Most people who know me also know that I love to work with wool. I’ve been knitting for just a few years, and spinning for even less. But it’s funny how some skills you just pick up easily, as if they’ve been waiting for you all along. It turns out the arcane art of fluff charming skipped a generation: both my grandmothers knitted, although oddly I don’t remember them doing so.
In a time when we can pick up mass-produced, often ethically worrying clothing for low, low prices, the act of slowly, patiently crafting something to wear out of an agricultural by-product feels almost revolutionary. It’s certainly magical. If it’s handspun and hand knitted, a delicate scarf or shawl can take months to make; and each stitch holds a tiny dose of love and attention. It’s virtually impossible to work wool when tense, over-tired or angry – and yet any yarn junkie will tell you that the craft itself is calming and meditative to do. Added to all this, I need creative expression on a regular basis, and I find my artistic joy in the colour, shape and texture of every detail of design.
Even when working with my own yarn, mostly I follow other people’s patterns in the knitting and the crochet. But as my experience and confidence increases, I’m designing more and more for myself. Recently I took the slightly scary step of sharing my first pattern on https://www.ravelry.com (- which I can’t recommend too highly by the way. If you knit or crochet at all, I promise you’ll love it.) Like most of my online ‘products’, I’m sharing these at the moment for free or a modest donation if you’d like to send one by Paypal to the usual email address. Here then, are two copies of the pattern – one for knitters, and one for crocheters….
Inspired by Hitchiker and Wingspan, but with symmetry and just a little more softness to the edges.
Either a wide, shallow shawl or a scarf – triangular in shape. Formed on the bias (zigzag). The knitted version uses short rows, increases, decreases, yarn overs and a fancy cast off. Surprisingly easy and fast to make for competent beginners, whilst holding just enough interest to be relaxing for a more advanced crafter.
This works up nicely either loose and lacy or close and warm. Great for finishing yarns in stripes, or showing off hand spun yarns. Just increase until you either have a shape half as long as you want it, or until you’ve used half your yarn; then decrease again.