In a recent blog I mentioned that speckled yarn is the IT yarn to get on your needles right now, so take the IT yarn and the IT techniques and we have us a party on our needles!!
And a party on my needles is what I have found ladies and gents! When I seen Andrea Mowry's Mix and Mingle shawl I almost hit the roof LOL
We are taking speckled yarn, marling it; fading it and adding in some.....wait for it......BRIOCHE!! This is definitely what I would call a party, not only on my needles, but a party in general! If you're looking for a really exciting knit sprinkled with a little challenge then this is your next project.
I have the perfect yarn and a beautiful combination of colors for my shawl. The pattern calls for lace weight but I chose to go with fingering weight for the added warmth we're still needing here in Newfoundland! I'm using Biscotte Bis-sock in Cozy Speckled, Julirose, Aqua and Turquoise. It's no secret that I love this yarn. It has just the right amount of squishy softness! Cake anyone?!
I guess you might be wondering what makes this shawl so marley?? The answer and technique of creating a marled effect is very simple, my friends! Hold 2 strands of different colored yarn together and knit them as one. In this case, we will hold 2 strands of the same color yarn together. Because it’s speckled yarn the 2 strands will look different and the result is stunning.
First off, this pattern uses a garter tab cast on. This cast on is perfect for crescent shawls simply because it’s seamless and provides a beautiful garter ridge around the edge of the shawl. It starts out with only a couple of stitches and after a few rows you simply start knitting down the side into the purl bumps.
The first picture shows the garter tab. In the second picture, don’t turn your work, knit into the purl bump shown by the purple needle. After knitting into the required amount of purl bumps, knit into the cast on edge as many times as the number of stitches cast on, as shown in the third picture. That part is a little trickier as you can’t see exact stitches to knit into. Just knit as close to the edge the best you can. And voila! As you can see in picture four, we have a perfect little crescent and from here we are going to create a beautiful shawl that will definitely be an eye catcher!
Our tiny little crescent shawl has grown so quickly! This is the Cozy Speckled portion and all I could think the entire time is how beautiful the color is. There's so many color options that you could use to fade with this one. I'm not even finished this shawl and I'm already thinking of the next LOL and the vicious cycle begins.....
Ok, hard to believe but I'm finding it very difficult to put into words how I'm feeling right now. Julirose, you have not let me down! This has been the single most gratifying knit to date! Have I said that before? Maybe....that's beside the point. It's like knitting and painting at the same time. The gradual transition from one color to the next makes for a color that could be mistaken for this being from the one skein of yarn! I clearly have another addiction to add to the list....fading. I want to fade everything. I was always a little nervous of color. I would scour Ravelry to get ideas from other knitters not trusting myself to make the right choice. But this has opened up a can of worms that I may not be able to close. I'm feeling pretty confident that I'll be making an excessive amount of purchases from Biscotte’s STUNNING collection of yarns to fade with!
On to the Brioche applied border. This shawl is knit using 3 different techniques, however I feel like the Brioche portion could use a blog all on its own. First off I will tell you that this is my very first attempt at knitting Brioche which proves how well written and easy to understand Andrea Mowry's Mix & Mingle pattern is.
I was a little intimidated at first but in saying that I've always loved a challenge and to learn new techniques. Now, I was thinking it was probably going to be more complicated than it actually is. If you can knit, purl, slip a stitch and yarn over; you already have all the tools you need to Brioche. However, for the first time I'm not going to recommend bingeing that favorite show LOL It's a combination of easy stitches, yes, but there's a lot going on. I'm sure if you're experienced at Brioche knitting perhaps you're able to do it with your eyes closed!
I have one piece of advice that in my mind is absolutely essential. And that is, use a lifeline!! Actually, use two! If you look at the above picture you'll see my scrap piece of yarn. Also I have to say that my handy dandy Needle Keeper kept my stitches from coming off my needle while working the other end! So, after knitting a couple of rows I'd move up my scarp yarn because I found it extremely difficult to tink back if I made a mistake or dropped a stitch. Don't ask me how, but I even messed up once when moving my scrap yarn so after that I used two! It's not so bad losing a little work back to the scrap yarn but when you end up losing it all, sometimes tears are involved! I knit the garter portion in about 2 days and the Brioche in a week and a half. For the ladies that are familiar with the abbreviations BRK and BRP, that's a lot of barking and burping in my head LOL Very time consuming but boy oh boy is it ever worth it in the end!!
Here she is on the blocking board! Get at look at those colors!! She's so pretty I feel like she needs a name LOL I'm pretty proud of this one. And she was all ready for a little photo shoot that was taken on Mother's Day by my 7 year old daughter Sophie!! A little photographer on my hands perhaps? That could be very beneficial to me ;)