WIPs for the road

Travel essentials - yarn, shoes, iPad

I am, as they say, leaving on a jet plane; don’t know when I’ll be back again. Back to blogging, I mean. I’ve given myself permission to take a little blog vacation next week, but we’ll see whether I’m able to stay away. In other words, expect posting for the next week to be somewhere between sporadic and non-existent. I will check in on comments plus Instagram and Twitter, so if you want to see pictures of my niece learning to knit or of Kansas cows (both likely), tune in there.

Traveling with me are exactly two knitting WIPs. One low-attention item, which you may have noticed is another Textured Shawl. (This one will be a slight variation on the pattern, and I’m using the Kathmandu Chunky left over from my Walpole.) And for putting the uninterrupted flight time to maximum use, my neglected Acer cardigan. Not accompanying me are any spare needles or yarn for possible spontaneous cast-ons. If I finish the shawl and need another low-attention option (not likely), I can cast on a sleeve for the Acer. One way or the other, I’m determined to make serious progress on this cardigan over the next few days.

Wish me luck!


In quick Fringe Supply Co. news, the latest issue of Taproot has landed. And please note that orders placed today (Friday) through Tuesday will ship on Wednesday. Thanks again to all the lovely patrons of FSCo. I love packing up your packages.


Be well, and I still want to hear what you’re working on …

Starting and finishing Orlane’s Textured Shawl

Orlane's Textured Shawl

In the end, as you all suspected, everything is fine. With the knitting finished and the object blocked, it’s smaller than a shawl but bigger than a kerchief. I failed to measure anything before I blocked it, but I suspect it wound up about 32 inches wide. After blocking, it’s 42 inches wide and 21 tall. It’s just big enough to be useful, but I had an idea and it may be going to live with someone else anyway. I’ll definitely make it again, either way. I just love this combination of textures.

For the sake of anyone who’s wanted to knit Orlane’s Textured Shawl Recipe but didn’t know how to fill in the blanks, here’s how to do it:

It’s a top-down shawl, which means you begin with the few stitches right at the base of the neck and work outwards into the triangle, which is shaped by increases along the way. Start with the garter tab cast-on — Stephen West’s tutorial is terrific — which will leave you with 9 stitches on your needle. Now work a setup row: k2, place marker, m1L, k2, m1R, place marker, k1, place marker, m1L, k2, m1R, place marker, k2. You’ve now marked off the two edge stitches and the center stitch. The top edge (the two stitches on either end) is worked in garter stitch, so you’ll knit the first and last two stitches on every row. Every right-side row is an increase row, worked the same as the setup row above: k2, slip marker, m1L, work to next marker, m1R, slip marker, k1, slip marker, m1L, work to next marker, m1R, slip marker, k2. A wrong-side row in a stockinette or textured portion of the shawl is: k2, purl to the last two, k2 (slip all markers, obviously). Once you get to the garter border, a wrong-side row is just knit every stitch. Hope that helps.

If you’re smarter than me (especially if you’re using a yarn that’s a drastically larger or smaller gauge than her DK), you’ll knit a gauge swatch and measure your row gauge. If you have a target height you’d like your shawl to be, multiply that by your row gauge and you’ll know how many rows you’ll be knitting. Then you can divide those up between stockinette, textured and garter rows however you like.

Mine is 16 rows of stockinette (41 sts on the needles), then 14 rows of the textured stitch, 14 stockinette, 14 textured, 14 stockinette, 8 textured, 30 garter. The yarn is the really delicious Pioneer from A Verb for Keeping Warm, knitted on US8 needles.

Blocking the Textured Shawl

After consulting with Twitter friends, given that I wanted to block this fairly aggressively, I used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off, and wow, I love it — this despite the fact that it took me THREE AND A HALF HOURS! I also took the time to use blocking wires on this to make it as perfect as possible. And it was perfect when the wires came out. But two hours later, when I took the photo on the right above, it had already started to go a little wobbly along the top edge again. Of course, when it’s around your neck nobody knows if that edge is straight or not. As long as the rest is flat and lovely, I’m content.

Cheers to Orlane. And heartfelt thanks if you’d favorite it on Ravelry.


In other news (for anyone who missed the edit), Pom Pom Quarterly is back in stock!


This is not a shawl

Karen's Textured Shawl in progress

This is my Textured Shawl, you know. The one Kristine observed started out life as a moth, which has since evolved into a stingray. What it has not evolved into is, well, a shawl. My feet will give you some sense of scale, and while they are undeniably large, they are at least half the length of any self-respecting triangular shawl. I have only enough yarn left for a few more rows of the garter edge; the two skeins I have are apparently all I’ll ever be able to get. So I’ve been doing constant math trying to make sure I don’t run out.

As I near the last row, I’m not sure it’ll be big enough to qualify as a kerchief. I may need to select a small child to give it to.

But it’s puzzling. This is the hazard of knitting from something like Orlane’s Textured Shawl Recipe, of course. She’s given no gauge or dimensions. She says she used 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas’ Suri Merino (DK, 164 yds/skein), and the Ravelry page shows that she used US9 needles. So I can’t know how my gauge compares to hers, but I’m using 2 skeins of A Verb for Keeping Warm’s Pioneer (worsted, 160 yds/skein) and US8 needles, so we should at least be in the same ballpark, right? Because I’m worried about running out, I knitted a row or two less, here and there, than she says she knitted — maybe a total of 5 or 6 rows less. Sure, her gauge could be really loose (although it doesn’t appear to be), but twice as loose? Doubtful. So I’m at a loss as to how mine is so much smaller than hers.

Also, raise your hand if you think this rhombus of mine will block out to a proper triangle! I’m hoping for multiple blocking miracles here.


I also hope everyone’s weekend is grand! Tell me what you’re working on, if you’re so inclined …