Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Review: Garter Stitch Shawl Kit from Kraemer Yarns

I love garter stitch for a lot of reasons; besides being easy-peasy, it's always squishy and lays nice and flat without the edges curling. When you combine that with the effect created by knitting each row in a different color, a simple project is transformed into something that's extra special!

This wrap is perfect for the hazy days of summer....

The kind folks from Kraemer Yarns sent me a Garter Stitch Shawl Kit from their Festival Wear Collection, which features knitted and crocheted garments and accessories using their Tatamy base, a cotton/acrylic blend that is available two weights (DK and Worsted) and a palette of solid and tweed colors.     

I tend to avoid working with cotton yarns because they are less pliable than wool and wool blends, which translates into hand pain while I knit, but I'm pleased to report that the Tatamy was nice and pliable. I was able to knit without any hand pain!

The pattern was easy to follow and I learned a nice trick, too! It suggested using a provisional cast on  to begin the project so that the top and bottom of the piece have the same amount of tension, because you can bind off the stitches on each edge using the same method. My only challenge was remembering which side I had just worked, and as you can see there were a few times that I forgot to flip before knitting the next color....oops! It's subtle and probably not noticeable to most people (unless I mention it to them, of course!), and although it wasn't intentional at all, I think it's kind of a cool effect.

I decided to try a new-to-me bind off that I spotted on Instagram just as I was finishing up this project. It uses a crochet hook to create a nice, stretchy edge - click here to check it out!

The four colors I chose - silver, blue jeans, flannel and navy - ended up being absolutely perfect, but my avorite thing about the pattern was that there were NO ENDS TO WEAVE IN! Since each row is knit in a different color, you just leave a yarn tail at the beginning and end to be used as the fringe when you're done. I knotted the fringe as I knit, and then it was a just a matter of trimming it down after I'd washed and blocked the wrap.

Whoosh! Along came a gust of wind!

To cut a nice, even fringe, I used my favorite trick learned from weaving: using a rotary cutter, mat and ruler.

I've always been pleased with the quality of yarns and fibers from Kraemer, but more importantly, I love their story: all of their yarns and fibers are milled in the USA using domestically-sourced materials wherever possible, and their mill has been in operation in Nazareth, PA for over a century. I hope you'll check out their online store and give some of their yarns a try!

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