Our friend Deborah Greenaway recently knit up a beautiful little 'shawl-ette' in one of our favorite yarns from Manos Del Uruguay, Alegria. Her's is a more petite version of the offered pattern, and on an adult is more like a generous scarf that could gracefully fall to the shoulder. But on a child is the perfect shawl!
One of the many things we love about Deborah besides her years of knitting experience is her no-nonsense manner of sharing her impressions about, well, anything. So I asked her a few questions about her recent knitting adventure.
Tell us about the project you chose and why?
Shawls are wonderful to knit and test a yarn where gauge doesn't matter too much as there is no fitting required and shawls dress up any outfit with a splash of color. This wide narrow style is easy to wear, a 21 century variation on traditional classic. I was looking for something interesting to highlight this illustrative yarn.
And what about the needle situation for this little shawl?
I started with the 12-inch birch wood needles in size 5 and changed to the Addi metal lace extension needles when the shawl's stitches were too many for these needles. I found the points of the wooden needles too blunt to work the lace stitch, whereas the Addi points were sharper and more slippery. This one row repeat lace is not easy to repair, so take care if you do have slippery needles.
How did the pattern work out for you?
The pattern is approachable- just rows of garter followed by rows of yarn-over and slip-slip knit-two-together. The slip-slip-knit is good on the first row, however I found on the return row doing the same stitch is difficult to achieve- or at least is an awkward movement. I preferred to knit two together through the back of the loop, which is a slightly different look but is easier to maneuver.
So did you change up the rhythm of how this pattern works then?
After several repeats of prescribed pattern I changed to one lace row and purled back as this was much easier to execute. Slip-slip-knit together is simple enough but when followed again on the return row, the stitches are lying in an awkward position. I found the knitting and the lace to be greatly improved with a return purl row in between. I have noticed this to be true for most lace knitting.
That makes good sense. Did you change anything else?
With the hopes of using just one skein, I continued in this manor until I estimated I had sufficient yarn to bind off, making the shawl about 15 inches deep by 4 foot wide (which is much more petit than the pattern's example photo).
Are you happy with it?
The look and feel of this shawl is beautifully soft and snuggly and the sampler style change in pattern is an interesting variation. I'm unsure about the color play with the lace... the color dispersement of the yarn and the rapid increases in this design prevent any large pooling of color.
What would you do next with this yarn?
The yarn is soft and smooth and doesn't split, making it lovely to work with. I would like to knit with this yarn for child's sweater or socks as it has cozy softness and appeal, and I would look forward to a varied play with the handpainted color.
Thank you Deborah! xxo, Anna Maria