It’s that time again, when the secret shawl vault is cracked open and I can share a few not-too-spoilery yarn hints.
This is for those of you who like to be prepared, with your yarn wound and needles at the ready, the second that the pattern drops.
But I know that other knitters like to be totally surprised and do their yarn shopping or stash diving once they’ve seen the design. If that’s you, then beware…
YARN SPOILERS FOR THE FIFTH SHAWL FROM THE SHAWL SOCIETY 5 AHEAD!
First: the pattern hints:
1. This shawl was written for fingering weight/sock yarn. You could do it in a laceweight (resulting in a lighter, smaller shawl) or a DK (for a bigger, squishier shawl, but you’ll need more yardage!)
2. This is a two-colour shawl: high contrast will work best to really bring out the design. But there’s enough stitch interest that you could do it with low-contrast yarns for a more subtle effect, or even a single colour.
3. There is some lace, primarily in colour B, so if you’re deciding which colour should go where, a lighter/quieter yarn for colour B will likely show the stitches off best. However, this is very much a personal choice!
Onto all the detailed yarn requirements for the shawl!
Robin from Birch Hollow Fibers is one of my favourite American indie dyers. She has such a romantic, light touch with colour, managing to create colourways that are both delicate and vivid. We share a love of books, tea, nature, and whimsical design. She’s a real kindred yarn spirit!
For this design, I used her Sylvia sock, a wonderful 75% Superwash Merino 25% Nylon base, that is both soft and sturdy. The meino gives it that cloudlike comfort while the nylon means it’s strong enough to live up to everyday wear…perfect for a favourite shawl.
Robin has put together a special update for the Shawl Society members, which is available now! Each kit includes 2 complementary colours of the Sylivia Sock yarn, one skein of each colour.
3. At Stone’s End and Cedar (the gorgeous combi I used in the sample shawl)
[75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon; 423m/463yds per 100g skein]
2 x 100g skeins,
Colour A: At Stone’s End (blue)
Colour B: Cedar (pink)
Actual yarn used:
Colour A Fingering weight 70g, 297m/325yds
Colour B Fingering weight 80g, 339m/371yds
Total Fingering weight 150g, 636m/696yds
4mm (US 6), 80/100cm (32/40”) long circular needles (or size to obtain gauge)
20 sts/32 rows = 10cm (4”) in garter stitch after blocking
It was such a joy to design with Robin’s stunning yarn, and I am sure many of you will manage to snap up a gorgeous kit for yourself! Remember that I love sharing these yarn spoilers to spread some Shawl Society love to indie yarn producers I admire, and to provide inspiration and a jumping off point for your own yarn choosing process.
Geography, availability and cost often mean that only a handful of knitters are able to source the exact yarn I used, and that is more than okay!
We have a long tradition of stash-diving at Curious Handmade, and especially for the Shawl Society, so remember that there’s never any pressure to use the sample yarn for your own shawl. Part of the joy of this society is seeing the wide diversity of yarns and colours that members choose.
If you do want to use the Birch Hollow Fibres yarn, I’d try and grab your kit this week, as Robin is a one-woman shop and quantities will be limited.
With that in mind, have the most fun picking out your yarn! This is going to be a fun one.