|Summit shawl sample|
Day 2 of the creative challenge. And what have I been up to today? Well, a little bit of experimenting with knit as you can see! This beautiful pattern is where I have happily lost most of today. I was racing the light for last minute photos, I got so involved!
Ok, so knitting a shawl in a day is a bit much, but I have made a decent sample to explore the pattern construction. This lovely pattern Summit shawl by Mandi Harrington has been sitting in my Ravelry to-do list ever since it came out - March 2010 to be exact - so quite a wee while. In fact, all the bigger projects seem to gather dust there so I thought, wouldn't it be nice to just allow myself to do a little bit, as a tester, to see if I like it enough to make it. I love working out the construction of complex knits but kind of lose interest if I have to knit metres of the stuff! So this way I get the best of both worlds - I enjoy the doing but there's no pressure of a Finished Object.
And I've always loved the look of this one. It's beautifully designed and aimed at slightly higher than a beginner. The pattern says 2 out of 4 for difficulty so it looks complex but it only requires you to know a few of the easy stitches like M1, Kfb, Yo. The thing that makes this pattern so unusual is its use of short row knitting - where you knit each 'wavy' strand individually back and forth in sections - rather than a full row. Once you get your head around that, it makes a lovely logical structure. How happy am I when that happens? Happy happy:) - when you 'get' the pattern and know exactly how it will unfold from then on in. Harmony, that's it. Perfect harmony.
I wanted to try a few things out with this pattern too. Firstly to see how the short rows would affect a variegated hand dyed yarn and secondly if I didn't use the suggested silk how would it flow or drape in contrast. As to the first, you can see where the green sections meet the blue ones so although it isn't terribly contrasting, I think a semi-solid yarn would give the best effect, especially if you are going to spend the time dyeing your own like I do. So, good to know. Secondly, the handle of this fingering weight does have a lightness and won't slip as much when knitting silk but - well, silk is silk and who wouldn't prefer a silky draped shawl to a wool mix??
Despite our desire for expensive gorgeous silk, I think this will knit well in any smooth yarn and if it has a slight sheen or lustre to it, even better. This pattern has an evening, dressing up feel to it so if I were to knit an actual shawl or smaller scarf, I'm thinking deep teals, reds or plums for me.
|Casting on in sections First ladder created|
|cast on row complete for my mini scarf (7 sections instead of 15) - all set up now for the first curve section|
I've taken some photos as I went through each stage of the pattern so I can remember in the future how it's constructed. Hope this helps anyone who may be interested in trying this pattern out. After the initial set up section to get all the solid areas and ladders in place, you then develop the right curve section, then the left. That's it. You just keep waving those left and right curves and the pattern just appears. Wonderful!
This isn't a pattern to be knitting watching the tv though, so it was nice music as accompaniment today. Now I've got the construction clear in my head I've found it getting quicker and quicker to knit - which is excellent if you're going for full shawl size! One other thing I made myself do was double check the stitch count before dropping the stitch to create the ladder. It's much quicker to check again than have to reknit a dropped stitch in the wrong place:) This lovely shawl is really worth the effort and just trust the pattern, it does work out perfectly, honest!
Tomorrow, I'll choose something that's a bit more manageable in a day, although I like the idea I can give you a follow-up on this too. I think I'll sleep well tonight - hope I don't see waves and ladders in my sleep!!
See you all tomorrow!