Two summers ago I made a shawl which I had no intention of keeping, but my Husband ended up loving. I made the Iberian Discovery shawl by Stephen West. I had heard about Stephen West’s designs through Craftsy and the ether of the knitting world. I found some of his printed projects during the Yarn Crawl LA 2014 and I grabbed them. I picked this shawl because I had impulsively purchased a bag of sale yarn on Craftsy, Taos by Crystal Palace Yarns, and thought this project would eat up a lot of yarn, which it did–just not enough. The color scheme of the yarn is pretty typical Southwest with peaches, greens, blues, and purples swirling together. I wasn’t necessarily in love with the color scheme but I thought my mom would’ve liked it if I didn’t. Unfortunately, she never got the chance to look at it–let alone like it–before my Husband claimed it as his own.
I had finished the shawl, washing and blocking, and I tried it on to show it off a little bit. My Husband asked if I had planned on keeping it or if it had a home. I barely got out the word, “No,” before he took it off my shoulders and enrobed himself in it. It was “His” Shawl and he has been rocking it ever since. However, I still had half a bag of the Taos.
I thought really hard about making the same shawl again but if I didn’t want it the first time, why would I make again? I wanted a challenge–or at least something a bit more feminine, with lace. I had been meaning to make myself a shawl for work because my shoulders could always use a little extra warmth, and I wasn’t working on anything else so I searched my Ravelry library for worsted weight shawls incorporating lace.
I found the Monsoon Shawl by Angela Tong in my queue and decided to make it. It’s a pattern I have loved for a long time but my yardage never matched. Having so many skeins of leftover yarn, I wasn’t concerned about running out of yarn at all. Actually, I was more concerned the project wouldn’t eat up ENOUGH yarn, which is true: it didn’t. Overall, I liked the pattern. It worked up quickly and I enjoyed the attached edging at the end. The stitch count wasn’t so overwhelming that I gave up counting so that’s always nice. Admittedly, I had my reservations about combining the wool with the pattern. Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of the yarn. Though the yarn has a loose double ply that mixes colors, it still feels like a single ply yarn closely resembling roving. The yarn stretched out a bit as I was working with it, and it’s not as soft as I’m used to, but it drapes beautifully. Taos has been discontinued so even if I wanted more–which I don’t–I wouldn’t be able to get it.
The biggest downer of the project was coming up one lace repeat short at the end.
I guess the surviving skeins of my yarn purge aren’t such a bad thing because I was able to borrow that extra yard or so I needed to finish the shawl. I think it should hang a little longer but I didn’t use pins to stretch it out so that made a difference. Also, Taos is pretty light and delicate so it tends to shrink up a little. I am seriously considering doing it all over again in another yarn so I can see what it looks like with a denser, weightier yarn. That aside, I’m pretty happy with the results.