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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Navia shawl

I have been working on a Navia kit for a shawl in the style of the Faroe Islands. Mine is in black. I wanted to try both the yarn and the pattern.

The yarn is a mix of Faroese wool, Shetland wool and Australian lambs' wool. I was intrigued by the history of the Navia company, which began in 2004 as a school project business plan on the Faroese Islands. Óli Kristian á Torkilsheyggi was so committed to the project he carried it through to a successful business.

I liked the story, had been interested in both Faroese and Shetland wool, and the style of Faroese shawls, which are knitted in the round with a gusset down the centre back, and shaped over the shoulders. The kit was very reasonably priced from The Fox Collection so I gave it a go. I chose black because I wanted to wear this myself, at home as much as when going out and thought that more serviceable.
The wool is lovely to work - soft,  firm, no splitting. The instructions were minimalist, but the chart clear. I soon got the idea and the rhythm. I enlarged, photocopied and folded the chart, marking  the panel of pattern repeats with highlighter to help my memory. The dark bits on the chart show the stitches that no longer exist.

I used ring markers to mark off the repeats and coloured rings to mark the central panel. I would not have managed without these, even though the pattern is relatively simple.

I am not usually a fan of garter stitch, but it certainly made for simplicity. Once the lace pattern was completed  the ring markers for the repeats could be removed and the pattern of decreases takes over the rhythm of knitting.

When the knitting was finished, I had the challenge of crocheting around the front edge. I got out one of my mother's books of crochet instructions and tried to teach myself a treble. I don't really think I succeeded, but I made a passable edge anyway. The instructions were for a panel of trebles and didn't transfer very easily to an edge. I suspect what I ended up doing was a double, not a treble, but it gave a finish to the edge.

The last bit was the knotted fringe. I had no idea how much wool it would take, but I made it with quite a bit to spare.

Best of all - it is astonishingly light and warm. I have been wearing it when it is not quite time to turn the heating on but a bit cool to sit still. It's a great shape; doesn't keep falling off as straight shawls tend to do.

I would certainly use the wool again, given the opportunity, and I will now try some of the more complicated patterns I have for Faroe Island shawls.


Monica said...

It looks great, Jillian! One of these shawls is on my knitting bucket list too. I like the chunkier garter stitch for a shawl - I'm sure that is part of the reason it is warm.

I recently learned that "single" and "double" crochet mean different things in Europe and N. America, so I'm not sure where Australia would come in on that. What Europeans call "single" crochet is what a N. American would call a slip stitch. And what a European would call a "double" crochet is what a N. American would call a single crochet.

So, as far as your trebles are concerned, a European treble is probably the same as a N. American double. You're right either way!

katherine macwin said...

Its such a beautiful shawl. I agree that it is warmer than it looks. I did a knitted jacket with an open lacy pattern years ago and it certainly keeps me warm despite others saying 'arent you cold!' The trick is in the yarn for sure as it was 5ply mohair knitted on large needles. I have never knitted from a chart before and I do admit to using scrap yarn for markers in some things. Makes life a lot easier if you have to put it down mid row or loose your train of thought lol.

Jillian said...

Oh I do like that logic, Monica! LOL!

Karyn said...

I love your shawl, it is lovely. I am sure it will be lovely and warm. I want to knit a shawl but doubt my ability to stick at it until the end. There are some beautiful patterns out there.