First of all I am happy to be back. Though it’s been just 5 days without blogging, it seemed much longer. And I miss reading your blogs! I’ll try to be back on track though July is promising to be pretty hectic.
So much happened during these short days. First of all, my dear Elena is gone 🙁 She went back to Russia and we won’t see each other at least for one year. We spent yesterday’s morning in the airport crying and laughing at the same time. I already miss her terribly… Second, our last FO photo story was interrupted by the death of my camera. Oh, well. I can’t complain – it was a 10 year old used camera that served me well the whole year. Before I replace it, I will try my best with my old second hand 40 dollar “pocket” camera. Well, that’s it for the life news, let’s get to knitting.
FO – Exploration Autumn
Looking at my finished Exploration Autumn I realize that it’s probably the most stitches that I have ever knit in one piece. This shawl is huge! It wasn’t supposed to be this big according to the pattern, but it was my fault. I know my hands, I know I a loose knitter, I know if the pattern asks for 4 mm (US 6) needles, I should go down to 3 mm, 3.5 mm tops. But I misled myself. The thing is that the 4 mm circular wooden needles are my favorite to work with, especially with this springy wool yarn. There is something so satisfying about wool and wood in my hands… So I closed my eyes and chose the recommended needle size to end up with a shawl-parachute. That being said I actually love its finished size! You can entirely wrap yourself up in its colorful stripes from head to toe!
Ravelry page. Exploration Autumn. The name was inspired by the color palette.
Pattern. Exploration Station by Stephen West
Yarn. This is the first project of my life that I knit with 100% wool yarn! Being restricted by the weather to cotton, linen, silk, bamboo, etc for the last two years, I’ve never even hold pure wool in my hands. Well, what can I say… You guys are right – wool is a dream fiber to work with! So springy, squashy and warm! Though I love the texture, luster and smoothness of cotton with all my heart and hands, I know that from now on I will have wool on my needles regularly! Because of my “misgauge”, I used almost 7 balls of Knit Picks’ Palette instead of planned 4. More details on yarn can be found here.
Color. Stephen West is the king of the color play, that’s for sure!
The pattern provides a great canvas for experiment. You can use the recommended 4 color combination, or go crazy and take out all your leftovers from your yarn basket and go for it! Before casting on, you should definitely check numerous Ravelry projects to get some inspiration and ideas!
Texture. This shawl was a a part of a mystery shawl KAL last year. I was listening to Ashley’s interview with Stephen where he shared his design process and how the mystery KAL is slightly different from writing a usual pattern. Mystery pattern always has to have some element of surprise – you can’t start with one stitch pattern and finish with the same one. Well, this pattern is definitely not boring! Short rows, brioche, garter, knit/purl, lace… All this combination creates such a diverse fabric!
My personal favorite was colorful short rows! They are so easy to work with and they create such an interesting effect.
I’ve never tried brioche before and to be honest, it seemed a little bit too fuzzy for me. Maybe just because I am not used to it. But the texture it creates is worth all the effort!
The border is absolutely beautiful and easy to knit! I also loved that the shawl required minimum finishing – no picking up stitches along the border, that’s the beauty of the i-cord trimming.
More on the Exploration Station this weekend!
Have a great day today!