One of the things I would like to start doing, is a review of the patterns and yarns I am working on. This month, I am reviewing Willings Alley Shawl, designed by Erika Flory, knit in June Pryce Fiber Arts Watch Hill Sparkle, colorway “Babylon Nights.”
Both creators are vendors at Knitters’ Day Out in Harrisburg, and every year I drool over their offerings. This year, Cheryl actually had the shawl knit up in a different colorway, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that was something I needed to knit. Let’s ignore the fact that I have a sock and sweater on the needles already…
First, a review of the pattern: Erika’s patterns are always so straightforward and easy to follow. I downloaded this, and after getting through the set-up and maybe 2 repeats, I didn’t even need to look at the pattern. It was simple to memorize, but creates a beautiful fabric. My ONLY complaint is more of a personal issue – there was a lot of yarn left over when I got to the end, and even after adding 3 extra garter ridges, I felt I had barely entered the last color change. I could have ripped back and done another pattern repeat, but I’m also lazy.
The pattern creates an asymmetrical shawl, with a length of about 72″ once blocked. It wraps around so easily – really no complaints about the shape or size.
The Yarn: OK. WHO could resist a gradient like that?! I’ll be honest, I fell in love with the colors first, but couldn’t figure out WHAT I would knit with 760 yards, until I saw the sample of Erika’s shawl. The yarn is a merino/nylon blend with stellina sparkles throughout. Not my usual color choice, but it was so vibrant I just had to use it. Knitting with this yarn was a dream. It was so soft, a huge contrast from the donegal tweed I’m using for my sweater. I seriously never wanted this knit to end, because the yarn was just such a pleasure. The color changes were so subtle, that it actually took me until about 1/3 of the way through the shawl to realize I HAD changed colors, and that’s what I love. A subtle shifting as you move – no harsh lines or abrupt changes.
Overall, this project was simple, straightforward, and a DREAM in this yarn. I would knit one of these every month if I could. Which, by the way, was an added bonus. I cast on September 28th, and even with only evening knitting (and not every evening, because hello exhausting kids!) I was casting off on October 29th. A GREAT quick-fix if you need a finished object to keep you motivated.
Now, to figure out what to knit next….(Don’t say my sweater. or sock. I’m in denial and need something FUN!)