Friday, May 5, 2017

Fresh Off The Needles: Starry Water Shawl


I've realized that I didn't really say much about the shawl that I had been working on since February. I think I made a passing comment about it in this post, which I had made shortly after my Carpal Tunnel release surgery, but other than that, nothing. I posted a handful of photos of it on Instagram but only specified the details of what pattern I was knitting and in what yarn. I really have no explanation as to why I didn't post more info about what I was working on for over a month. So I'll give it to you now!

This here is the Water Shawl by Sylvia McFadden (aka Softsweater on Instagram, if you want to check out more of her work!). I call mine Starry Water because of the yarn, which is Dream in Color's Starry in the Deep Seaflower colourway. You can't really tell in the photos but there's a small percentage of metallic Lurex filament plied right into the yarn (to be clear, it's not Stellina, which is a non-metal fibre...I was one of those people who thought they were all made with Stellina), that I think gives this shawl a 'moonlight on the water' essence to it. Unfortunately, I didn't give myself any time to photograph the shawl properly after blocking it before I gave it away. I had enough time to snap a few photos in poor lighting (it was also a super grey and rainy day) and found out later that either I suck at capturing anything blue or my camera just couldn't handle the shades within the blue. Oh well.

So what made me knit this shawl, aside from wanting to knit the pattern ever since it was released back in January, was the fact that my kiddo's school's year-end fundraising auction is coming up (at the end of this month, to be exact!). Usually, all the local businesses that I frequent have already been approached so I tend to knit something instead. I was hoping to knit a few items but that didn't happen. Maybe next year. In the meantime, I used this opportunity to knit a pattern I've been wanting to knit and to use up stash yarn. Finally, a chance to use yarn that I had languishing in my stash for over six years! I'm super happy with how well the yarn looks in this pattern.


I had knit the pattern as written, well, except for the border. I absolutely loved the lace-y picot bind off that I did on the Waiting For Rain shawl that I made for my son's teacher, that I decided to use it again on this shawl instead of the standard garter stitch border. I seriously cannot get enough of this bind off!! Not only is it fun to knit, but I think it just gives the shawl a little more oomph! A little something-something. Also, I was hoping it would eat up more yarn. For the record, it didn't. 

I was tempted to knit an extra lace repeat in hopes of using up more yarn but in the end opted to just leave the shawl as is, mainly because I was paranoid that I would end up short on yarn for the bind off and a big part of me was just done with the knitting part. Even though I love the pattern and found it to be a soothing knit, since this project wasn't for me, I really wasn't that invested mentally. If that makes any sense. By the time I bound off the last stitch I discovered that I had more than half of the second skein leftover and I pondered for half a second about ripping back and adding in that extra repeat but another part of my brain quickly nixed that idea.

I went up a needle size since I tend to knit garter stitch tighter than most knitters. Halfway through the shawl, a part of me was wondering if I should have gone up two needle sizes as the shawl was looking much smaller than I had hoped it would be, but I soldiered on. I did end up with a couple of extra stitches somewhere before or after the first lace repeat. I think I did a few extra increases while I was busy chatting with friends and not paying attention but those extra stitches don't affect the lace section or even the overall finished look of the shawl. So I'm not going to fret over them.

I'll admit that I freaked out just a smidge when the shawl came off my needles. It looked much, much smaller than I thought it would be and I had actually put off blocking it for a few days to think about what I was going to do. Should I rip out the picot bind off and add that extra lace repeat? Should I add more garter stitch? Or should I just block it and hope for the best? I ended up doing the latter and I'm glad that I did. Oh, the magic of blocking! And yay for blocking aggressively!! A couple of blocking wires, a handful of T-pins, and a whole lot of tugging later, the garter loosened up and the lace opened up and started to look like waves of water. And because of all this, the shawl grew to a beautiful and most importantly, to a useable size. Phew!

While I'm pleased with how the shawl turned out, I think if I were to knit this again I would definitely go up another needle size and add in that extra lace repeat! I would like to say I'll knit this pattern again as I would love to have one for me but realistically I probably won't. There are more of Sylvia's shawl patterns that I would love to knit up. I've been itching to cast on A Joyful Thread for months now and I've been really eyeing up Love & Darkness too. Not to mention that I still want a Waiting For Rain to call my own! 

So many shawls...so little time!


:: Shawl Details ::
Pattern: Water by Sylvia McFadden

Yarn: Dream in Color Starry
Colour: Deep Seaflower
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Interchangeable Circulars in 4mm (US 6)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Starry Water




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