Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Quick Knit: One-Skein Shawl in Lhasa Wilderness

I've kind of been in a funny place with knitting lately; either I'm slooowly knitting myself a sweater (or two!), or I'm looking for an instant-gratification project like a hat or cowl. But when I had a chance to try out Drama, a new variegated colorway dyed from Bijou Basin Ranch's Emotions Color series, I wanted to make something a little bigger than a hat or cowl.

The Emotions Collection on Lhasa Wilderness (yak/bamboo blend) features hand-dyed colorways from MJ Yarns!

A few weekends ago, I went through all of the printed patterns I've accrued over the years and rediscovered a lot of great patterns I'd forgotten about! One of them just happened to be the Gradient Serendipity shawl, which was designed especially for this yarn, but with a catch: back then, the skeins were much smaller.

The pattern originally calls for two 180-yard hanks of Lhasa Wilderness to make the smallest size; since then, they have bumped up the yardage in Lhasa Wilderness to a whopping 340 yards. 

Now, you 're probably thinking "two 180-yard skeins adds up to 360 yards, weren't you worried about running out of yarn as you knit?!" The answer is  - NOPE! I remembered having some yarn left over the first time I knit this pattern, so I was pretty confident that I could eke out the smallest size of this shawl using just one of the larger skeins of Lhasa Wilderness.

What I was more focused on was how the variegated colors would knit up. When you lay the skein out flat, you can see that there are 3 large blocks of color which create 4 different color sections as you knit:

Sometimes, these long color repeats can "flash" or "pool" which means that the same colors can stack on top of each other as you knit and create sometimes-cool (and sometimes-not-cool) patterning. My hope was that they would knit up with more of a space-dyed effect; sometimes, dividing the skein in to two balls of yarn that you alternate working from can achieve this when regular knitting from the skein can't. So, I knit up two swatches to see which method - regular knitting or alternating ever 2 rows (rather than split the skein I just worked from both ends of the ball) - looked best.

The results? They pretty much looked identical! Go figure!

Since the pattern uses short rows and the shawl is knit the long ways, I decided to take a chance and knit from just 1 ball of yarn. Once you get past the lace border, the rest of the shawl flies by in easy-peasy garter stitch short rows. I finished it in less than 2 weeks and here is how it turned out:

I really like the way the colors knit up, and this is one of my all-time favorite yarn bases from Bijou Basin Ranch. There are lots of great hand-dyed colors available on Lhasa Wilderness here on their website, I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't knitted or crocheted with this super-soft (and durable!) yarn!

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