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Episode 157: Reviews and more.

Welcome to episode 157! This week I have a two FOs and reviews – Zen Yarn Garden Gradient Quartets and the Strickplaner from Martina Behm. I also have some other knits and a bit of a catch up since it’s been two weeks.

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  • Finished: Falkland in Hydrangea (dyed by me)




Last fall at Rhinebeck I acquired some beautiful yarns and was eager to put them to good use.  One particular acquisition, a mishmash of gradient sets from A Hundred Ravens, set me on the hunt for a good shawl pattern where I could make the best use of the yarn.

I also acquired some O-Wool O-Wash, a fingering weight yarn, in an off white colorway, Barn Owl, to go with the gradient set.

After a bit of deliberation I settled on Buccaneer by Justyna Lorkowska.  Buccaneer is a great garter stitch shawl with two striped sections of feather and fan lace.  The construction, as it turns out, is very similar to the Find Your Fade shawl I just knit.

Buccaneer by Justyna Lorkowska, pattern available for digital download via Ravelry, $6.00

The first garter stitch section flew by and before I knew it I was starting the feather and fan stripes:

I should say that I loved knitting with both of the yarns.  The O-Wash is super soft and squishy, and I love knitting it in garter stitch. It makes such a cozy fabric.  The Iachos from A Hundred Ravens is a slightly tighter twist yarn than the O-Wool, and I found it great for stitch definition in the lacy section. Once I blocked it the yarn opened up beautifully.

After I sped through the striped section (just one more row, just one more color!) I moved on to the second garter section.  This one kept growing, but took longer as the rows were  longer.

Then I got to the second striped section.  This is where I diverged from the pattern somewhat.  The pattern calls for the second set of stripes to be narrower than the first. I didn’t find that as pleasing aesthetically, and I also had fewer colors than needed for that section, so I got a bit inventive and changed it up a bit.  Of course, since I got inventive with it, it also means that I ended up ripping and re-knitting this section repeatedly.  This was no fault of the pattern; it was totally my own fault, but it made for a frustrating portion of the knit.

Can you spot the mistake?

Finally I was to the final garter section!  That flew off the needles and I was ready to block.

For this shawl, I opted to steam block the lace sections so they would open up and leave the garter sections alone so they wouldn’t get stretched out. I find unblocked garter stitch to be squishier and more fun to wear than when it has been blocked.

Overall, this was a fun project to knit. I will say that the pattern is written for two versions, one with the stripes as feather and fan, and one with the stripes as chevron.  When writing the pattern, the designer opted to put both versions in and sort of interspersed the directions for each version throughout the pattern rather than keeping each version separate, so I found that kind of difficult to navigate and I think it could have been done better.  Otherwise, any frustration that I felt with this project was pure of my own making.

Now I just need to figure out how best to wear it!


Late last year the knitting community was swept up in the craze of the Find Your Fade shawl by Andrea Mowry.  I’m not exactly sure what makes the shawl so appealing: the amazingly fun use of yarns in a gradient, the unusual shape, the interplay of garter stitch and a simple lace pattern.  All I know is I watched so many people knit it and when I couldn’t wait any longer, I went ahead and dumped all my yarn out to find my own fade.

I ended up choosing (left to right): Lamby Toes Sweet Pea Sport in Sweet Tooth, Suzy Parker Yarns BFL in Tangerine Twist, Hedgehog Fibers Twist Sock in All That, Knitcircus overdyed by me, The Fiber Seed Sprout in Merlot, and Supernatural Yarns Nymph in Malfoy Manor.

The first bits went by so quickly!

Then the rows got longer and longer, and I didn’t pay attention the pattern as well as I should have.  Mine ended up a bit longer and wider than the pattern calls for and I ran out of yarn. Luckily, I was able to order a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in Korppi to finish off my shawl.

This shawl is amazing. First of all, it is enormous and will definitely keep me warm on a chilly day. I also love all the ways I could wear it – light to dark, dark to light. It was a fun knit and I’m already eyeing my stash to see what else I could knit in a similar gradient pattern.