FO: Slightly Carnivorous Herbivore

 

Pattern: Herbivore by Stephen West

 

I’ve never really been a shawl person. Then I discovered Stephen West and his unisex designs. Nothing grandmotherly about them.

First up was the Pagona I knit a few months ago. Now the Herbivore. I love the texture of the twisted stitches, but must confess there were times I didn’t enjoy the knitting. It’s too intricate given the fingering weight yarn to be good TV/movie knitting. Yet, it’s just mindless/tedious enough to not be fun to knit for long stretches. If it weren’t for several sessions of “Knit Group of 2” with Jane while the girls were ice skating/hanging out in the pool, I might not have finished it for quite awhile. It proved perfect for rambling chats where you know the other person well enough that you don’t feel rude making infrequent eye contact.

 

Also of huge help was the KPPPM yarn: so soft, so squishy, such interesting color combinations that it was fun to watch the rows take shape. I was so worried after coming up short on yardage with the Pagona that I bought 3 skeins at the outset. I ended up using just shy of two. Now what to do with the other skein? It’s too lovely to return.

Go Heavy on the Greens

When it comes to the Pogona, load up on whatever color it is you’re using. Seriously. The two skeins I’d purchased had 24 yards more than the 380 the pattern called for, so I figured I’d be safe. I’m always under in yardage used.

Well, I was just hitting a center triangle length of 12 inches (far from the 15 called for by the pattern before the edging) when I pulled out the kitchen scale. At best, I could hope for 4/5 more rows. Frantic call to my LYS the next morning, followed by lunchtime yarn run for the one (and only) skein left in the dye lot.

This has me seriously confused. I had gauge. As did many of the others who I’ve since read about on Ravelry. But then there are just as many people who made the shawl with the called for yardage or even less. If anyone can explain this phenomenon, please drop me a comment. Best guess I can come up with is that it all hinges on row gauge (which the pattern doesn’t specify).

 

 

 

 

 

 

But all’s well that ends well — with another 162 yards. And Crystal Palace Panda Silk Print was a joy to work with (52% bamboo with merino and silk rounding out the 100).

I got to try out my blocking wires for the first time. So much easier. Terrific investment, I’d say, not that anyone asked. Only problem is they were so easy to work with that I overdid the blocking by several inches. But since I wanted this shawl/scarf for the summer, I guess airy is good?