Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Byatt for EYF

In the build up to The Edinburgh Yarn Festival, one of my favourite designers, Karie Westermann, released a new shawl pattern, Byatt. I used to be a shawl knitter, back when things like not having to match gauge or select a similar yarn and it not really mattering how big or small the finished item came out were my primary considerations in deciding what to knit. But a few years ago I decided that I really want to be a garment knitter, socks and sweaters, with a selection of head- and hand-coverings to get me through the winter. But as my Twitter timeline filled with people's (judiciously retweeted) plans to make and wear Byatts to EYF, my No More Shawls resolve melted and, I reasoned, I had appropriate wool (two skeins or Ripples Crafts 100% BFL superwash in a natural cream and teal blue) -already wound into cakes. Kismet!

I cast-on in plenty of time and worked away on the garter stitch section and had just reached the two colour stripy section when I looked in my project and realized...I was almost out of my main colour! It hadn't been a mistake when I listed them as 50g balls, they really were half the length I needed! I searched Helen's site for the same colours on the same base to no avail, and settled on a skein of blue with a hint of teal and a complimentary silver, hoping I could switch to a similar colour-way on the stripes without having a jarring change and having to start over.

Readers, I had to start over. The blue did have hints of teal but nothing like the colour I'd started with. That's the bad new; the good news is that the new shade was a million billion times better (and it's not like I disliked the teal, I'd bought it after all) than the first one. The blue and silver took my Byatt from a project I'd planned to knit, wear to EYF, and give away if I found it didn't suit (after all, I have a cupboard full of shawls I never wear) to something I reach for every day. 

I spent every waking moment, the week before EYF knitting. I ran out of my main colour, the blue, with exactly one row left to knit so I skipped it and started on the other side with the silver. I finished the picot bind-off (is there anything worse when you're down to the wire?) with just enough time to soak and block it Thursday night before our Friday morning train to Edinburgh. I didn't find a shawl pin I liked at EYF, so I ordered one from Nicholas And Felic off etsy.

I could not be happier with my Byatt. My ravelry queue may have suddenly acquired a bunch of two-colour shawls.