Here are words that I never thought would ever come out of my mouth: I love Yak!
Yak fiber that is.
Meeting a new fiber is always an exciting experience, but it doesn’t always end well. Luckily this is a love story. This yarn from Gale’s Art is a blend of Merino, Yak and Silk and it is a treat to knit. The name is more descriptive than fanciful, MYS622 – but it tells you what it is, a 60/20/20 blend of the aforementioned fibers. In a way it is similar to the cashmere blends with comparable blends, but the Yak is decidedly different than the cashmere. It is wonderfully soft, but it has a weight to it that cashmere lacks. The yarn also has a … coolness … to it, in the hand it feels almost like it is slightly damp – but it isn’t. Now that could be the high silk content? I am afraid I am not a fiber expert, but what I do know is that it knits wonderfully and has fantastic drape. The yarn itself feels heavy in the ball but the finished shawl is remarkably light weight (yet warm at the same time). Plus, it comes in absolutely glowing deep colors.
When we started talking about working on a piece together I absolutely knew I had to do color work. Gale was looking to put together a kit for the upcoming Fall fiber festival season – and I was pleased as punch to be a part of the project.
Presenting Love Child. The name? Well it is a bit silly (but when am I not?) but it comes from my attempting to describe the idea over the phone. I believe what I said was “It is as if In Uffish Thought and Captive got together and had a two color Love Child.” A few hours later I received a text message
cursing politely thanking me for getting the song stuck in her head. And the title stuck as well.
If you have been playing along at home you probably recognize this shape. I have become enamored of it. The side to side construction makes me happy because it allows the knitter to adjust easily to their yardage and desired size of project. It retains the curved neckline of a crescent that allows it to hug the shoulders and wear comfortably, but its hybrid triangular shape makes it deeper down the back and provides more styling options. The slight asymmetry shifts the “point” to one side to eliminate the dreaded “arrow pointing at butt” effect that so many dislike about triangular shawls … all in all I think the shape has a great deal going for it.
For this version I have eliminated the lower edge “trim” that you find on In Uffish Thought and BitterBlue. It streamlines the shawl and takes it into a more casual and functional piece. It is also the result of a whole pile of math to create shaping that is of an every other row style as opposed to the binding off some stitches style. Both have merits and I thought I would play to see what I could come up with. I wonder what would happen if I did both …. hmmmmmmm?
My end result was a shawl that is remarkably easy to knit. I memorized it without really trying and truly enjoyed the knitting process. It has some easy lace and a very repetitive rhythm, there is one fancy stitch for the leading edge increase – but you will soon get the hang of it. It is also easily adjustable (as I said, one of the pluses of this shape) both in size and the possibilities for customization. I chose to have the striping pattern produce regularly spaced bands of color – but one could also muck about with the color changes and create one’s own banding pattern that suits one’s fancy! As is typical, I thought about how I could change up the colors as I was knitting it – but relied on discipline to stay the course.
The photo shoot went beautifully and I had a very hard time narrowing down the shots. I also almost fell into a stream. Fatimah said “Fall with the camera in the air.”, because she totally knows what is important! The shawl itself will be traveling to New York Sheep and Wool (Rhinebeck) with Gale and she will be offering the pattern in a kit with her stunning yarn. If you are going please stop by and say hi! I also believe that she will have the kits at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) – which I will be attending! If you are going give me a holler and maybe we could say hi!
I would love to hear your thoughts on shawl shapes in the comments. Likes, dislikes, suggestions? Please speak up!
Edited to answer request in the comments:
I know I say it, everyone blogger says it – but I love comments. Without comments it is kinda like throwing pennies into a wishing well and never finding out if your dream comes true. Unless I receive feedback I don’t know if I am giving y’all the information that you want/need/enjoy. So when I saw the specific request from shoelaceswitcher in the comments I was all like “A schematic?” it had never occurred to me to put that in a blog post. It took a little fiddling to convert the file I have from the pattern into a JPG that I can put on the web – but it wasn’t anything too exciting.
So, here it is! I hope it gives you the info you need.