The Wingspan Shawl

If you’ve been conscious over the past two weeks in the knitting world, you’ve probably seen the Wingspan shawl. This is an incredible design that looks like a bird’s wings. The original is very striking because it’s knit in a hand-dyed ombré yarn that shades once over a colour progression in 800 yds or so. The kit went on sale last Saturday at the Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto, and the pattern went on sale on Ravelry the same day.

You know I bought both. 🙂

Here’s the Wingspan pattern on Ravelry.

Here’s the kit at Blue Brick Yarns.

There’s (predictably) a backlog on yarn orders – this pattern has gone viral – so I cast on the shawl in Briar Rose Sea Pearl, a yarn in my stash which comes in an 800 yd skein of fingering, just like the specified yarn. This is a handpaint, not an ombré, so the wings won’t shade. Sea Pearl is 50% merino and 50% tencel, so it has a shine. This skein has always made me think of a bird’s feathers, so it seemed the perfect choice. I’m not sure what colourway mine is as it’s not marked on the tag and there seem to be a few contenders on the Briar Rose site – if they even dye this colourway anymore. My skein has been well-aged in the stash.

Here’s the skein before I caked it up:Briar Rose Sea Pearl

And here’s my progress on the shawl.

Wingspan shawl knit by Deborah CookeYou can see that I’ve finished the second row of feathers. (There are four rows altogether.) I’m really pleased that there’s no pooling of the colour. My beads have arrived (they’re pewter with silver linings) so I’ll be adding them to the rest of the shawl.

This is a really lovely knit. It’s quite addictive. Although the instructions are written, not charted, once I got the hang of what is going on, I didn’t need to read every line anymore. (I’m not sure that this pattern could have been charted.)

What do you think?

The Pink Cowl

I don’t knit cowls very often, but I recently finished one. This yarn and pattern was my subscriber gift from Rowan – the pattern is called Prospero and the yarn is Alpaca Merino DK (those are both Ravelry links). The colourwas is Hoby, which is a heathered pink. The yarn is discontinued but I chose it as my gift because I was curious about it. It has a chainette construction. I’d never knitted a yarn like this before. Here’s a close-up of the yarn:

Alpaca Merino DK

What’s interesting is that the yarn was so hard to photograph. I guess it’s so fine that the camera wanted to focus on the background instead, as if the yarn wasn’t even there. You can see the construction of it, though. It’s very airy and can be twisted to just about nothing.

Prospero is a garter stitch scarf grafted into a loop which doesn’t make it the most exciting knit ever. On the other hand, a plain knit like this is an opportunity to be mindful as you work. I had to knit carefully to avoid splitting the yarn – I used really blunt needles, but still had to keep an eye on it. It wasn’t good tv knitting, so I had to make an hour here or there, just to work on it. I made Russian joins where I switched balls, and that worked beautifully to hide the ends. Because the yarn is so open, it doesn’t look any different where it’s doubled over.

I didn’t get anything close to gauge in the length, so I used four balls instead of the two specified in the pattern. The finished cowl is supposed to be 29″ but mine is about 35″. Longer is better when it comes to scarves, IMO, and once I was into the fourth ball, I decided to just use it up. Here it is, finished but not blocked:

Prospero knitted by Deborah Cooke in Alpaca Merino DK

My graft looks good from the right side, although I had a hard time ensuring that the tension was consistent, so it looks a little less good on the back.  And yes, I made one mistake in the graft, but by the time I saw it, I wasn’t going to rip back to fix it.

Ewden, designed by Sarah Hattan in Rowan Alpaca Merino DKI like the fabric from the yarn a lot. It feels light and squishy, and the heathered colour makes it more interesting. This photo is pretty accurate in terms of colour. The finished cowl is a continuous loop of squishy softness. I suspect I’ll wear this a lot this winter.

In fact, I liked it enough that I ordered some more of this yarn before it disappears forever. I’m going to knit Ewden, a pullover designed with this yarn, in the same pink colour. I just love the cable detail on this sweater, which was designed by Sarah Hatton.

What do you think?

My Ocean Ridges Afghan

I’ve been sharing my progress this summer on my Lizard Ridge afghan knitted in Noro Kureyon. This has to be the fastest project I’ve ever knitted. The pattern is addictive, plus I pretty much stuck to this one project. It was great car-knitting for summer road trips.

I showed you the finished squares last time. I’ve washed and blocked them now, and have sewn them together. Kureyon isn’t a really great yarn for seaming because it’s loosely spun. Instead, I used some black sock yarn – it’s three-ply Patons Kroy – which is smoother and thinner as well as having a bit of nylon in it.

Here it is:

Lizard Ridge Afghan knitted in Noro Kureyon by Deborah Cooke

The pattern suggests a crocheted border in Cascade 220. Instead of buying yet more yarn, I visited the stash. I have more than a sweater’s worth of Berella Muskoka in Amethyst Heather, which is (surprise!) purple. I’ll use that for the border.

The next time you see this beast, it will be done!