Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Purlbreak Shawl in Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering Yarn

I've been working on this project since the middle of November, and it feels good to finally have it off the needles: presenting my finished Purlbreak shawl!

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Obviously, I'm thrilled to have this off the needles.
I knit this project with 3 skeins of yarn that I was sent for review: Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering, a blend of 90% superfine/superwash merino and 10% nylon which is milled in Italy and hand-dyed in Canada (I love knowing where my yarn comes from!). This is a super-squishy yarn that feels soft to the touch, but has enough twist to it that it's not splitty, and I doubt it will pill much with time. It withstood ripping back to fix mistakes and dropped stitches, as well as plenty of abuse from being stuffed in my bag for knitting at the tap room.

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Hello, lovelies!

It was a total delight to work with, and choosing 3 coordinating colors was super-easy because of how they are grouped as part of the Magic Dye Pot Series: each group has a letter (A through F) and then the colors within that group have a number (1-6). For example, A goes as follows: A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, & A6 - that means that all of these colors are meant to go with each other. I chose 2 (dark blue/black), 4 (medium green/brown variegated) and 6 (light speckles) from the A-series.

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The requisite "action" shot.
Unintentionally, I ended up with a finished shawl that looks fairly similarly to what's pictured in the pattern, despite the fact that the pattern is written for a main color (A), and then 3 contrast colors (a light, a medium and a dark - all referred to as B in the pattern). Here is how I modified it to be knitted using just 3 colors/skeins of yarn total:

Section 1 - No changes, used darkest color for A and light speckle for B.
Section 2 - Stripes: Worked 20 repeats of Rows 3-6, then 1 repeat of Rows 3 & 4 using darkest color for A throughout and light speckle for color B for the first 12 contrast stripes, then switched to medium variegated for color B to finish out the repeats.
Section 3 - Worked Rows 1-4 three times with medium variegated for color B, then alternated light speckle and medium variegated every two rows for two repeats of Rows 1-4, and finished with 3 repeats of Rows 104 with light speckle.
Bind off per instructions (the pattern doesn't provide stitch counts at this point, but I counted 667 stitches before working the bind off).

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Check out that wingspan!
With hand-dyed yarns, it's always a gamble pairing very dark colors with very light skeins, and that mostly-undyed white speckle was particularly at risk for having its neighboring colors bleed into it while wet blocking. I'm pleased to report that none of the colors ran after a cold soak, as you can see by the crystal-clear water once the shawl was removed:

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I am extremely impressed with the quality of the yarn plus beautiful colors, all wrapped up in a superwash yarn - I would definitely reach for this again!

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It's so easy to wear, too!
Pattern: Purlbreak by Stephen West
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering (Yardage: 400 yards/per 100g skein; 90% Superwash Superfine Merino, 10% Nylon).

You may like to know: I was gifted 3 skeins of yarn in exchange for my honest review. All opinions my own.

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