Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Full circle


It amuses me to think as I finish Wholehearted II that I’ve come a full circle in my knitting.

In fairly typical fashion for the times, the first things I knitted when I learned to knit were scarves.  They were “avant-garde” creations, with inexplicable holes (I now know caused by accidental yarn overs), and sides that grew alarmingly in width (see said holes), but my efforts were very kindly supported by family members, and worn anyway.  And after a few months, I moved on to garments, also with funny results like waistcoats with fronts on unequal length (bless my mother for actually wearing it!) and jumpers that were supposed to be size 10 but came out at a size 16… (wrong tension, probably) until one day it all came together and I produced something that actually looked how it was supposed to.

After a 20 year break from knitting, I began again with scarves.  And more scarves.  They were my ‘zen’ knitting I realise now – the thing to ease the stress of moving countries, a new job, finding a place in a new life.   These scarves didn’t have holes.  They were straight-edged and evenly tensioned, but unconsciously, I used them to learn new stitches.  All sorts of patterns went on to them – squares, cables, ribbing.  It was fun.  Until one day, I branched into garments.

And now, I find myself once again knitting neck wear.  Not the basic rectangle this time, and slightly more sophisticated.  Once again, I find myself learning as I knit.  This time, it’s lace and triangular shawl construction.  I wonder what it is about scarves/shawls/cowls?

Perhaps it’s because they’re almost immediate gratification – most scarves/shawls/cowl things are only 100 – 200g in weight, maybe 300g at the very most.  That’s just one or two skeins of yarn most of the time.  Perhaps it’s the snuggle factor?  And the ability to cheer up an otherwise dark winter outfit?  Maybe it’s because they are so versatile:  handy in air-conditioned offices, and a little whisper of beauty to cover the shoulders on a cool summer evening.  Perhaps it’s because they’re interesting to knit as well, in lush lace, or with pretty stitch patterns.  I’ve also realised that knitting neck wear is the thing I unconsciously do when I’m not feeling entirely at ease with the world.

Shawls have become a bit of a “virus” among knitters (as evidenced on Ravelry and noted recently by the inimitable Yarn Harlot) – particularly this one.

The pattern was gifted to me (it sounds like I get a lot of gifts doesn’t it!?) a few weeks ago, and I love it because of its shape and the colour changes, and the fact that it is not lace.  I like that I can drape it around me like the pashminas that were all the rage a few years ago.  Because it is so popular, many of you guessed I was planning one with this yarn combination:

Clever girls.  I am indeed planning a Colour Affection with it.  I really want to knit it for the main reason that the gift came from a special friend whom I do a bit of swapping with, and I felt bad that so far I have hardly knitted any of the yarn she’s given me (I love it all too much), while she’s knitted all the stuff I’ve sent her!

However, the garter stitch thing is really putting me off.  I did a second swatch for it this week, and I have to say, I really do not like the look of garter stitch.  As an element of interest it’s fine, but a whole shawl in it??  I’m wondering if I could adapt the pattern to have elements of stocking stitch in it?  It will be pretty much reversible, with a garter look on the other side… I think I will do some experimenting and see how I go.

In the meantime, there are other exciting projects lining up for their turn on the needles. So much more to tell you about!


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

7 thoughts on “Full circle

  1. I love that you have come full circle with your knitting and have discovered your Zen knitting. I started with socks and continue to use them for my therapy knitting.
    I think those colors will look fantastic for your Colour Affection…can’t wait to see it!

  2. I completely understand what you mean, I’m pretty sure I would be a basket case right now if it weren’t for knitting. Wholehearted is such a fun project, certainly the most fun I’ve ever had knitting a shawl. Ah and that new yarn looks fantastic!

  3. I usually shy away from neckwear. I love to wear it, but have a hard time wanting to knit it. But seeing you start a Color Affection really makes me want to start one. Those colors are going to look so great in that shawl.

  4. I’m seriously addicted to scarves and shawls too – we’re getting to have a ridiculous number of the things! One thing I love about rectangular scarves is that it’s easy to try out stitch patterns and make up your own, without worrying about shaping and fit.

  5. I seem to go for neck wear a lot as well, probably because I live in the tropics and a cardigan only gets worn a few times a year but the scarf/shawlette is worn a lot more. I know what you mean about the garter stitch, I am doing a wingspan at the moment which is all garter and I nearly didn’t do it because of that…I am not a fan BUT I am finding the more it get knit the more I like it! I too have that Colour Affection in my favourites but miles of garter stitch is putting me off 🙂

  6. I’d love to know if you figure out how to knit this with more stockinette stitch. I have been wanting to make this shawl but also am thrown off by all the garter stitch. I want to use some nice Madeline Tosh Pashmina but think that yarn looks so much better with stockinette. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  7. There is something about a scarf, kerchief, shawlette, shawl
    Today I re-visited my ‘shawl drawer’ – crammed full. So many gifted to friends and family.
    Great stash busters
    I have a brand new cotton yarn that I’m anxious to co
    perhaps this evening