The Wingspan Shawl

It’s finally finished and here it is:

Wingspan shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s so big that it was hard to take a picture!

Wingspan Shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

This is the Wingspan shawl, a pattern that was released this past spring. I substituted a yarn from my stash – Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl – because I thought it had a shine like raven’s wings. One skein was also the right quantity for the shawl. This stash-busting plan went awry, though, because I ran out of yarn and bought another skein to finish the wing tips. So, now, instead of having one skein of Sea Pearl in my stash, I have .9 skein in another colourway. C’est la vie.

I also went up a needle size, because I thought the fabric was too tight. That might be why the shawl is so big. I blocked it hard in a slight V and it’s 78″ from wingtip to wingtip.

Although it’s an amazing and unusual shawl design, it’s was less difficult to knit than I’d expected. If you’ve ever knit a chevron stitch, this is similar. I found it a little tricky at the beginning to get my bearings, but stitch markers were a big help. Once I got the hang of the pattern and could read my knitting, it became a bit repetitive (but not a TV knit for me.) The transitions – between each tier of feathers – were the challenging part for me and I had to follow them very closely. I don’t love the transitions, btw, and wish the spine of each feather started sooner in the transition, as soon as the stitches are available instead of all feathers beginning at the end of the transition, but it would be a lot more complicated that way. The transitions blocked out better.

Here’s a detail shot. It’s hard to capture the subtlety of the colours in this yarn. It really is lovely.

Detail of Wingspan shawl knit by Deborah Cooke

You can see the transitions I’m talking about, below the tier of feathers on the left and before the ones that hem the shawl (and fall to the right). They’re triangles of stockinette stitch, filling the space between each feather on the previous tier.

You can see that I added some beads, too. I really should have used a lot more of them.

Phew. I’m glad to have that one off the needles! What do you think?

A New Hat

I haven’t shown you any knitting lately because I haven’t finished many projects. I have a number of bigger ones on my needles and they just go on and on.

BUT, I did finish this hat. It’s very fuzzy and soft. The best way to block a beret is on a dinner plate, which is where it is here:
Selbu Modern knit by Deborah Cooke in Misti Alpaca Sport and Rowan Mohair HazeThe pattern is Selbu Modern, which is a free download. I’ve knit this pattern before, but I gave the hat away without taking a picture. It’s an easy pattern to follow. I used stash yarn for it – Misti Alpaca Sport in dark purple (this yarn is discontinued) and Rowan Mohair Haze in bright pink.

The combination is fun and bright for those winter days. I realized as I was knitting that I’ve worked in this colour combination before – I made a pair of gloves in two shades of Kidsilk Haze (more fuzzy mohair!) but seldom wear them because they don’t go with anything else. That’s solved now! Here they are:

Striped Glvoes in Rowan Kidsilk Haze knit by Deborah Cooke

What have you been knitting lately?

 

The Completed Irtfa’a Shawl

Here’s a shawl that was on my needles for years. I kept stalling out on it, but it’s finally done—and it’s blocked too! The challenge this week was figuring out a way to photograph it, because it’s huge.

First off, the pattern. I talked about this one already once, right here. It’s a Faroese shawl, a pattern called Irtfa’a from Anne Hanson of Knitspot. Second, the yarn. I used a handpainted 2-ply merino lace called Fly Designs Dovely—the colour is Swamp Teal. (I’ve thought all along that the colour name needed some revision.) Here’s my Ravelry project page.

And here’s the finished shawl. It’s HUGE! 36″ from the centre back neck in all directions.

Irtfa'a Shawl, designed by Anne Hanson, knit by Deborah Cooke

What do you think?

I thought I was going to cast on my Firedance shawl next, but instead, Urdr made it on to my needles. I’m about a third done, and it’s a pretty knit. It’s the second of three shawls about the three Wyrd Sisters, the Norns from Norse mythology who have cameos in Zoë’s paranormal YA trilogy The Dragon Diaries. You might remember that I finished the first shawl in the series, Verdandi, last winter. I’m saving Skuld for last, just because that’s what she likes best.