I’m terrible at remembering to knit things ahead of gift-giving events. Christmas I remember, but I don’t really plan it well so not everyone will get a knit gift. I’m a slow knitter and I really knit for my own enjoyment. It keeps my hands busy. It’s comforting. I love to see the pattern come to life. To see the yarn take shape in something beautiful. And I’ll say it: to marvel at this beautiful pice of art I have created with my own two hands.

This spring I was digging around Ravelry looking for a new shawl pattern (you know, because the dozens I have saved from previous Ravelry searches weren’t quite what I wanted). I came across the pattern for Colonnade Shawl by Stephen West.

I have mixed feelings about Stephen West. Some of his patterns are lovely and deceptively simple. But others are a little, um, not. I don’t love the two-yarn aspect of Colonnade, but browsing through projects from that pattern, I saw how lovely this pattern could be. I had some beautiful yarn in oranges and browns that I thought might make a beautiful shawlette for my mother-in-law. It was a lighter weight than the pattern calls for, but our spring was cool and rainy. The perfect weather for something light to cut the chill.

Close up, in process

This was a very nice pattern. It was easy to follow and still produced a piece that looks like it was more challenging than it was. I did find myself having to tink a row every now and then because I forgot to watch for the double yarn overs when I worked the purl rows. Based on the way I follow patterns (I’m terrible at memorizing and don’t want to screw up the pattern because, apparently it will be the end of the world), I had to retype the pattern rows so each section was on its own line. I was getting lost and I needed it to be in a skimmable format.

I knit the shawl using Interlacements Carolina in the Poppy Fields colorway. This is an aran yarn made of Rayon, cotton and linen. It is a beautiful yarn to knit with adding a slight nubby texture. I did find a lot of straw pieces in the yarn. The Ravelry page states it is discontinued (I purchased the yarn at a festival).

The end result was beautiful. And while I wasn’t trying to hit any special occasion, I did manage to get this thing washed and blocked in time to give it to my mother-in-law on Mother’s Day. Sometimes, I can get the timing right!

Pattern modifications:
  • Size 9 needles
  • One additional repeats of the pattern
  • Only three knit rows at the end as I ran out of yarn
  • No button or button loop. Because I didn’t want to.
Skills required:
  • Knit
  • Purl
  • Yarn over