Challenge accepted!

The title of this post is my reply to a friend who received my Aphrodite shawl for her birthday and told me that she loves shawls, even though she might already own an impressive collection, so if I like knitting them, she is more than happy to receive them 😉 Which suits me just right, as I have a lot of shawl patterns in my queue, own some shawl pattern books, and in general, love knitting and crocheting them. But I feel guilty when I think of making so many shawls just for myself, so her confession is a very welcome excuse to knit more!

However, my most recent knit – based on the Kindness KAL Shawl pattern by Jaala Spiro – was made for another friend. I wanted to knit something special for her as a thank you gift, for inviting me to take part in a project we’ve been working on together with her research team (she’s in academia and I used to work in research, so since they needed someone with specific skills, she asked me to join them) for the last several months, outside of my normal job. That really helped me find a new focus in my work, exactly at the time when I needed it most (and to refresh my CV a little which I really needed, too). Beside that, she’s just always been a great friend, so did I really need more to knit something for her? I also knew right from the start that I wanted it to be a shawl, with at least some lace elements, or maybe fully lacy.

But there was one challenge: she wears almost exclusively black. And knitting a lacy pattern with black, very fine yarn, sounds like a sophisticated method of torture for the eyes. So I decided to use black, but add some other colour, and be smart about the whole thing. That’s when another skein of my Ice Yarns bought initially for the Sophie’s Dream blanket, and then ordered again in some additional colourways, seemed like a perfect solution, because it starts with black, and then gradually transitions into red, through different grey shades. Pairing it up with the Kindness KAL Shawl was the next logical step, as I could use the more challenging, dark yarn, to knit the plain stockinette part with some eyelets, and knit the lace with the red end of the skein, which was much easier. The only adaptation I had to make was to increase the amount of repeats of the stockinette and eyelets pattern, as my skein was longer than the pattern suggested, and I wanted to use the full colour scale.

This yarn is a little lighter than the one I’ve used for the Aphrodite Shawl, and I think the difference comes from the acrylic (in the current shawl) versus polyester (in Aphrodite) that is combined with cotton in both of them. It feels very thin, and very suitable for summer, just enough to cover the shoulders in the evening when the sun sets. This is a good thing, since my friend lives in Portugal, and summers are really hot there.

I love this shawl and I love the way in which the red lace frames the black/ grey central part. The good thing? These yarn cakes are only sold in the sets of two, so I have another skein left for myself. Plus a few other colourways, to keep knitting summer shawls to my heart’s content! Now hopefully, my friend will accept the red addition and like this shawl as much as I do! :

11 thoughts on “Challenge accepted!

  1. Brilliant idea to use the red as a highlight to the black! I like lacy black shawls and I love the look of this one, so let’s hope that your friend does too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know right! When I was working on the cross stitch project, there were some folks making theirs on black / dark linen. They must have some superpower!

        Liked by 1 person

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