To the tune of Thrift Shop…
I’m gonna knit some shawls
Only got twenty stitches til my short row
I – I – I’m knitting, purling to the cast-off.
This is fucking awesome.
Admittedly, many of my lifestyle choices are pretty “grandma-ly”. I enjoy sitting in my rocking chair with a cat on my lap, needles in hand, cup of tea at my elbow and muttering about whippersnappers. But I drew the line at shawls. That was just too far. NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE. I finally broke down and knit a shawl. To be fair, it’s the wildly popular Color Affection by Veera Välimäki.
This pattern is pretty rad! It’s very simple but a wonderful way to introduce yourself to short rows. This is a super handy knitting technique used for shaping fabric. Essentially, you’re knitting along and then you just turn the knitting around and knit in the other direction (with varying wrap techniques— developed by different knitters) creating a wedge in your fabric. These wedges accommodate curves and allow you to shape garments to your actual body rather than ending up with a boxier garment. For the purposes of the Color Affection, however, it helps to shape the shawl into a croissant which drapes nicely over shoulders.
The other reason Color Affection is such a popular pattern is that it’s a nice excuse to play with color schemes. Everyone ends up with a pretty unique shawl due to color customization! There are over TEN THOUSAND Color Affections on Ravelry. That is both INSANE and INCREDIBLE.
I decided to knit one of these bad boys while at Knitting Camp with my bff, Celeste; mostly at her suggestion. She’s my knitting guru for sure. Knitting Camp falls just after my birthday which is awesome because I have some birthday money to spend on fancypants yarn at the camp market! I indulged and bought some beautiful yarn from Sun Valley Fibers. I mixed two different blends of their yarn unintentionally. They are the same weight but have slightly different fiber content. Two of the yarns are merino wool, cashmere and nylon while the other is merino wool, cashmere and SILK. Let me tell you: if I had been paying more attention during my yarn frenzy, I would have totally opted to snag all of the colors in a silk option. Both blends are delightful to touch but seriously: the one with silk feels like heaven. Sun Valley Fibers actually claims on the product page but I am backing this statement up. Heaven. It’s soft, durable and has the most wonderful drape. The silk adds just a touch of weight to the mix that really steps it up a notch. I think next year’s splurge will be enough of this lovely yarn to make myself a sweater.
Back to the pattern at hand. I’ve never knit a shawl before and while I may have owned a poncho at some point, I definitely haven’t owned a shawl. I wasn’t sure if I would really wear it that frequently but it’s ended up being quite cozy. I’m approaching it as a pashmina/scarf/wrap item and for some reason that makes it’s place in my wardrobe make more sense. It might be nice to make on a smaller scale since the wingspan is pretty impressive. While this is handy when wrapping it up around myself, I feel like the tails end up getting in my way too much if they are just dangling.
Clearly, I love color. All of the colors and in all sorts of combinations. And this pattern really is a fun project to knit. It’s definitely cruise-able while consuming your favorite media and interesting enough with the short rows. Midway through the project, I got really excited and made plans to knit a few more of these in varying colors, thinking about some Sun Valley Fiber yarn I had in my stash from Knitting Camp 2012 and then supplementing with some more economical choices from Knitpicks.
Are you one of the ten thousand + people who knit the Color Affection?
Link to it in the comments and share your awesome color palette!