Friday, September 29, 2006

Birch Resumes

One of the many UFOs buzzing roundabout Exit 151 is a small Candlelight motif shawl or faux Birch, started last year and never quite completed, partly because the neck edge curls up and, of course, I ran out of yarn just as I finished the body of the shawl.

Neck edge curls up

Happily, a fix has presented itself and my mini Birch has resumed progress.

From blocking the gauge swatch, I can tell that the roll is too much for even a severe blocking to overcome. An edging is needed – necessarily in a different yarn, so why not a gauzy one. Edgings in very fine yarns (gossamer and cobweb weight) are traditionally worked in garter stitch to give them strength and reversibility. Should the neck edge roll, the edging turns gracefully, creating – ta-da! – a shawl collar that looks good from either side.

A favorite finish for a shawl with a leafy motif such as Candlelight is Fern Leaf edging, here worked in Rowan Kidsilk Haze, colorway 597 Jelly. I started near the bottom point of the shawl because rounding the point is often the trickiest part to do.

Fern Leaf edging on faux Birch shawl

The edging stitches were cast on using the provisional crochet cast on – in due course, I'll upzip the crochet chain and graft the end and the beginning of the edging together.

Crochet provisional cast on

On its own, the Jelly colorway seems to me to have a somewhat hard edge. I'm happy with the way it works as a CC, picking up one of the colors in the MC, Filatura di Crosa College colorway 17. Somehow the color contrast makes it look more leaf green than acid green. The textures seem to work well, too – KSH is airy and fuzzy, College has colorful bouclé bumps and fuzz.

I'm less happy with the coil needle holders on the needle, which I use to keep the stitches from sliding off the needle. At first I liked them a lot, but they stretch with use and quickly have become so loose they just slide off. It's back to point protectors for me.

Incidentally, other shawls using Candlelight (such as the real Birch and Kiri) don't seem to curl at the neck edge. Alas, my faux Birch was not knit from a pattern, but from looking at other people's blogs and improvising. I neglected to give her a non-curling neckline. Careless of me, I know. Oh well, after some time in the oubliette, it's looking like our heroine is going to have a happy ending after all.


Kit Is Knitting said...

I really like the contrasting color for that shawl's edge. Very spring-like.

Julie said...

Oh my gosh, that's going to be just beautiful!