Opening doors

Opening doors: February – creating

Well, what a dismal start to my new blog! I’ve been horribly sick, with flu twice in the space of a month, and it’s taken me quite a while to regain my normal energy levels.

Unfortunately this meant a blog and design hiatus, and after I’ve only just started too!

I’m feeling much better now, and have picked-up my knitting again, so let’s talk about what’s been happening with the February challenge.

As a reminder, these are the lovely doors used for this challenge, and the yarn is Hedgehog fibre’s Merino DK in Silence.collage-2016-03-28

Now for the design elements:

The shape: I’d decided on a curved shawl. Traditional semi-circular shawls have 6 increases every 4 rows, as explained by the lovely Dreya on her blog Laylock. (There’s a very handy cheat sheet to shawl shaping on here blog here.) However, I find that unless you make them big, semi-circular shawls are sometimes not long enough to sit comfortably on your shoulders, and as I only had a limited amount of yarn, mine probably wasn’t going to be very big. So I decided to make the “wings” of the shawl longer by adding an extra increase to each edge of the shawl, so 8 increases in 4 rows.

The body: the decision on stitch type was easy, with all the smooth edges of the marble archway and the creamyness of the colours, stockinette seemed the obvious choice; simple, smooth and it would showcase the lovely cream and beige colours of the yarn.

I’ve also been trying a new (to me) increase: Techknitter’s very nearly invisible increase. She has a great explanation on her blog and far it’s been very easy to use. And though not quite invisible in the whay that I’ve used it (1 stitch increased on either side of a central column of stitches), it’s certainly less directional than M1L or M1R increases. What do you think?

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Techknitter’s very nearly invisible increase. 1 stitch increased on either side of a central column of stitches, as indicated by the pink arrows.

The edgings: handknit shawls often have garter stitch edges along the top of the shawl to keep the edges from rolling, but with all the lovely smooth, curved lines in the arch of the doorway, I wanted something smoother, so I decided on a icord edging. It took a bit of time to figure out how to create a icord cast-on for a shawl, but I love the smooth edge it’s created.

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Beautifully smooth icord along the top edge of the shawl.

The next thing to decide on is the edging to add to the end of the shawl. I’ve been playing with various crochet edgings, thinking of matching the gorgeous flowers on the door, and I’ve been playing with perhaps changing colours to a darker beige or a lighter cream, but though I like the result, it doesn’t feel quite right yet.

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Playing with options for the edging…

More playing still to do before I reach the edge of the shawl… Maybe something with short rows and the peacock’s tail, or perhaps the mulitple curves of the archway. Do you have any ideas?

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