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Links for the Shawl/Scarf/Neckwarmer Knitter

2 April 2012
Color Affection

The Color Affection Shawl by Veera Välimäki. I'm itching to start this one! Photo © and courtesy Veera.

Funnily enough, it seems a lot of people are suddenly knitting, or planning to knit, shawls and scarves. Is this because it’s almost spring, but not quite? Here in Oxford, we had one gorgeous week of temperatures in the 60s (F), which I missed due to the worst chest cold of all time, and now it’s back to high 40s, low 50s. (My weather app is telling me that it might snow in London on Wednesday, but I’ve noticed a lot of false snow predictions on this app that disappear within a few hours. Is there some kind of snow default for London that disappears when a meteorologist enters actual information?) In the DC area, there was a similar fake summer, although theirs had highs in the 70s and they’re still in the 60s or so. A shawl might seem like the right option for versatile dressing: snuggly when you need it, easy to knot around your waist or shove in your bag when you don’t.

Trifecta Scarf

Or maybe I want to make this one: The Trifecta Scarf by Olga Buraya-Kefelian, whom I knew long ago in Knit Happens days. Photo © and courtesy Olga.

At any rate, I had shawls popping up at me all over the Internet recently:

  • Laura Nelkin designed a shawl to use while teaching the Craftsy class Knitting with Beads. Accola is a bottom-up shawl in which one works the border over a small number of stitches before picking up for the main body of the shawl. It has lace accents and a lot of stockinette stitch to give you a rest, and (as the class name implies) beads. Laura, Jill Draper, and Craftsy have teamed up to offer giveaway: a class and yarn for the shawl if you comment on her blog post by tomorrow (April 3).
  • Spud & Chloe is hosting a knit-along for their Trifecta Scarf, a lovely lace pattern in three different stripes. The knit along begins on Monday, April 16, and I am sorely tempted. As if I need to commit myself to another pattern, people. S&C knit-alongs are always popular, with knitters jumping in and posting about problems, solutions, and modifications like gangbusters. This one should be a great time.
  • Classic Elite Yarns featured the story of a knitter who made an incredible lace shawl for her wedding. This is such a gorgeous item – even if you aren’t a lace knitter, click over to see the beauty that is this shawl. Plus, it’s orange!
  • The yarnings podcast is having a knit-along, too, this one for the super-cool Urbanity Shawl. This shawl has a drop-stitch pattern that mimics the skyline of a city – very cool. The knit-along ends April 30, so get your pattern and join in today.

In keeping with the neck-warmer theme, I will tell you of the tiniest knit-along in the world, which Catherine (whom I met at the P3 Retreat last fall) and I sort of started a couple of weeks ago. It started, as such things often do, with enthusiasm. Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting posted a note about a beautiful, funky cowl pattern by earthchick.

Catherine and I were excited, and talked briefly about a knit-along. But (as Catherine’s first post on the cowl points out) a knit along of two is a small knit along indeed. Nevertheless, we are pushing on, in a manner of speaking. Catherine has done a lovely job, knitting and posting her progress. Do look at her post for some lovely photos of the cowl in progress.

Until last night, here is how far I had gotten:

Liquid Amber in Antilles

Hey, yarn selection is half the battle. Right? Right?

Meanwhile, Catherine has moved on to an amazing sewing project for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I can only plead start-itis, plus having to weave in all the ends of my Moderne Baby Blanket (on which more later). By last night, though, I was at a point where I could cast on something new. I also had the Sunday night blues, and using the Sundara Fingering Silky Merino I chose seemed like it might be cheering. Plus, I really, really had to get started on the cowl.

Aside: I am using a thicker yarn than is called for in the pattern. You people know that I’m still in stash-reduction mode (although I’m sure Mr. Trask would dispute this given the packages that have arrived at the house from time to time) and the only fingering-weight yarn I have is slated for another project. I got gauge in this yarn and, although I expect the drape will be somewhat different due to the different yarn weight, I think all will be well. So far, all is delightful: the yarn is lovely and the pattern is easy to remember, even for me.

Liquid Antilles Cowl

Liquid Antilles Cowl: Tiniest Progress Ever.

I worked on this while watching The Impostors, one of my favorite movies ever, and Sunday seemed a lot more manageable after that.

Are you knitting neckwarmers of any kind? Do you have an explanation for this trend? How about a neckwarmer pattern you think everyone should knit? Post any or all of that in the comments.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 April 2012 9:59 am

    Yet another wonderful blog post. Thank you for the fun links.

    OMG, that wedding shawl is amazing!

    • Kathleen permalink*
      2 April 2012 10:10 am

      Hi, Lee! Always so great to see you on this blog. I am totally blown away by the wedding shawl. If I had had 4 years of engagement, I still wouldn’t have been able to make something like that.

  2. Robin permalink
    2 April 2012 10:20 am

    I just finished the Great Cowl KAL from feministy.com. 5 cowls in 50 days!check out her website & rav group Traveling Woman.Cowls can be short projects, long projects, involving all kinds of cool techniques. Plus they can be such a great transition from winter to spring item. Nice to see you blogging more frequently.

  3. Kathleen permalink*
    2 April 2012 10:24 am

    Glad to be blogging more frequently! I am amazed at 5 cowls / 50 days. You can see that my cowl has, er, a ways to go.

  4. consuelala permalink
    2 April 2012 11:47 am

    I’ve only done one shawl in my brief knitting career, the Multnomah and gave it as a gift. But I recently started an another neck wrap/shawlette which I love, the Lintilla, named after a character in “The Hickhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” It’s a clever pattern (at least I think so) and absolutely lovely in multicolored yarn. I put it aside because of the “fake summer” we had in DC, and started a summer top. That, of course brought spring back and much cooler temperatures, so I should have stuck with it. I’ll finish it soon. I’m also going to do a cowl which I admired on someone else at my LYS called Turn Left which was taken from an episode from one of your fav TV shows, Kathleen…;-)

  5. Karen permalink
    2 April 2012 7:39 pm

    I almost always have a lace shawl on the needles–beaded, as you might suspect. Right now, I’m working on The Vlad Shawl (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vlad) by Tammy Bailey. Although, the new shawl that Franklin Habit just posted on Twitter (http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2012/04/stars-in-my-eyes.html) may be calling my name. Wonder if I can bead it… Hm…

    • Kathleen permalink*
      2 April 2012 7:45 pm

      Karen! I almost linked to your Twitter feed since the subject was shawls. I just saw Franklin’s photos and really want to make that shawl…I have startitis.

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