This has been an interesting month with A Year of Techniques. We have all been leaning in to Bristol Ivy’s Brambling Shawl, and there has been a lot of sturdy, determined effort at the fine art of intarsia.
Most heartening is the number of folks who were game to give it a try. I, for one, put intarsia in the same category as wearing a two-piece swimsuit—until I watched Jen Arnall-Culliford’s quick video tutorial on intarsia. There is something about the way Jen talks. I need Jen to come talk to me on a daily basis. “No biggie. Just do this simple thing, and it will all work out.”
Which it did.
I finished this in a couple of weeks of steady knitting.
I did hit a snag, keeping track of the pattern. Lots of the row repeats have embedded repeats within the repeat. Or whatever. It requires attention to make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. I kept at it because I saw everybody else hanging in there and figuring how to proceed, over in the Year of Techniques Ravelry group and The Lounge. Thanks, y’all!
And if ever a second half of a project were easier than the first, it’s this shawl. I basically stopped paying much attention, knowing that decreasing every fourth row meant that eventually the shawl would just . . . end.
My greatest curiosity was to see how this shawl would block out. There were some seriously wonky stitches, given that I’d sized up to a size 8 needle rather than the size 6 specified in the pattern.
It turned out! The smoothness of the finished piece, the way all those warbly stitches began to behave—it’s what you hope will happen when you block a shawl. This Fyberspates Cumulus is alpaca and silk, almost weightless.
It feels pretty great to finish a project like this. My finished Brambling Shawl is a happy moment in my knitting efforts, and I’m weirdly proud of myself. It’s thanks to Jen and Jim, A Year of Techniques, and the encouragement of stalwart, good-looking knitters over in the forums.
I’m still not going to wear a two-piece swimsuit, don’t worry. Saving that for the next decade.
A Chat with Bristol Ivy
Before bidding fond farewell to this month’s project, be sure to read Jen’s conversation with Bristol Ivy. Quote of the month: “I would love to challenge everyone to take one technique that intimidates them and sit down for an afternoon and give it a try. Maybe it’ll take a group of friends cheering you on, maybe a class, maybe a large glass of gin, maybe just some quiet time, but I guarantee that it’ll be far less intimidating than originally expected. The knitting world then becomes your oyster!”
Tomorrow: Project 3 Begins!
And now for something comPLETEly different . . .
Come back tomorrow for the launch of A Year of Techniques Project 3 and Jen’s next video tutorial. Maybe you’re all experts at this technique, but I’d never even HEARD of it. I am dotty with curiosity about how it will go. If you want to order up yarn for this project (we keep using the word adorable when we talk about it), we have kits in the Shop in two colorways.