Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Haxton Shawl

One of the most rewarding things about knitting is having an idea in my mind, figuring out how to knit it, and then trial/error until I succeed.  The Haxton Shawl stated out as a custom order - someone looking at shawls of mine and telling me what they liked about each one. 

Here is the result! I'm so happy with how it turned out.  You might notice that it has similar coloring to my Striped Sothia Shawl - that was a requested aspect.  However, the shape was completely reworked to make it larger, with a hexagon-like shape instead of triangle.

It was knitted from madelinetosh tosh merino light yarn, which is an all-time favorite of mine.  It is so soft and machine washable.  In my opinion, the luxury from this yarn comes from the fact that it's single ply.  They do such a great job of dying this yarn.  Its lovely tonal color variances are interesting to knit and give the color depth.  I used 4 skeins, 2 each in colorways Hosta Blue and Terra.  The colors are just fabulous.  It reminds me of pictures I've seen of the pueblos at Taos, New Mexico.

Now, it's not like I just start knitting and it turns out perfectly the first time.  I started in on the project, got about 32 rows in, and decided I didn't like the increases that were on the edges of the shawl.  So I ripped it all out and started over.  Here is the picture I took just before ripping out:

I tried KFB increases first (to keep it consistent throughout the shawl) but decided against it and went with yarn overs instead.  My 3 stitch garter stitch border appeared to have 4 stitches on the edge on the right hand side of the picture.  That just wasn't gonna work.  Once I paused to think about it, I realized that the KFB puts one the increase on one side only, so it's now obvious why this happened.  The yarn overs worked much better.

The next problem I encountered was a problem with the eyelet row (orange).  I had a moment of stupidity inattentiveness, and did not knit the correct number of rows before doing the eyelets.  So those had to come out.  Never fun with over 400 stitches on the needle.  But I used my needle, went down to the area before the mistake (picking up the last row of blue before the orange), picked up those stitches across the piece, and started over.  SOOOOooo much easier than ripping out blindly or tinking (knit spelled backward!).  *singing - I take two steps forward, two steps back...*

I wrote up the pattern and it will be published and available on my Ravelry designer page for $2.50.

Click here to purchase the pattern now! 

Click here to view the pattern on Ravelry.

I have thus far only listed free patterns, so I'm excited to take a step.  There is a lot of time and work that goes into writing a pattern.  Now that I have done it quite a bit, I'm appreciative of that effort more than ever.  I haven't designed anything with complex fitting, or with multiple sizes... I can't even imagine the work there.  But I'm sure I'll cross that bridge eventually.  I'm too much a sucker for a challenge!

Bon Voyage, Haxton Shawl!  Keep your new owner warm and snuggly this winter!  I've added my love into it!