FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl

I am finally getting around to posting FO pics for this project, begun at the beginning of 2014.

FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl

Gotta love the bikes in the background… Click for project page.

I’m a huge fan of Jared Flood’s Brooklyn Tweed designs, and this Kelpie Shawl was no exception. As soon as a I saw it, I wanted to knit it, and I knew I wanted to use the BT Loft yarn called for (in Sweatshirt). I agonized over color choices for the contrasting stripes, but in the end decided to use a gradient set I had just received as a gift (Black Trillium Fibre Pebble Sock in Pease). The shawl is constructed in a Shetland style, with the center garter stitch triangle knit first and YO holes along the edges picked up to knit the border afterwards.

Because this is a BT pattern and they love their finishing, there’s also a bit of picking up stitches and adding a garter stitch border to the top of the shawl once complete. This is fiddly but not difficult (although it did prevent me from finishing in time for Rhinebeck). The pattern is well-written and easy to follow. My shawl stalled out for so many months because I used the wrong color to pick up the 180+ edge stitches the first time (I used a contrast color when you were supposed to continue with the main color) and just severely procrastinated ripping out and starting again. The only complaint I have about the pattern is that all that garter stitch in the edging is made by PURLING EVERY STITCH instead of knitting. WTF, Jared? Whatever possessed you to think that was a good idea? By the time I realized what was happening, I was too far in. If I make this again, I’ll throw in a plain knit row somewhere to get on a ‘knit every row’ pattern for the garter stitch ridges.

FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl | Woolen Diversions

Blocking took all my pins!

The yarn is… different. It is very high on the fluff and squish factor, and very low on the drape and smooth factor, because it is a woolen-spun yarn. Woolen yarns are spun with fibers going every-which-way so that they trap more air and provide more warmth. This also makes them slightly less strong and slightly more prone to pilling than worsted-spun yarns, where the fibers are aligned in the same direction. The Loft is very elastic and has lots of bounce, so the finished garment sort of perches around my neck, rather than drapes. And to be honest, purling hundreds of stitches of this fuzzy yarn with point needles was a tad torturous. It makes a shawl I associate with words like “workhorse” and “cozy” rather than “elegant” and “dressy”. The triangular shawl shape makes it a tad less easy to wear kerchief-style than if it were crescent-shaped due to the shorter wingspan, but it’s still a generous enough size to wrap around my large frame.

All told, I’m glad I knit with Loft, I love the gradient in the stripes, and I’m happily working away on a coordinating hat, so I’m sure this shawl will get a lot of use. Have you knit with a woolen spun yarn before? How did you like the results?


19 thoughts on “FOFri #43: Kelp-y Kelpie Shawl

  1. KELPIE?!!!!! I have one that I put in time-out when the hot weather hit—i’m knitting mine in some assorted leftover Jamieson yarn, a very wooly wooly wool. I absolutely adore yours…..mine? I’m sort of luke warm about,which is probably why it’s still in time-out. I did mine in the dark brown i had in the stash….with assorted colored stripes (can’t even remember what color I had…i think some yellow, something???? need to look and resurrect this. Mine will never be as pretty as yours. LOVE IT!!!!!


  2. I love how the gradient looks like water, or a glass window behind the grey. It is gorgeous. Well done you, sticking with it! I think you will find that the more you use this shawl and the more it is washed, it will just continue to feel and look better and better with time.


  3. Because we didn’t have your expectations about how the shawl would look… It is absolutely stunning. Your colour and yarn choices are excellent. I do agree with you about woollen spun, it is not a drapey, elegant kind of yarn but this will keep you warm all through winter and really that is the genius of woollen spun. You have made something both useful and beautiful here.


  4. love the colours, it looks beautiful on you! I’ve heard similar things about loft, and the woolspun yarns are their own special animal, that’s for sure. The result is truly lovely!


  5. Gorgeous! I love all the gradient kits that are popular now, but I’m never sure of the best way to use them. Not sure why I never considered using them with a neutral. It came out awesome!


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