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Stormy Waters

It has been a year of stormy waters, so it seems like a good time, and a beautiful sunny day, to pull out my Storm Water Shawl pattern, sit outside, and knit for a bit.

The pattern I chose for this design is an adaptation of the Tilting Block pattern found in Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, a light-hearted little garter stitch and lace repeat. This is a work in progress photo, so the tilt of the blocks and the pattern of the eyelets are not as easy to see, but lace comes alive best after a good blocking. The yarns I chose, as you can see in the photo above, are two colour ways that might not necessarily pair very well, but I'm pleased with the result.

One of the unique features of this shawl is that each row is knit alternating between two separate skeins of yarn. The original goal was to prevent the "pooling" effect that sometimes happens with hand dyed (or space dyed) yarns. For these types of yarns, sometimes the colours can unintentionally concentrate in a particular area, creating this "pooling" effect that makes the colours appear "blotchy". Alternating two skeins of the same yarn in a very tight one row interval can prevent that effect and restore a more random-looking colour change.

There are other advantages to this technique as well. If you use two entirely different skeins of yarn (by weight, texture, colour, or any combination) such a quick change can mean the two yarns (even unlikely yarn partners) can blend together in a more subtle way. It's a fun project to experiment with and it's a great way to use up some stash, because it's also the type of project where size doesn't really matter - wider for a shawl, narrower for a scarf, and as long as you want or until you run out yarn.

The pattern is free, so give it a try, and use the tag #stormwatershawl to show off your project on Instagram!



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