Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Top Down Faroese Style Shawl

I started another Faroese-style shawl May 13th. I meant to take a picture but I procrastinated so long, I had to put it on a second circular needle so you could see all of it.

I made a blue Faroese-style shawl more than 3 years ago, and I've worn it so much, it's getting a bit shabby.

In a roundabout way, I can thank Kaylee for this project. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn, color Java. I got one skein 2 years ago, and it has stayed in my stash waiting for the right project. I won't go into the embarrassing details, but there was an incident involving a puppy, a skein of yarn, and lots of running and swearing. Ahem. It was my fault, I admit that.

I had a skein of sock yarn to untangle, and I wasn't worried. I'm a tatter, after all, and I've untangled lots of snarls in my life. Well, this was different. I've never had to work so hard to get tangles undone. J. helped when I got discouraged. At one point he said, "Why don't you chuck it and get a new ball?" I told him it was old, probably couldn't find it anymore.

As I worked on the yarn, I realized I loved the colors. The brown shades are my favorite, and I hated the thought of throwing away the yarn. I searched the internet, and found that I could still get the same color in Cherry Tree Hill yarn. Gee, J. had told me it was okay to replace the ball, so I got two. How's that for logic? The new yarn arrived before I finished untangling the last of the mess. Now I have 3 balls of beautiful brown sock yarn, and I'm going to have a warm shawl for the fall and winter.
I call this a Faroese-style shawl because I start at the top and knit down. A traditional Faroese shawl starts at the bottom and decreases to the top. I prefer top-down so I can end when I'm out of yarn. I'm using #7 circs, about 4.5 stitches per inch. I'm knitting in garter stitch, and increasing every other row, at the ends and on either side of the gusset. The gusset has been widening gradually, about every 10 rows, and is now out to 27 stitches. I may go to 31 or 33 stitches before I stop. I did several samples, and unfortunately, this yarn does not show a lace pattern well. I might put in a row or three of yo, k2tog at the hem, but I have time to think about it. My increases are all knit in the front and back of the stitch, I didn't want the lacy look of a YO increase.
Currently the shawl is about 12" down the gusset, and the side measures about 24". I have over 100 stitches in each side, 29 stitches in the gusset, and 6 stitches for each border. I am not yet finished with my first ball of sock yarn. I should be able to get a good sized shawl out of this.

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