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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Shawl ta-dah

Today's the day when I get to show you my new shawl and I'm really looking forward to doing so ... but first I must say thank to everyone for your kind comments on big daughter's Peru preparation post.  She was really delighted to hear from you and she will be replying your comments as soon as she can.

Now though .. on with the ta-dah!

I have long believed that yarn knows what it wants to be.  It might sound crazy but there has to be some explanation for why some projects knit up quickly and beautifully and others just don't seem to flow - the colours aren't right, the yarn doesn't slide across the needles properly .. whatever it is, it seems to me that the yarn often wants a say in what it's going to become.  

This yarn, a skein of hand-dyed Cuddlebums merino sock yarn in the colourway Melted Crayon, did not want to be socks.  As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was coming home with me and it sat in my basket for a while, uncomplaining, until we were both ready for it to become something that wouldn't mean it ended up hidden in my boots. 



And this is what it became.  


And some days it might want to be this.


I've only recently become a convert to wearing shawls as scarves but now I wonder why it took me so long!

This is what it looks like when it's not wrapped cosily around my neck ...



I just love the gentle curves and the way the colours melt together like - well, like melted crayons. It's no wonder this yarn didn't want to be socks!  I really loved knitting with this yarn; it's soft and smooth, the colours are just right and the yarn slides beautifully across your needles.  I'm very glad that I didn't have to cut it as I would have done to make two socks.  I loved watching the rainbow unfold, and the nice thing about this hand-dyed yarn is that it's not an exact science where the colours are going to change.

The shawl is really easy to knit.  You start at one end and keep going until your yarn runs out.  The size of your skein will dictate the size of your shawl, and I like that mine is big enough to wrap round my shoulders if I want to.  


I'm not a fan of garter stitch so it's all knitted in stocking stitch, broken up with sections of dropped stitch which is also really easy and creates zigzags of rainbows which make the colours seem to run horizontally instead of vertically in those sections.  Alternating the sections of stocking stitch so that you start on both the front and back of the shawl means that there is no right side or wrong side ...


you could wear it either way around and it would still look just as good.  I've got to say, I'm more than a little bit in love with this shawl!


It doesn't have to be knitted with hand-dyed yarn, though.  This is the second ball of Debbie Bliss Rialto sock yarn that I had and I wanted to see how it knitted up in a different project.  Pretty well, I'd say, although it came out a bit smaller as there was less meterage in the ball.  The colours do blend beautifully into each other (this is shade 05, Mutek), but it's a fluffier yarn than the Cuddlebums yarn (something to be aware of if you ever use it for a project that might involve a lot of unpicking) and this shawl feels like it would be just right for the winter months.


The pattern works very well with gradient yarn, though, doesn't it?  In fact, I think it would look lovely in any yarn, even stripes, and it would work in any weight as well.  If you wanted it to be bigger, you could use more than one ball or skein and just keep knitting!


So all in all, I'd say that my skein of Cuddlebums yarn is happy now, and I'm very happy with my new shawl.  It just needs a name to go with the pattern than I'm going to be sharing with you later this week.  I'm thinking "Couthie", which is a Scottish word meaning cosy, comfortable and not overly complicated.  I think it's a lovely word, also meaning sociable and friendly if you use it to refer to people and I think that generally, that's what knitters are.  What do you think?  A Couthie shawl?  Or would you call it something else?

I'll be posting the pattern in a couple of days - just in time for Yarn Shop Day in case you need an excuse to buy more yarn ...!




28 comments:

  1. It's lovely Christine and a "couthie" sounds just right xx

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  2. I am hopeless at coming up with names for my own knits, let alone one as scrummy as that. It makes me think of my childhood where everything seemed bright and fun. Beautiful Christine.

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  3. A lovely shawl and a lovely name.x

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  4. Looks fab! Lots of shawl love coming your way x

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  5. Oh Christine you've done it again! Thank you for making me feel normal, not wanting to use all that scrumptious sock yarn for socks! I look forward to this pattern. Your shawl looks gorgeous.

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  6. Gorgeous colours in both shawls. Definitely going to knit some of these.

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  7. I love this scarf Christine and the wool knitted up beautifully. Can't wait for the pattern to come out but I doubt if I will be able to wear it where I live in the South of France as it'll be too warm! But there again, I could always make it for a pressie lol xx

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  8. That's lovely Christine. A wonderful written blog and I love the name you've chosen it's perfect ☺

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  9. Well that's a bit of alright! Eat your heart out hitchhiker, I think I may have found my new go-to pattern for skeins that are too pretty for socks! I shall see if I can find an extra sparkly special skein at Wonderwool so I can try it out!

    P.S my mum thinks your the bees knees, she prefers stocking stitch too, and those dropped stitches, wowie!

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  10. Hi Christine, the shawl is gorgeou! I love knitting & crocheting shawls which comes in handy living in Scotland. So yes couthie sounds very apt for your shawl (I think :)). I have just finished a smallish shawl using sock wool I bought in Lidl which is a gift for my mum in law. Happy knitting everyone Audrey x

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  11. Your scarf is beautiful and the name is perfect! Can't wait to try this out :)

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  12. Wow, Christine, it is such a lovely shawl and it sounds like it was a delight to knit. The pattern is so unique in that the stitch changes. Oh, it must be a delightful yarn! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely shawl with all your readers. Hugs, Pat

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  13. Lovely shawl, ideal for christmas presents. Need to buy some more wool now

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  14. It's lovely! I really like this kind of shawl. These boomerang shawls/scarves are great for using up every scrap of yarn and I've found they're very forgiving when using different weights. Couthie is a great name :) I can't wait for the pattern.

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  15. Totally yummy! I love both of your colourways and the name is just right too.

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  16. It's seriously stunning Christine. I'm sorely tempted to make one when you release the pattern. Perfect name too x

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  17. beautiful couthies! just perfect!
    thanx for sharing

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  18. Beautiful Christine! Love the colours... xxx

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  19. lovely shawl and great name for it too

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  20. good mix of lively colours; how many yards/metres are in one skein?

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    1. There were 425m in the Cuddlebums skein and 400m in the Debbie Bliss ball, Janette.

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  21. They are both wonderful. I particularly love how that first one came out, who would have thought it after looking at the skein, it's just perfect!

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  22. Love the shawls and the name is great and perfect description for them.

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  23. wow you really are an artist dear shawl is so pretty and colorful

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