Those Wyrd Sisters

I was going to tell you about a new shawl project today, but instead, I’m going to show you another one that I finally finished. (Yay!) That post about the new project has been bumped to next Friday.

When I was writing the Dragon Diaries, I did a lot of research on the Wyrd sisters in Norse mythology, also called the Norns (or sometimes the Nairns). These three immortals decide the fate of all living beings – in the myths, they’re spinners, but in Zoë’s books, they’re knitters too. Around about the same time, I was intrigued to discover that a knitting designer had created a trio of shawls to celebrate these three sisters. I had this idea that I’d knit them all to commemorate the publication of Zoë’s story.

I finally cast on in 2013.

I did finish the first one, Verdandi, pretty quickly. Verdandi is the sister who governs the present, so I called my project “Is”. This is a triangular shawl, and I knit mine in Fleece Artist Nyoni. This mohair, wool, silk and nylon blend is discontinued (so that’s a Ravelry link), which is too bad because it’s a scrumptious yarn. I still have a bit in the stash in another green colour. 🙂

The post about my completed Verdandi is right here.

Then I cast on the second shawl, Urdr. Urdr is the sister who governs the past, so my project is called “Was”. That was in September 2013. This is a huge round shawl knit in very fine laceweight yarn. The idea behind the design is that this shawl is supposed to represent the well at the root of the world tree, Yggdrasil, which the sisters tend. I used a gradient colourway from the Unique Sheep called Brigid, which made me think of copper cauldrons and ancient goddesses. (You can see Brigid on this page of the Gradiance colourways. It’s in the middle of the fourth row. Mine didn’t look quite like this sample, but each base yarn takes colour differently. Mine was very teal at the one end and quite a warm grey gold at the other with no mauve or blue bits—actually it has colours like the two middle skeins in the sample.) The base yarn is Ling, which is a silk and merino blend.

Knitting this shawl became a bit of a slog, as the rows at the end had more than 1200 stitches, and I added rows to use more of the yarn. Also, knitted lace looks like nothing until it’s blocked. I was losing heart because I had what looked like a lump in my lap each time I picked up the needles. I told Mr. Math about two weeks ago that I had to finish it, and he said “What’s the rush? You’ll just cast on another one.” Such was my mood that I wasn’t so sure of that. Maybe this would be The Last Shawl.

I should have anticipated that blocking would change everything. it’s such a magical process. Imagine my surprise when my lump stretched out to look like this:


It’s at least six feet in diameter and so lovely that I can’t stop looking at it. The yarn is dyed in gradients, which means that there are six skeins in the set, and you change from one to the next as you knit.

Here’s a detail shot, after blocking, on the couch. You can see the colours better in this shot, although IRL, the gradation is more subtle and the middle is less blue than it looks here:

Urdr2It’s supposed to have nupps (which are little knitted knots) but I don’t like knitting nupps so I put beads in those places instead. Because I didn’t make nupps, I used less yarn. I wanted to have the entire gradation of colour, though, so I added repeats to the border. I also added more beads to the outside edge. Details are on my Ravelry project page.

It was totally worth it, and I’m ready to cast on another shawl, if not two! I’ll tell you next week about my nerd knit in that raw silk and merino blend (in another gradient colourway from the Unique Sheep, also with beads). There’s also the third Wyrd sister’s shawl to knit. It’s called Skuld, for the third sister who controls the future. My project will be named “Might Be” and I have some lovely Fleece Artist yarn set aside for it. I’m going to try to be good, though, and finish the lace stole that’s on my needles and only one third knitted before casting on another. (Ha.)

What do you think of my Urdr?

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