Saturday, November 13, 2010

Basic Triangle Shawl

My current portable knitting project is a Basic Triangle Shawl, which I'm knitting as a favour for a friend. I'm using wool from New Moon Fibers; it's their "Socks that Rock" Mediumweight in a colour they call Gertrude Skein. (I find this funny, but I would find it funnier if "skein" and "stein" actually rhymed).

The wool is wonderful to work with. It has a well-defined twist to it, so it doesn't split while knitting like the last wool I worked with (which will remain nameless for now). However, it's still plenty soft and will be lovely to wear as a scarf.

Because the shawl starts with 9 stitches and increases 4 stitches every other row, the colours meet each other in different ways each row. The knitting in this pattern is pretty mindless, but it was entertaining to watch the colours and wonder where the creamy-white or fuchsia was going to fall the next time it came up.

However, this is a perfect example of how colours that look smashing in the skein are sometimes disappointing in the final product. I find the green and brown dominate the shawl now that it's almost done.

The pattern is easy, and once I was past the first 12 rows or so I didn't need to refer to it again. I like the way the increases turn the big triangle of the shawl into two smaller triangles that are actually knitted at angles to each other.

I'm not fond of the garter stitch edge that this shawl, and it seems every other shawl these days, uses. It's easy for beginning knitters and doesn't roll, but when you mix stockinette stitch (which has a width/length ratio of 3/4) with garter stitch (whose ratio is closer to 1/1), it makes the edges gather in, as you may be able to see in the picture to right. Blocking solves the problem, but only if you knit in a natural fibre like wool that will hold a block.

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