shawls

Shawls for spring

From left: Worth the Fuss shawl, Fuss Free Festival shawl, KISS shawl.

From left: Worth the Fuss shawl, Fuss Free Festival shawl, KISS shawl.

After what seems like the longest winter ever, I am thrilled to see that here in the UK it does finally seem as though Spring has arrived. We actually have some warm sunshine today which is so very welcome after what feels like weeks of mist, fog and grey gloom. Of course, as is always the way, it's also the day that the kids go back to school after the Easter break - c'est la vie.

I don't know about you but spring always makes me think of shawls. They make for such great layering and transition pieces. With our ever changeable weather here in the UK it can be a guessing game trying to decide what to wear each day and a scarf or light shawl can provide a perfect layer of additional warmth and then then be tucked into your bag as the day warms up. Providing warmth without the commitment (and potential heat exhaustion prospects ) of a full on knitted sweater.

I'm always amazed when I hear of knitters who have never knitted or shawl or who "don't get them". There still remains a perception that shawls are for "old ladies" and for many people the word shawl conjures up images of a large, woollen triangular affair, possibly with a fringe. Wrapped around the shoulders of dear, sweet, grey-haired old lady.

In fact, one glance at the work of Stephen West for example should be enough to dispel this myth forever. Bright, colourful, and exuberant. His designs are the antithesis of the traditional image and like anything in knitting are infinitely adaptable to fit your own wardrobe and aesthetic. So for the next few weeks I'm going to be celebrating my love of shawls in all their wondrous variety. I'm going to be looking at shawl shapes, different construction methods and also some all important styling tips on how to wear your beautiful creations.

If you have a shawl related question or something you have always struggled with please do let me know. Just leave a comment below or pop over to the Facebook Group join in the discussion there.

And just to celebrate the arrival of my favourite (if fickle) season, I've set up a discount code in my Ravelry store. Just use code SPRING for 25% off the price of 3 of my most popular shawl designs: Worth the Fuss, Fuss Free Festival Shawl and the KISS shawl.

In the meantime I couldn't leave you without a message from the man himself. If you haven't seen this before please make sure you aren't watching on public transport in case of accidental guffaws. He is priceless and his attitude to shawl wearing is something I think we can all aspire to.

Worth the Fuss Shawl

Worth The Fuss (WTF) Shawl - sample knit in Eden Cottage Yarns Titus 4ply (Starling)

Worth The Fuss (WTF) Shawl - sample knit in Eden Cottage Yarns Titus 4ply (Starling)

If you've knit the Fuss Free Festival Shawl (and even if you haven't ) this shawl makes a great follow on project if you are looking for something with a little bit more detail. Garter stitch is interspersed with easy-to-count eyelet rows to add texture and interest.

The eyelet rows also have the pleasing effect of increasing the drapiness and maximising the length and depth of shawl that you can get from one skein of 4ply sockweight yarn - ideal for making the most of that precious yarn.

This sample is knit in a precious yarn indeed - Titus 4ply from Eden Cottage yarns in the Starling colourway. If you haven't seen this colourway before keep an eye on Victoria's shop for coming updates (and maybe even sign up to her newsletter to make sure you don't miss it). It's a grey - so of course I love it already - but it has tiny shots of yellow/green/brown - which when viewed as a whole really does remind you of a birds plummage. Its truly stunning and well worth seeking out if you get the chance.

The What The Fuss pattern has a 50% discount from now until the end of October. Just head over to the Ravelry page HERE and use code WTF.

I also have a version on the needles using some beautiful mini skeins which would be an ideal stash buster - so watch this space!

 

All the shawls

Fuss Free Festival Shawl in yarn from Countess Ablaze 

Fuss Free Festival Shawl in yarn from Countess Ablaze 

There has been a lot of discussion over on the Everyday Knitters Facebook group about shawls and shawl patterns and I'm finding it so inspirational seeing everyone's choices and shawls in progress.

If you are looking for inspiration there is another facebook group recently started by Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns. I know that some people aren't huge Facebook fans but there is an app - called Facebook groups appropriately enough - which allows you to not have Facebook at all on your phone or device. You can use the app to access groups but nothing else - perfect for getting your daily dose of knitting.

Anyway, there are several threads over on The ECY Garden all about recommendations for 2-colour and 3-colour shawls. Perfect if you are looking for a bit of shawl inspiration.

If you are completely new to shawls and looking for some ideas I've put together a few suggestions to get you started:

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm: a long, wrappable garter stitch shawl knit on the bias.

Knit Me by Louise Zass-Bangham: more wrappable garter stitch with a different construction.

Spindrift by Curious Handmade - beautifully simple shawl with super clear instructions.

Fuss Free Festival Shawl by Me - a garter stitch shawl knit on the bias.

Of course you are more than welcome to choose whichever pattern you want for our April shawl challenge but these are just some to start with. If you would rather pick up a WIP and work on that, that's absolutely fine. And if you really aren't into shawls then why not try a cowl instead?

There's something for everyone. The most important thing is that you pick up some fun yarn and enjoy the process.