The blocking thread has finally been pulled free of my Brambling Shawl, and the finished piece is ready for a photograph, even if I have to pull a few funny shapes so that I can stand back far enough from it to get the whole […]
The second month’s instalment of A Year of Techniques focusses on the favourite skill of 1980s jumper fans: Intarsia. Bristol Ivy’s Brambling Shawl sets out to separate intarsia’s reputation away from images of a grinning Giles Brandreth in a striking and bold colourblock design.
Knit in five different shades of Fyberspate’s Cumulus yarn, the pattern uses a clever pairing of increases and decreases along the intersecting lines of colour to create very gentle curves of colour whilst only ever having to twist yarns together in vertical columns of colour.
Brambling is a fantastic example of a perfect pairing of yarn and pattern. Though the fluffy alpaca and silk yarn is occasionally difficult to work with, wanting to grab onto itself like a deranged lobster, the beautiful lightness and generous halo is both forgiving on the intarsia colour borders and minimises the impact of the raised decrease lines, allowing the colours to hug each other and the colours to remain in centre focus.
Three quarters of the way into this knit, the project feels as light as air and as each colour is broken off in turn it feels like a sprint finish is underway.
I am excited to announce the release of my new shawl pattern: Emberwarm.
This smart and stylish shawl is so named for the resemblance of warm embers in a fire grate, and the feeling of cosy warmth that both will give. The shawl is knit in simple garter stitch with occasional slipped stitches that create the pattern in a form of mosaic knitting. This means that to knit the shawl the knitter only works with one shade of yarn in any given row, so the knit is both speedy and incredibly easy, yet still interesting as the pattern unfolds with each successive row. This also means that there are no awkward ‘floats’ of yarn at the rear of the work to catch on clothing or to cause interference with tension when knitting.
The ingenious design of this shawl allows for complete customisation of the size without any need for complex mathematics or forward-planning, as it is knit from the bottom point upwards and can be knit as a small neckerchief by simply completing fewer rows, or knit into a huge encompassing wrap by continuing the knitting until the piece is at the desired size.
An added benefit of this is being able to use all of a precious skein of yarn with a colour progression that should be made the most of, or a special skein of handspun that deserves to be knit in its entirety with none left to waste.
The Emberwarm shawl has a beautiful slightly textural feel to the knitting due to the garter stitch and slipped stitch patterning making the finished shawl springy and light. Warm air is trapped between the fibres of the garter ridges of the fabric, which retains extra bounce due to the nature of the stitch.
A benefit of garter stitch is that it lays completely flat, which, alongside the other benefit of there being no yarn floats on the reverse side to get caught clothing, or any other annoyances makes it extremely hard-wearing, simple to wear and extremely easy to care for.
For all of these reasons, Emberwarm also makes a perfect gift, as it requires no instructions for blocking should it require washing!
As well as being completely customisable in size (as a guide the sample shawl measures 130cm (52″) in span, instructions are also given to add an optional knitted-on iCord edge for finishing the shawl. This iCord edging is different from many knited-on varieties as it completely wraps around the outer edge rather than sit flush on top of the edge, giving a perfect finish to both sides of the shawl.
The downloadable pattern for Emberwarm contains both written and charted instructions, for ease of knitting, as well as schematics and notes on sizing.
Yarn weight: Fingering / 4 ply (14 wpi)
Gauge: 28 stitches = 4 inches in Main Pattern
Needle size: US 3 – 3.25 mm
Yardage: 427 – 448 yards (390 – 410 m) used for sample size
Sizes available: Can be knit to any size. Sample shawl is 130cm (52″) wide and 30cm (12″) depth.
Price: $4.80 add to cart or buy it now