Wednesday, June 29, 2011

May Adventures in Knitting

My adventures in knitting in May were all shawls. All but one was a test knit. (The non-test knit was a shawl of my own design.) Interestingly, all of the shawls were worsted weight.

The first shawl I knit in May was one I call "An Uncertain Shade of Red." The shawl's designer, Fiddle Knits, called the shawl "A Certain Shade of Green," but since mine is neither green nor a solid color, I think my name fits my shawl. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge.)

Continuing a trend started with the last shawl knit in April, this shawl was constructed from the bottom up. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy in the Ruby River colorway, and I used 2.4 skeins (about 600 yards). The lower section of the shawl was knit with a US7 needle, but the center section (what I call the basketweave section) was knit with a US8.

I started this shawl on 06 May and finished it on 17 May. The shawl is lovely, and it's great for cold nights. I'll probably keep this one.

My next shawl was knit for my local yarn store, to display a new yarn the store is carrying. This shawl is my own design, and I call it "Aye, Aye, Eyelet!" My goal was to design a shawl that could be knit by someone who has never knit a shawl before.

The shawl was knit with Plymouth Kudo yarn, which is an Aran-weight cotton blend (55% cotton, 40% rayon, and 5% silk), in colorway 42, using a US9 needle. Pattern instructions can be found on my Ravelry project page (log-in required).

I started the shawl on 11 May and finished on 24 May. This shawl used two skeins of Plymouth Kudo (about 390 yards).

My final May shawl was designed to duplicate the shawl worn by H.R.H. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, while on a run to the grocery store during her honeymoon. The fact that Kate was wearing a knitted garment delighted knitters around the world, despite the fact that Kate's shawl was almost certainly machine knit. A number of people have designed patterns they believe are identical to Kate's shawl, but no two patterns are alike.

I had the pleasure of testing the design by Esther Budd in a worsted weight yarn. Esther's pattern has three different versions of the shawl body. I tested the second version (see the close-up photo below), which, in my opinion, best matches Kate's shawl.

My shawl was knit with Dream in Color Classy in the Ruby River colorway. My shawl required four skeins (1000 yards) and was knit with US8 needles. Knitting the shawl went fairly quickly. The ruffle, which Esther nicknamed the "suicide ruffle," seemed to take much longer----and undoubtedly did.  There are more than 1300 stitches per round in that ruffle. (The ruffle was knit circularly.)

I started knitting H.R.H. Kate's Shawl on 25 May and finished on 03 June. This shawl, like its color-twin, was knit from the bottom up.

Two thousand yards of yarn knit in less than 27 days. That won't set any records, but it's nothing to sneeze at, either. What have you been knitting this summer?


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