Friday, February 24, 2017

Knitting: Germinate shawl.

One of my favorite bloggers used to be Amanda of Hey Porkchop. (I say "used to be" because she stopped blogging for a while, but she has started up again this year! In that hiatus, I started following her Instagram. I don't have Instagram but still keep an eye on a few of my favorite accounts over there.) I loved her knitting and quilting projects: the colors and yarns she picked, the cozy and autumn feel of her aesthetic, etc. She made me want to be a sock knitter before I even knitted my first pair. But my favorite project was her Germinate shawl. It was so gorgeous! At that point, I'd only been knitting less than two years and I couldn't even imagine getting to where that shawl was within my skill level.

But here it is, my own Germinate shawl! For the last couple of years, I'd planned on knitting this pattern at some point, but I really didn't intend on stealing Amanda's color scheme so shamelessly. :) At a visit to a yarn shop, I just happened to buy three skeins of sportweight yarn in these colors, planning on using them for different projects. When I bought them, the lady mentioned that they looked nice together, but I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until sometime last year that I realized they were the same colors as Amanda's shawl, and that if I bought one more skein of purple, I'd have enough to knit one for myself. (I contacted the shop and they just happened to have one more skein of purple in the dye lot I needed. Obviously this was meant to be, ha.)

Though I used two different brands, all of the yarn is 100% American raised Rambouillet wool. The purple and orange are Swans Island All American Collection Sport in the Crocus and Flame colorways. The gray is Equity Sport from Sincere Sheep (which is naturally dyed) in the colorway Winter's Night. I really like Rambouillet fiber in general, and both of these yarns have a natural, semi-woolen feel. They aren't overly processed...I did often have to pull out prickly bits of VM from the Swans Island yarn, and the Sincere Sheep yarn had some little nubby pieces too.

The pattern itself is very well written and thorough, down to the stitch counts listed. But I haven't knitted a lot of lace before, and this lace was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever worked on. Because of printer issues, I couldn't print the charts, only the written instructions, and I had to be completely focused on keeping my place. No movie watching while working on the lace sections! For some reason, my brain wasn't finding this lace to be very intuitive, but I can't really complain because I love the end result.

Using these colors, which I love separately but wouldn't normally choose to use together, was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I'm so happy with this shawl! It doesn't quite have the light, drapey, elegant feel of most of the Germinate shawls out there because of my yarn choices. (The picot bind off, for example, is a little bulky, especially because I didn't block out each point. I don't have enough pins or patience for that!) But I like that it's rustic and wooly...that's more my style anyway. :) The fact that it's made from all American, hand dyed yarn is even better! It feels satisfying to finally have the ability to knit something that, for such a long time, felt too difficult for me to attempt.

Project page.


  1. This shawl is awesome! Beautiful work! The lace and stripe combination is something that I never would thought of, but it works so well.

    1. Thank you! I know, I would never think to put lace and stripes together either, but I really love it. The perfect mix of casual and fancy. :)


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