The “Nordic Wind Shawl” I just finished is a simple stockinette shawl, striped in quiet colors for a beautifully modern feel (Pattern by cabinfour on Ravelry).
I chose for it the “Owl” yarn by Quince and Co., which they describe as “Squishy, lofty, plump, little Owl, is spun from a blend of American alpaca and wool. It knits up between 4 ½ to 5 stitches per inch, the perfect weight for just about everything”. The special thing about this yarn is that it’s a “pliant two-ply, woolen spun light worsted weight yarn – why woolen spun? Because alpaca is a hollow fiber and the best way to preserve its loft and buoyancy is to keep a lot of air in its structure”.
The yarn produces indeed a very squishy and soft fabric, which is at the same time very light, so the shawl feels more like owl feathers than wool, but what I’m really in love with are the colors this yarn comes. Such beautifully blended shades, not “loud” at all and not too pastel either.
Quince and Co. recommends for the yarn to “hand wash your wool project with gentle soap, such as Twig & Horn’s lanolizing Wool Soap, in cool water. If using a gentle soap such as Wool Soap, you do not have to rinse. If you use a regular detergent, rinse it thoroughly and gently press out extra water and roll it lightly in a terry towel to absorb more of the moisture. Lay your project out to the correct measurements and let it dry naturally. If you want to speed up drying, aim a fan at the drying surface. If you’d like to try machine washing your wool and wool-blend garments (not recommended), use cool water and a gentle cycle. After spinning, lay your garment flat to dry. And never, never put your knitted wool garment in the dryer.”
I soaked the shawl with Soak Wash and blocked it very tenderly afterwards, so the stitch definition would become more even but the fabric wouldn’t stretch too much to keep it’s unique structure. The “Owl” yarn reminds me a little of Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft yarn but much less fragile (and a little cheaper per skein ;)).
Starting with the shawl on January 31, 2016, I chose the colors (top to border): Abyssinian, Cielo, Buru and Snowy, as I wanted something lighter and “happier” than the original colors. Checking the gauge with 5,5mm (US 9), 5mm (US 8) and 4mm (US 6) needles it turned out that with needle 5,5mm (US 9), the fabric was much too loose, but with 5mm it had a much better tension and stitch definition.
Took me two month knitting this (but only on my weekday evenings because of work), an easy and relaxing knit and I made no modifications. Love it and just decided to knit a cardigan with a similar color combination (for which I will probably take one year! ;))
How do people manage to knit sweaters in only two days? A mystery I haven’t solved yet… ;)