I love to start new projects. I start them all the time. Finishing, not so much. Once I’ve figured out a pattern, I quickly become bored and want to move on to the next new thing. (Working at a yarn store full time is not a good way to cure this, in case you were wondering.)
Every now and then though I get on a finishing kick. For a while it was hats, but now it seems to be shawls. Maybe it’s the weather starting to get colder, or the days getting shorter, but I suddenly find myself picking up my unfinished shawl projects and getting them done. (Sorry, sweaters – maybe you’ll be next?)
There’s something really satisfying about a good shawl or wrap. You can knock out a respectably sized one in around 400 yards of just about any weight of yarn. You can go for a simple pattern or something impressively lacy. And when you’re done, you have pretty much the ultimate accessory. A shawl can double as a scarf or a hat. It looks good with jeans or dresses. It can go out on the town of an evening, or dress up a t-shirt during the day. And blocking a finished shawl is like getting to do magic – you can turn a shapeless lump of knitting into something amazing!
This week I finished my second Springtime Bandit (I keep knitting these in August despite the name) and have been wearing it pretty much constantly since – I knit this one in Dragonfly Fibers Blue Face Worsted and am really pleased with how it turned out. Bluefaced Leicester is not as soft a wool as Merino, but this yarn worked up to be wonderfully drapy and has great stitch definition. (My Merino version, on the other hand, is more of a fuzzy blob.)
I had a lot of fun knitting this since I got to teach a class on it at the same time – it’s so rewarding to watch someone realize that they can make something that looks really complex with just some simple increases and decreases. This is a great first lace shawl pattern and teaches you a lot about shawl construction – some of my students even decided to sign up for the advanced lace shawl class (I’m so proud of you all!)
Now I’m finishing up a Schieffelin Point Shawl that I started back in June – I’m knitting it in Fibre Company Acadia, a DK weight mix of Merino, alpaca, and silk. This is going to be soft and snuggly, perfect for the rainy weather we’re having.
This is a good easy knit – the whole body of the shawl is done in garter stitch and there are just a few increase rows to pay attention to, then you cast on a few extra stitches, knit the edging on to the rest of the shawl, and have less than 20 stitches to bind off!
Next I’ll finish the Bias I’m knitting for a friend’s birthday in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Penthouse Silk Fingering – this will be shimmery and elegant, just what I wanted! (The pattern is written as a scarf size but I cast on extra stitches to make it a nice-sized wrap.) This is one of those simple stitch patterns that would look good in any weight of yarn – I’m sure I’ll knit more of these.
And then… well, I really like shawl patterns. I have more shawls favorited on Ravelry than almost any other type of project (and that’s not even counting the ones in my queue.) Some shawls I’m excited about right now are Bois, with its beautiful border, and Pembroke Wrap, which would be fluffy, warm, and fun to knit in Imperial Stock Ranch pencil roving. I should probably make one of those Boneyard Shawls that Daphne’s got everyone doing, and I’ve really been wanting to knit Hawthorne, especially now that there’s a matching hat and mitts.
Oh wait, Springtime Bandit has a matching hat too… uh oh. I think I’m in trouble.