Tag Archives: Oaklet

Thanksgiving shawl


Last weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada and we spent it with L’s parents. They live about four hours away by car, which is a bit of a ways, but great knitting time. I brought the wedding mittens with me, but between the finicky knitting and the tiny chart, they proved too much for the car. Luckily, I also brought Oaklet, which was perfect car knitting.

After all my previous indecision, I decided to stick it out. I trust that the Fleece Artist knows what she’s doing when she dyes her yarns, and wouldn’t you know it, she does! As the rows became longer and the colour repeats changed length the shawl opened up and turned almost caramel in colour (it looks a little like a chocolate bar, to be honest). Once I got into the lace, the purples and the greens started to pop, and even though I still ended up with light and dark pooling, I don’t mind one bit.

The colours are perfect for fall, no?

The finished shawl is 49 inches across the top and 18 inches deep, which is – surprise surprise – smaller than I would have liked, but still an entirely comfortable length to wear as a shawlette under a jacket, which is perfect for fall. (I should note, perhaps, that I’s actually longer (though not as deep) than the pattern measurements, which is a first.) On the pattern notes, Megan Goodacre makes specific mention of the fact that her shawl took an entire 350 yds. Although I had two skeins of this yarn, I decided I only wanted to use one, so I stuck to the pattern notes precisely – and ended up only using about 3/4 of the skein, despite going up a needle size. If I were to do this again, I would absolutely add four or eight more rows to the stockinette section, just to gain a little more length. But oh well, now I have enough Earth to knit any fancy pair of socks I want!

I also kind of wish I’d added more lace.

Pattern: Oaklet Shawl by Megan Goodacre
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Earth
Needles: 4 mm Addi Turbos
Modifications: I went up a needle size because I may have finally learned that I knit more firmly than most patterns. Other than that, nothing!
Notes: If you decide to knit this shawl, when you get to the lace portion make sure to read both the written instructions and the charted ones, because they don’t entirely match at the beginning of the right-side rows. I kind of fudged this a bit and then just made sure my first set of leaves matched up so everything could flow from there, but you do have to pay attention to avoid ripping.

A trick of the light


So, I conquered the mitten. I’ll tell you all about it later, but suffice to say it involved graph paper, ripping, laddering down to repair colour order, and some neck strain. However, as you will see, it was worth it. But that’s not what this is about. This is about the shawl.

This is a gratuitous leaf photo because I’m excited about fall.

Last week, before the mitten waved its stranded little palm at me, I was going to knit a shawl. Anyway, I was all over the place and couldn’t choose a pattern and it turns out that the problem was just that I hadn’t found Oaklet yet. Luckily for me, Kristen saw it and, when my plea went up, she thought of me, and bam. I made myself finish the first mitten before I cast on, though, and then I spent a chunk of Sunday gloriously knitting nothing but stockinette and eyelets and it was just what my mind and shoulders needed.

And then I looked down at what I was knitting and I wasn’t so sure anymore. The thing is, I was originally planning to alternate between the two skeins, so when I cast on, I didn’t pay any attention to which ball I was using. Then, though, after inspecting the pattern a little further, I saw that I actually only needed 350 yds (the amount in one skein) and decided not to bother alternating because that would be annoying both now and later, when I will probably use the second skein to make socks (maybe these ones). So, my plan changed, I kept knitting, not thinking about what I was doing, and then I looked down and realized I should really start planning ahead better.

See these two skeins (the smaller one on the left is the one I’m knitting from). See how the one on the right has all these purples and greens laced through the brown? See how the one on the left (the one that I’m knitting from) doesn’t? Yeah. I didn’t see it right away either, but when I realized it, it did explain why my shawl looked more, well, Earthy than I had expected. Here it is:

I’m about two-thirds of the way through the stockinette/eyelet portion

When I realized my mistake (namely, that the skein I feel would work best as a shawl turned out to be the one I wasn’t using for a shawl) my immediate reaction was that I needed to rip it back and start over. I wasn’t totally crazy about the way the dark colours are pooling, and it was very brown, and it just wasn’t the shawl I’d been picturing in my head. That is, it wasn’t when it was in the house. When I took it outside to get a nice photo to show you all and ask your opinion, a strange thing happened: I started to see flecks of green and purple and shades I liked.

To be clear: I’m still not totally crazy about the way the dark colours pooled over the shorter rows (I’m also not sure it would be any different with the other skein), but seeing the shawl outside did change my perception of its colours. Honestly, I was in the 100% going to rip this camp until I took these photos. Yes, I was probably dazzled by the fall colours, but I will be wearing clothes with this shawl, so presumably they will bring out some of these same colours, right?

So, unless you think I’m setting myself up for a shawl I’ll be only mostly happy with (it may just be that I subconsciously don’t want to rip), I think I’ll keep going and see how it turns out. Thoughts? (You and I both have time to think about it since my week is dedicated to the second mitten, about which, more later.)