Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moderne Blanket, modern shawl

I've completed a slightly modified version of the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting.  This relatively easy knit breaks a few of the log cabin rules--one too many for me.  I knit plain blocks on the outside rows, eschewing the suggested intarsia blocks.

Avoiding the intarsia was the easy way out of this project.  After several weeks of dutiful garter stitch, the way out was a welcome sight.  It isn't easy to knit Blue Sky Alpacas' worsted-weight cotton on smaller-than-recommended needles (size 6), but the resulting fabric is worth the effort.  It is not only dense, soft and cuddly, it handles a machine wash and dry quite well. 

Once the blanket was on its way to the mother-to-be, I was free to start a project that is a little kinder to my hands than knitting cotton yarn on small needles.  Still fascinated with red shawls, I turned to the extensive Ravelry search options, discovering that it is possible to search for projects that used red yarn to knit a shawl.  My first try produced an astounding lot of red shawls, confirming my hopes about the success of this project.  First up was Tricosa's Tiong Bahru.  See her Flickr stream for a surfeit of photos of this stunning shawl, which elicited 40 comments so far.  Too bad it is laceweight, while my yarn is closer to worsted weight. (It claims to be worsted, but at 5 spi, I'd call it dk.)

Next was maanel's Less is More Shawl, always a good concept.  Again, though, the yarn weight isn't a match.  This one uses sock weight yarn.  Then I came across multiple red versions of Rose Beck's Falling Water Shawl, one by the designer, one by suseknits, and one by Prairie Piper.  This last one was aran weight.  Decision made!

I began the plain stockinette portion with a variegated hank of the Ella Rae worsted, reasoning that its reddish tones would combine with the bold red to produce a shawl that might mix with more of my (invariably brown) shirts.  

Now that I've started the lace, I can consider modifications.  Up first is the possibility of adding a repeat, if the yarn holds out.  Also, I like the garter edging on the last shawl I linked and might use it.  I'll have to decide soon, since this project is flying by.  Too bad, because it is so much fun to work with this yarn.

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