If you’ve been following along on the blog for a while, you’ll know that I decided to do a personal A to Z challenge with socks, and I have been enjoying that so much, I decided to expand it to one focusing on Shawls, A to Z. Aloft will be the first in that challenge of 26 alphabetically arranged projects and it was a fun one to start with.
Pattern: Designed by Bekah Knits, this was originally included in Laine’s 52 Weeks of Shawls book but is now available via the designer on Ravelry as a standalone download. The pattern is written with 3 sizes and I chose to knit the middle size. I really love the combination of simple open lace motifs and the textured bobbles throughout, and the fact that the designer took her inspiration from flocks of migrating birds (which makes it a perfect fall project too). Despite knitting pretty much to gauge (I was just barely off), I used MUCH less yarn than the pattern calls for. I made my version, which is still plenty generous, using just under 750 yards while the yardage estimates were around 1100 yards for this size. I also remarked in another earlier post that the charting was a bit odd. It took me some puzzling over to figure out how the chart was written – I’m not sure if this was a designer thing or an editing thing – but either way, it will help if you’ve knit a triangular shawl with a center back “spine” and increases on each side to visualize how the chart sections go together. Once past that hurdle, however, the project is easily achievable for an adventurous beginner. I did also work the bobbles differently than the instructions. Worked as written, they were kind of flat and if I’m going to have bobbles in a project I want them to really pop, so I used my tried-and-true method, which I liked much better.
Yarn: I had three lone remaining skeins of a custom mill-spun yarn I developed for my club members when I was running my business. This was the Celestial base and was a 70/20/10 blend of alpaca, wool and silk, although these final 3 skeins had less of the silk neps that were in the rest of the yarn batch than the ones I sent to customers. I absolutely LOVED this base and wanted to make something special out of it. It is warm and soft and blooms wonderfully when blocked (and I love gray yarns). I was delighted to have this lovely shawl pattern work so well with the yarn and sad that it’s been knit up, although I loved every stitch.
Summary: A very enjoyable knit and I would recommend the pattern with the above few notes to be aware of. It is nice that the pattern is written so you can choose to add on repeats if you have enough yarn to do so. If you go that route, I’d weigh your yarn as you add in row repeats so you’ll be able to estimate how much to leave in reserve for the final border (which is 80 rows deep). I think this would be lovely in most tonal/solid-ish colors and would work okay with a heavy laceweight too if you have 800 or so yards kicking around in stash of something.