For the second year in a row I’ve made a shawl just in time for Summer with the expectation that it would be lovely for chilly night. Then, the chilly nights failed to materialize. I did use it on the flights to and from Barcelona though. We didn’t realize the airline wouldn’t provide blankets on a transatlantic flight and we forgot to pack a sweater for the girls in their carry on. I had V next to me and she was cold so I covered her with my shawl. And then it was my turn to be cold despite my cardigan. Let’s just say I’ll be checking next time.
So, this shawl. I’ve had my eye on the pattern for a long time. It’s On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg. It’s so pretty but I didn’t think I’d make it because I already have quite a few shawls and I tend to wear the same one over and over.
Then, at Rhinebeck, last year? No, the year before. I found these gradient sets at the Spirit Trail Fiberworks booth and bought two of them (blue-green and grey). I looked for a pattern that would fit my yardage and number of colors. I’ve seen so many beautiful projects using gradient sets that I thought it would be so easy! But they always required more yardage or fewer colors. Or a contrast yarn that I didn’t have. Fast forward to last year, just before Rhinebeck. I went to my local yarn store in search of a yarn to go with a couple hanks of my handspun. I didn’t find what I needed but I did see a sock yarn that would go perfectly with one of my gradient sets: Backyard Fiberworks sock yarn in Seed, white with some grey-black speckling. Just the thing to go with the blue-green set. And I was all set to make On the Spice Market! Because one can never have two many shawls, right?
I noticed a couple of the colors in the pattern needed more yardage than I had but I set to knitting anyway. The pattern is easy to adapt to more or less yardage. I quickly saw my gauge was way tighter and that blocking, however aggressively, wouldn’t help. I went up a needle size, still didn’t get gauge, and kept going. I figured I might not run out of the two colors I was short on if my gauge was tighter and my shawl smaller. And… I made it! I had just enough of one, only inches left over. The other was not even a close call.
I had a hard time blocking the shawl because it was too big for my blocking boards. The ends didn’t get blocked at all. But hey, I’m happy with it anyway. And I’m just about to get started on another shawl. Because if we keep taking airlines that don’t provide blankets, I’m going to need bring a few…