Things may have gotten a tiny bit out of control

orlane's textured shawl in avfkw's pioneer yarn

This week I swatched one thing, cast on another, and the yarn arrived to finish knitting a third. Plus there’s still Acer waiting for me to fix my mistake and start moving forward again. It occurred to me maybe I should take stock of my WIPs and, uh, it’s much worse than I realized. So let’s just focus on the new guys:

The little blue swatch is for the sweater I promised my husband last fall. It’s meant to be Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Seamless Hybrid with Jared Flood’s modifications, because I’m so curious about the construction of the shoulders, but I may chicken out (by which I mean, take the more controlled path) and do it top-down. (I have until the swatch is laundered and re-measured to decide.) Bob is very, very particular about sweaters and I don’t want to risk it being even an inch short or long for his taste. I want him to love and wear it, when all is said and done.

The ivory wedge makes my heart go pitty-pat. One of the very first patterns (possibly the first pattern) I ever downloaded was Orlane’s Textured Shawl Recipe. I love that shawl more than I can say (so many beautiful renditions of it, including Nicole Dupuis’ seen draped over her couch here), but of course the “recipe” was utter greek to me at the time. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I could make sense of it and knit it. And all this time, pretty much every new yarn I meet, I ask myself if it’s the one — the one to become my Textured Shawl. I decided Pioneer is it. And I have to tell you, this combination of yarn and stitch pattern is nothing short of addictive. I cannot wait to get back to it.

Tell me about you, please! Thanks for reading this week, and have a wonderful weekend —


30 thoughts on “Things may have gotten a tiny bit out of control

  1. I love that shawl! It’s been a longtime item on my list as well.

    Right now I’m making my way through my first Color Affection- in various blues from the Tosh Sock line-the yarn gauge is killing me, but it’s a gorgeous pattern! Anyone here ever knit one?

  2. I am hoping it rains, so that I can get some knitting done, vs. outside yard work. Not that I don’t want to be outside. I just want to knit, as I have been in a knitting slump for too long, now. Love that shawl!

  3. I love the shawl and want that yarn! I’m sick with a vicious cold but able to put serious time into Heidi Kirrmaier’s beautiful Beeline.

    • That would be really beautiful. I’m already thinking of doing a much more rustic version next, with some lopi my friend Sarah brought me from Iceland.

  4. Excited to see the sweater! Don’t chicken out, it’s just knitting, it’s nothing to be afraid of! And besides, when you downloaded that shawl pattern and it didn’t make sense, you knew it’d make sense eventually and I have a feeling you’ll experience the same thing with this sweater.

    • Oh, no — it’s not about difficulty or anything. (Nothing challenging with that one.) I just meant I might do it top-down so I can be 100% certain the length is exactly right. Save the other way for a sweater where it’s not so critical if it winds up being an inch shorter or longer than intended.

  5. Thanks for introducing me to the textured shawl! It’s lovely. I’m not a big shawl knitter — well, that’s not true. I’m a big shawl starter, because I love when you get to the part where it goes from 4 little piddly cast-on stitches to an obvious triangle-in-progress. After that, though… well, let’s just say I’ve got a bin full of triangles. This post came at just the right time to get me re-energized to finish so I can start on a textured shawl!

    • I fear for my attention span once the rows starting getting really long. But that textured stitch is super meditative — I really crave it — so hopefully I’ll see it all the way through.

  6. Oooooooh! that shawl and yarn is so beautiful! I just downloaded the pattern. Yup. Greek. At the moment shawl making is a mystery to me. I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around how the construction works as in – “101” step by step, bottom line basics – the “why” of it. I’m slipping this new learning in with the rest of my WIP and possibilities (endless.) Watched a YouTube yesterday that was mildly helpful. Anyway, Orlane’s shawl is totally inspiring and I’ll continue to pursue learning to shape one.

    • For the benefit of anyone who might be wondering along those same lines — 

      A lot of triangle shawls start with just a couple of stitches and you increase at both ends on every right-side row so the rows get longer and longer and the triangle gets wider and wider, but all the rows just go straight across. These are the kinds I’ve done. (Of course, you could also cast on the long side of the triangle and decrease at the ends rather than increasing.)

      “Top-down” triangle shawls also start with just a few stitches but they are the stitches right in the middle of the long side of the triangle — the stitches that will wind up right against the base of your neck. In this method, you mark off the center stitch and increase on either side of it, as well as at the two ends, and what that does is create a giant chevron. So when you see a shawl, like this one, where there’s a “seam” bisecting the triangle, with rows that run parallel to the two sides of the triangle, that’s down top-down.

      I’ve watched and read a few tutorials over the past year and know there are more elegant ways to start one (I’m thinking in particular of Stephen West’s video of the “garter-tab” cast-on, which may be what I should have done here) but I just followed the setup notes on Larisa’s project page.

      I am definitely not a shawl expert, but this one is actually pretty simple.

      • UPDATE: I didn’t like the way that cast-on edge was looking, didn’t think it was ever going to block straight. So last night I ripped it all out and started over, using the Stephen West tutorial (not a video; I was misremembering) for the garter tab cast-on. It looks SO much better.

        • Thanks so much, Karen! I woke up yesterday morning and the whole construction unfolded in my mind – my mind must have been working very hard on all the information throughout the night… :) I think I could have even begun a simple shawl without a pattern. However, I’m beginning one with a pattern – top down. Thanks so much for explaining the meaning of that because starting with 5 stitches didn’t much sound like a “top down.” When the light bulb comes on its a wonderful thing!

  7. well first of alllllll I wish I had the nerve to try the shawl you are making as I love ittttttttt!!! but so far all I have done is dishcloths, scarves, and blankets. right now I sooooo many things on needles that I keep buying new needles just to start new projects. I think I have at least eight scarves going, a couple of dishcloths and two blankets. as I said I would really loveeeeeeeee to start one of those shawls but I am not quite sure how to do it and without any guidance in my area it would be hit and miss. I taught myself to knit on the computer watching utube. first I learned how to knit english style then russian style and finally continental which is where I have remained. There” now I hope you feel much better about the few projects that you have started lols Linda

    • Sounds like you’d be just fine figuring this one out, but I’ll post details when I’m done with it, in case they’re of use to anyone.

  8. You could always do a provisional cast on for the sweater, and then knit down if it is too short… I am not sure if it works for that particular pattern, but I’ve done that on sweaters where I wanted a very particular length. If it has ribbing or and edging at the bottom, I usually cast on above that, and then knit down the edging.

    • I second this idea. It is how I usually do sleeves from the bottom up but you could also do the body this way. This would mean that you could easily follow EZ’s hybrid – which is awesome – but still get the right length.

      Loving your site!

      • I hadn’t thought about that for this particular sweater, but with plain stockinette wouldn’t you be able to see where the stitches were marching out in opposite directions? I always think that must only work when you’ve got a fair isle yoke or something bumping up against the cast-on dividing line.

        • Short answer: not really… It should look like a smooth transition even in stockinette. If you have tension isssues, it might be noticeable, but a good blocking should sort that out. Knitting looks pretty similar rightside up and upside down, the little Vs will just move over a bit.

  9. I, too, have dreamed of knitting a textured shawl for eons but have never found the right yarn. So happy to see yours humming along — beautiful — and I love that you’re knitting yours in ivory. I’m completely monogamous right now finishing up a test knit but oh boy, you should see the queue in my head! Happy weekend.

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