Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Study in Stripes

It took about six weeks, but it's done!

Pattern: Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki
Yarn: my handspun -- polwarth from All Spun Up in Goldfish Wearing a Tutu and Koi Pond
Needles: 32" US 3 (3.25 mm) Knit Picks fixed circs
Finished dimensions: 66.5" wide by 26" tall
Started/Completed: February 26/April 13
Mods: added almost (see below) two additional stripes to maximize my yarn usage

If you're on Ravelry with any regularity and look at the patterns that are available, chances are you've seen this pattern -- as of this writing, there are 2,275 projects logged on Ravelry. I'd had it in my favorites for some time before I finally got around to buying the pattern a couple of month ago. I knew I wanted to use these two yarns for it as soon as I finished the second skein during last year's Tour de Fleece and discovered that the two skeins had nearly identical yardage (not to mention that they both shared that beautiful goldfish color!).

The pattern is actually very simple but also very clever. It starts as a typical top-down triangle shawl, but it quickly becomes asymmetrical through the use of short rows. In essence, you work increasingly longer sections of each stripe at a time, adding more stitches each short row, until you're back at the beginning. It's quite smart, I think, and because of the way it's constructed, it's very easy to add or subtract stripes to accommodate your yarn supply. In my case, I tried to add two additional stripes (for a total of 14), but discovered that my GWAT was going to run out before I finished the full last stripe (I needed five more short rows to finish it), so I just knit to the end of the row. That means my 14th stripe is a little uneven, but frankly I don't think you can tell.

The only other mod I made was to go down three needle sizes from what was recommended in the pattern. My yarn was closer to laceweight than fingering, and I knew if I used what was called for, my shawl would be really flimsy and would probably stretch out a lot. I was worried that it might end up a little on the small size, but as you can see, it's plenty big.

You might think that after spending six weeks on this shawl I'd be sick of garter stitch, but apparently I'm not, because I bought the pattern for Color "Affliction" (as my friend Anna has named it) today. There is lots of garter stitch in my future!


  1. Color Affection is my favorite! It gets a bit exhausting on the last section, but it is worth it. Mine is definitely my most worn piece, and I get a TON of compliments on it. Plus it's GIGANTIC. There's so many things to do with it! I used Miss Babs Yet, and it's really pretty with that slightly silky sheen.

  2. gorgeous! i should really get out my needles and start knitting again.

  3. Yay, it's finished! I love the shawl. I have seen a number of beautiful stripe study shawls knit up. I'll have to join the club, I think, and cast one on myself soon :)