The first installment of my Heirloom Christmas Project is a shawl for my youngest sister, Elizabeth. Her buoyant energy throughout her life led friends and family to call her Bizzy. I think this is incredibly appropriate, and extremely endearing.
Bizzy chose the blue and green colorway, Caicos, in Fleece Artist’s Saldanha yarn. This yarn is amazing for shawls – it is incredibly light-weight, not a smidgen itchy, extra strong, and comes in skeins of 1200m! That’s enough to make just about any kind of shawl you can imagine.
Since the last shawl I made was a center-out triangle, I wanted this one to be at least a slightly different construction. A center-out circle is different, right? After searching Ravelry for who knows how long, I found the Revontuli-huivi (Northern Lights) pattern. An English translation can be found here, on the designer’s blog.
I made a few modifications with the pattern, including using yarn-overs for all of the increases, rather than left- and right-leaning increases. This gave the shawl a bit more air flow; it seems more open than the original. I also did several more repeats of the main chart, because this yarn is significantly lighter weight than what the pattern suggests, and I wanted it to be substantial in size. The pattern itself was fairly easy, and rather uneventful.
I intended to use up the whole skein on this shawl, but enough is enough, and I couldn’t bring myself to knit anymore stockinette. I bound off started blocking! This is only the second thing I’ve ever blocked, so it’s still a learning process. After soaking for half an hour in Kookaburra Wool-Wash, I pressed out the water and started with the center spine, pinning it to 34″. Then I alternated between the next column of stitches to the left and right of the center. Once I got to the side edges, the whole thing came together, and looked quite stunning.
I let the shawl dry overnight, then unpinned it, holding my breath the whole time. For some reason, I still wasn’t convinced the blocking would work. But it did, indeed! Once blocked, the shawl is about 3/4 of a full circle. This extra fullness allows the shawl to drape around the shoulders, giving the wearer a gentle hug.
I can’t wait to give this shawl to Bizzy! Hopefully she will have it for many years to come.