A soothing yarn makes a soothing shawl

Knitting the Soothing Shawl pattern is a great follow up to what I talked yesterday about Uptown Worsted Tapestry see this yarn review if you missed it. This pattern has a lot going on in the way of textured stitches. It is an easy knit with a unique garment construction.

The common way to knit shawls is to start at the top in the middle (essentially the back of the neck). This one is knit tip to tip. This is useful if you’re not sure how much yarn you’ll have left.

With the garter tab (back of neck construction), it’s hard to tell how much yarn you’ll have left because each row is longer than the previous one.

However, when you hit the halfway point of this shawl you’ll know exactly how much yarn you’ll need for the second half.

I’m guilty of wanting to make a shawl much bigger than it’s supposed to be, so I take off knitting without any consideration to how much yarn will be needed. Then I start sweating playing yarn chicken.

The best part about the Soothing Shawl pattern? The body is completely reversible, this is actually the wrong side.

If you’ve ever started a shawl with a garter stitch tab, you know it feels a little wonky the first time you do it. You have to cast on three stitches, then knit 6 rows, then pick up stitches along three edges of your little square. It’s a cirque de soleil performance that works wonderfully once you have it memorized. When you’re just getting into shawl knitting, it isn’t really the best place to start. You cast on one stitch to begin this shawl and it’s all yarn overs and knitting until you have established the six stitch garter stitch boarder around the top and bottom edge. It’s all seed stitch in between.

The left edge is the garter stitch boarder. It’s different from the seed stitch body, but it’s subtle.

I have never really been overly fond of garter stitch, and don’t mind the garter stitch shawls, but the seed stitch really makes a beautiful texture in the yarn. Knitting it with Uptown Worsted Tapestry gives the shawl a very interesting effect. The swaths of textured stitch have the color of the yarn but running vertically rather than horizontally. This changes the way the yarn pools and makes it a bit more visually stimulating to the eye. Not all variegated yarns are created equal either. Uptown Worsted Tapestry has multiple colors running through it, while Uptown Worsted Mist is two tone. If you’re knitting something like the seed stitch pattern, you can use more color than if you’re knitting the lace edging. If you take too much color into the lace edging it is going to look messy and the stitch will not be clearly defined.

The shawl reflects the patterning of the yarn. You can see the stripes if you look closely. As the shawl gets larger the stripes will become thinner and when you pass the mid-point and start decreasing they will become thicker and more distinguishable again.

Never fear, I have not forgotten about the lace edging, we’re going to tackle that in tomorrow’s post. While the seed stitch body was uniquely structured, the lace edging is also done in an unusual way. It may be unusual, but I am totally and completely in love with it!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: New! Uptown Worsted Tapestry: plush and no pilling

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