do with some very special yarn I gathered on that trip to Nova Scotia this summer.

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When you pick it up it feels like a cloud.

This is Racing Silks (#165), by Andrea Walker of Heartfelt Creations in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.  I found it at Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay and was totally swooning.   And, even though I’d bought far too much yarn in the previous 36 hours I had to have it.  It’s a hand spun, hand dyed, 496 yard merino/silk blend fingering weight.  And that isn’t a variegated colourway.  It will knit all the white, then all the pink, then all the grey.  Or something like that, I’m not sure of the order till I cake it up.  It is stunning.  Sometimes I take it out of the closet and just hold it for a while.

But, because of its self-striping nature, it’s going to need just the right shawl pattern, nothing too busy – maybe an all over lace, or something fairly plain to show off the wool.  And I am going to want to use every drop of that gorgeous thing, partly because it wasn’t free, and partly because it’s so lovely.  So the shawl needs to suit a certain yardage or be really adjustable.

I was very tempted to go back and knit another of the first lace shawl I ever knit, in Aknitica’s class about lace knitting – Scintillate.  Partly probably because I was wearing that one last night, and I do enjoy it so much!  And because I striped that one quite successfully.

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Photo credit and Copyright Amanda Schwabe.

I also considered knitting a Pebble Beach, by Helen Stewart for myself.  I knit one of these for a friend’s birthday last year, and it is a JOY to knit.  Fast, fun, and really shows off your yarn.  Plus, as I’ve mentioned, I’m a bit of a fan of Helen’s designs.

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Photo credit and Copyright Helen Stewart.

However, in the long run, the one I was most excited to find was the Anteros Shawl by Marie Chiba.  According to the description, both the lace sections and the length/yardage are fully adjustable!  And I feel like it’s just interesting enough to be nice to knit, but subtle enough to let that yarn shine, which is important.  And for some reason, I also feel like this yarn wants to be a triangle shawl.  But that’s just my silliness.

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Photo credit and Copyright Katy Doyle.

So now the trick is to see if I can avoid casting this on at least until the Summertide Shawl is done…right?  I’m probably also feeling like I must do ALL the KNITTING because I confirmed yesterday when the right hand is going in for carpal tunnel surgery numero two.  So let’s make stitches while the hand works!  Woooot!

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