Thursday, 12 July 2018

Knitting: Spindrift Shawl

We've been basking under glorious sun and heatwave temperatures for the last couple of weeks so it's fair to say that the project I have to share today isn't particularly seasonal. I've still been managing to get a bit of knitting done though, and part of that knitting was finishing this Spindrift Shawl.

The Spindrift Shawl is a pattern by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. It's a one-skein, crescent-shaped shawl and is a really simple but effective design. The main part of the shawl is simple stocking stitch, complemented by a deep eyelet border and a picot edge. It's basically a great introduction to shawl knitting if you're a beginner, or a lovely relaxing knit if you've got a bit more experience. It's also available free if you sign up to the Spindrift Shawl email workshop, which is always good (doesn't everybody love a freebie?!).

I've been knitting a few of Helen Stewart's patterns this year because I signed up to The Handmade Sock Society to help improve my sock knitting skills, and I really like how her patterns are written. In case you're not familiar with them, they use the Curious Handmade Percentage Checklist Pattern format. This means that all of the rows are written out in a checklist together with the percentage of the pattern that you've completed. I find it quite addictive because I end up wanting to knit just a little bit further to make it to the next percentage marker! I think it helps me to get through the patterns quicker than I otherwise might because I'm not the world's speediest knitter.

The finished shawl is a lovely shape too I think. It's wide enough that it can definitely be wrapped around your shoulders as a small shawl, but long and narrow enough to also be able to be worn like a scarf too. Perfect if you like the idea of shawl knitting, but aren't sure whether you'd actually wear some of the bigger shawls.

The yarn that I used for this project is from Viking Yarns. It's the Super Merino Sock base in the Blue Fairy colourway, and was a joy to knit. I love the pale blue colour interspersed with bright multicoloured speckles, and I think it works really well with this pattern.

One of the side effects of getting into sock knitting for me has been going further and further down the rabbit hole of hand dyed yarn - there are so many pretty colours to choose from! I'm trying to be good and limit myself to buying yarn as I need it for projects though because, as I mentioned, I'm not a particularly quick knitter and it would be a shame for gorgeous skeins to be gathering dust waiting for me to get around to knitting them.

All in all, I'm really pleased with everything about this project. I really enjoyed knitting the shawl, I love the yarn and I'm pretty sure that it'll be worn a lot - once the temperatures have dropped a bit at least! I've got a growing list of shawl patterns that I'd like to cast on now - I think my next will be either a Minimania or a Salcombe Shawl. Or do you have any particularly good shawl patterns to recommend to me?


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