Friday, August 3, 2012

Rainbows make everything better

I decided to knit something special for myself as a pick-me-up, because the process of moving house is pretty darn stressful for me. Moving is not my favourite thing...

... but rainbows just might be! Right up there with ducklings, anyway. ;) 

The concept for my new shawl is a rainbow appearing on a rainy grey day. A timely reminder that there's a bright side to all this upheaval - a shiny new life in a new place.

This is my first shawl design. I've knit several shawls, some lacy and some not, and have found them a fun and rewarding thing to knit: you can get something really spectacular out of just one skein of yarn, and the transformation after blocking a shawl is simply magic. I gained confidence with the shaping of different kinds of shawls at a class I attended recently ('It's a Wrap', taught by Morag of Vintage Purls).

I came up with the raindrop-lace stitch myself, after lots of test-swatching. Because this stitch only looks like falling raindrops when knitted from the bottom up, I made the shawl a bottom-up design: you begin with the rainbow edge, and the rows get shorter as you go.

I wear my shawls wound around my neck, scarf-style, so I went for a long, crescent shape which is easy to drape in different ways. Both sides of the shawl look good, which is important for wearability. Actually, I'm still not sure which side I prefer! Right now I'm leaning towards the purl side.

The raindrop lace on the 'knit' side

The raindrop lace on the 'purl' side

This was my first time using the lovely local Knitsch Sock yarn, dyed by Tash of Holland Road Yarn Company. I've been hoarding this for a special project! Five mini skeins were included with the main variegated-grey skein, in this limited-run set called 'Rainy Day Rainbow'. Knitsch Sock is a high-twist merino yarn that comes in a range of amazing colours. It's smooth and soft, but also hard-wearing. Just as well - I predict I'll be wearing my rainbow shawl to death...

The pattern for this design will be available soon. Stay tuned. :)

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