Shawl Magic!

Today is a lovely, lovely day on many levels. In particular, it’s sunny and warm out, but not too warm. I’m sitting at home after the morning rush watching my daughter play, and I can hear birds singing and scolding the squirrels. I’m dealing with some pain but not as much as I have been lately, so that’s a plus. I feel rested and peaceful and content. I have some new yummy yarn to work with and a new WIP that’s making me happy.

And, I’m experiencing shawl magic first hand for the first time! I think it’s cool that there’s so much knitting out there that’s new to me. Looking over my projects page on ravelry, I see that out of my 20 most recent WIPs and FOs, all but two are projects that pushed me a little bit or have elements or techniques that were new to me. I learned how to knit socks, do a test knit, graft in pattern (like the badass I am), do helical knitting, knit a giant shawl, do dropped stitches, do all sorts of new joining and finishing techniques, and how to block a heck of a lot better. And more! As I’ve mentioned before, other aspects of my life lately have been pretty shitty so it’s super affirming to look over what I’ve accomplished in knitting. Because a lot of the rest of it sucks!

So yeah, shawl magic and my new WIP. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend (who is also my daughter’s nanny) who has helped me so much in countless ways over the past few months. I told her I would like to knit her something and asked if she had any preferences as to item/color/fiber, etc. She said that she’s really open to most things but would prefer no bobbles (no offense to anyone, but I can’t stand bobbles and would never make them unless someone specifically requested them. And I liked that person a LOT). She told me a story about how someone once gave her a cashmere sweater and, tragically, it got felted. I of course instantly delved into my virtual stash to find anything with cashmere in it, and selected the same GGH Tajmahal that I made my mom’s Not a Buff from (turns out I don’t have much cashmere! I might need to fix that). I have a couple balls of the navy left and four balls of ice blue. I stumbled across this pattern* that I thought might work well, and a WIP was born!

gghnavy gghice

Don’t mind the obligatory kitty photo bomb.

The pattern is a basic triangular shawl knit top down. It’s mostly stockinette with a garter stitch border and optional picot bind off. There are optional random garter stripes throughout. Initially I thought I’d do the majority of the shawl in the ice blue and the garter stripes in the navy, but that didn’t turn out to be practical. I did figure out how to do it–knit a RS row in the navy then a WS garter row (k instead of p)–but there was no good way to weave in the ends without everything looking sloppy. In the end, I didn’t really like it anyway, so I pulled the stripe out and changed plans. I’ll knit with the ice blue until I run out of yarn and then switch to the navy, making it a color block type of thing.

IMG_4052It kind of reminds me of a jellyfish in this picture.

So, I’m knitting along and, even though I’ve read many other people’s accounts of how knitting a right side up triangle turns into an inverted triangle, it was still pretty cool to see it in action! For a more skilled explanation and diagram than I can put together, download the pattern (it’s free) and look at the notes there.

IMG_4051This pic reminds me of a Luna moth. Basically, the little divot at the bottom of the center spine is where I cast on ten stitches to start. You’d think that would form the point of a triangle, but it pulls into the edges on either side and forms a straight-ish line. The edge with the live stitches ends up forming the other two sides of the triangle. Pretty cool, right?

*I would like to clarify that, although the pattern is named “The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People”, I don’t think my friend is a sad person!



  1. Tamera L · October 6, 2015

    I saw that bottom photo, and also immediately though “moth.” It will be lovely when finished.

    Liked by 2 people

    • alexand knits · October 6, 2015

      Thanks 🙂 Someday I’ll have to make a Luna moth shawl. They are so beautiful!


  2. Carol E. Herman · October 6, 2015

    1. Cashmere is AWESOME!!! 2. I love that ice blue. 3. Love the colorblock shawl plan. 4. Knitting really is soothing and creative at the same time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yarnsneak · October 7, 2015

    Looks great. I’ve never gotten around to knitting shawls, but I love how a simple crocheted color block triangle shawl turns out. I love doing a gradient color block, from white, to a pastel, to a super saturated version of the pastel.

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stefanie · October 8, 2015

    You are very sweet to knit something for your nanny/friend. I agree, it’s fun to try out new techniques. I always knit a new pattern as it to try it out from the designer’s perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. afthead · October 9, 2015

    I love the colorblock idea! I have never knit with cashmere, but I like the idea of a blend. I can’t wait to see how the magic triangle turns out.

    Liked by 1 person

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