Brrrrrrrr! Tis the season of lovely warm scarves! When I saw Countess Ablaze post her Decemberist shawl on Instagram I knew I wanted one to wrap my neck in all the snuggliness and keep me warm for the rest of the winter.
The Decemberist is a top down triangular shawl pattern by Melanie Berg knitted in super chunky yarn and is brilliantly written and easy to follow.
I love to knit with indie dyed yarn and all of my other shawls and scarves are in a beautiful riot of hand crafted colours. But I felt a bit intimidated by the 293 metres of yarn the pattern calls for. That takes it into three 200g skeins of most indie dyed yarns which given my confidence level before starting the project seemed like a lot of money for something I might mess up. So I choose the budget brand Drops Andes in their medium grey (colour number 8465) which is a wool/alpaca blend and I was pleasantly surprised by both how soft it was and how well it behaved while knitting.
Just look at those great big chunky stitches! I knitted mine on 9mm needles and it has a nice drape but I don’t think that 10mm would have hurt at all.
It was so much fun to knit such large yarn on great big needles and watch how fast it grew into a shawl. In fact the blocking took almost as long as the knitting!
Pinning it out really opened up the gorgeous lace pattern and was definitely worthwhile but I live in a draughty, cold, old house and it was taking aaaaaggggggeees to dry. So I changed tactics for the last bit with a rigged up washing line, all of my pegs and the trusty aga.
Then it was ready to wear!
So for less than £10 and under a week’s worth of evening only knitting I have a lovely shawl!
But… as big and snuggly as it is I kind of want it to be bigger! Mine didn’t come out to nearly as big as the pattern designer’s and looking through the Ravelry Project Gallery this is a common theme among those not using the pattern specified yarn. The pattern calls for Woolfolk Hygge which I have struggled to find to buy in the UK and Yarn Sub say that they do not know of many closely matching yarns.
As it was Countess Ablaze that set me on this journey, and now I know how wonderful the pattern is, I think I’m going to knit another using some of their lovely yarn! I’ll also go up a needle size or two and I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on. 🙂