Friday, 30 June 2017

The shape of things to come... my world of knitting and crochet anyway is..... The Asymmetric Triangle!

I'm talking about shawls.  Knitted shawls and crocheted shawls...and I am happy to have finally discovered a shape which I like wearing.  So happy, as it turns out, that I'm smiling before this one's even been cast off!

It's been a bit of a journey for me and dates back to the first shawl I ever made back in 2014.

There are many reasons I reckon for the crafting community's fascination with shawls.  Firstly, it's a good step-up after making a rectangular scarf if you're new to knitting (or crochet).  Many shawl patterns are designed to use only one skein of yarn so are perfect for that precious one-off purchase.  Shawls make lovely gifts and can be quite quick to produce.  Here's a selection of those I've crocheted for friends:

Shawls require no sewing up - and there are many makers who love the process of making but who hate the final project construction.  Historically, shawls have kept women warm for as long as we've been making them.  I made a triangular half hap for my Mum when she moved into her new house two years ago. Its design is based on the traditional square Shetland hap which has been keeping the young and old of the islands warm for centuries.  Mum's is light and cosy alpaca instead of traditional Shetland lambswool.

So I started off making triangular shawls for myself.  With mixed success.

I wore the first one (Lala's Simple Shawl) a few times as I loved the yarn- a special purchase from Old Maiden Aunt in West Kilbride - but mostly it lives in the wardrobe.  I have never yet worn the frilled version (the pattern's called A Bit Of A Frill) outwith my bedroom, despite it being knitted in yarn hand-dyed by my very good friend Ethmay in colours chosen by my daughters.  I just can't get beyond the fact that I look like a 19th century peasant woman!

I used another special yarn to crochet my very own version of Fortune's Shawlette by Tamara Kelly aka Moogly.  This yarn was a gift from yarn dyer extraordinaire, Helen Lockhart of Ripples Crafts, following the knitting retreat I attended with her in the North West Highlands of Scotland in October 2015, and it matched my outfit so perfectly.  I still wear it a lot as I love the way it drapes and it seems to work worn either tied simply or with a scarf ring.

Perhaps my problem with the small triangles is that they don't sit well on me tied at the front without an additional pin or ring.

I just couldn't get to grips with a crescent shaped shawl at all so have only made one (Lynn Ashton's pattern) which again, sadly, (as it's made from more gorgeous Old Maiden Aunt yarn) lives in the wardrobe.

Oversized triangular shawls seem easier to wear.  Both of these Thousand Kisses Shawls were made as gifts but I do plan to make one for myself one of these days...

...but joyous to me was the day I finished my On the Edge Shawl by Joy McMillan aka The Knitting Goddess.

Joy not only dyed the beautiful mini skein set composed of 40% British Falkland Polwarth, 20% British Wensleydale, 20% British Alpaca and 20% nylon yarn I used to knit this shawl but she also designed this pattern especially for it.  I love it and have been wearing it ALL the time since I finished it in February!  Look....

I loved it so much that I looked for another pattern with a similar shape - and there are lots!  So I've just completed my second asymmetric triangle - a bigger shawl using three colours this time.

The pattern is Therapy by Laura Aylor and the yarns are a veritable Scottish indie dyer hattrick!  The pink tail is Blue Moon BFL 4ply by Lindsay the Border Tart from the Borders (unsurprisingly!), the variegated section is 4ply merino/silk/cashmere in the Yesnaby colourway by Hilary The Fabulous Mr G from Deeside and the stunning grey is the same sumptuous mix in Lewissian Gneiss by Helen at Ripples Crafts from Lochinver.

I know I'm going to wear this a lot - and it isn't going to live in the wardrobe!


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