I’ve been on a sweater binge lately, and hope to have another one finished before too long; but the season of vacations, road trips, and assorted meet-ups is upon us, and sweaters can be too much to haul around on trips, especially in hot weather. I really like one- or two-skein wonders for travel–socks, scarves or shawls. Having finished sock and scarf binges within the last year or so (yes, in my case, knitting does resemble certain kinds of disorders), and being in the mood for lace, I have been spending a lot of time looking at the shawls in my queue.
There are a couple of constraints on my choices for this year. The pattern should be contemporary in design, or at least have a pattern that is geometric rather than, say, floral. (Every now and then I get the urge to knit a really ornate piece of lace, but most of the drop-dead fancy lace shawls in my queue require beads, and the idea of trying to bead knit in a car gives me the vapors.) And I have to have the perfect yarn in my stash.
I have settled on a short list. (All of the links go to the pattern pages in Ravelry, which does require a log-in, but is free. If you are interested enough in knitting to be reading this page, I assume you’re a member. If not, quit reading my drivel and go join, for heaven’s sake! We’ll wait.) Here they are:
1. Claudia Donnelly’s Vintage Bordeaux, shown in the photo above. (Disclosure: Claudia is a friend of mine. In fact, it was her employee, Lucy, who suggested that I hire Mildred. She also designs a mean shawl, and her latest pattern has just been chosen for publication in Knitters.) Most of Claudia’s shawls are easy-to-wear crescents that sit very pleasantly on the shoulders, with a border knitted on sideways. This is one of her older designs, and it’s been waiting patiently in my queue for ages. I’ve always liked the simple edging, and thought it would be a good showcase for Tosh Sock in the blue-multi Spectrum colorway.
2. Kieran Foley’s Sound of Waves, in a hand-dyed blue Spun Silk 20/2 laceweight from RedFish Dyeworks. Cautionary note: I’ve tried this pattern with this yarn before. After a couple of inches, I picked up the project carelessly and all of that slick silk slid, slipped and slithered right off my slick, slippery Addis. And unlike wool, it did not sit there and wait politely to be picked up. Half the shawl just vanished into thin air, leaving a mountain of thread in my lap. I have since acquired some needles that aren’t quite so proactive, and the sheen of the yarn would be wonderful for this design, so I am going to give it another go.
3. Yumiko Alexander’s Urban Chic. Consisting of a simple mesh stitch with the occasional cable tossed in, this pattern would be pleasantly edgy, but still very useful, in Habu’s Tsumugi Silk, in black. Since I just finished a black sweater and am now working on a very dark blue one, this probably won’t be the first one I do.
4. Kimberly Golynskiy’s Big Damn Heroes. I do like a good poncho. (In case you were wondering, the name comes from a line in the TV show, Firefly.) It works up very well; a friend of mine has made a stunning version. The yarn would be Tosh Light in the purple Iris colorway.
5. I would have to use the same purple yarn to do this one, so I couldn’t do Big Damn Heroes and this one, too. And I do think this might be a little ambitious for a travel project. But feast your eyes on Zac’s Rectangular Shawl:
Now all I have to do is make sure we spend the whole summer on the road so that I can do two or three!