Saturday, 30 August 2014

Curly Wurly

Every so often something just pushes its way to the head of the queue and forces me to knit it NOW! I had no intention of knitting a shawl. I have two on the needles currently (Brown As - a traditional triangle lace shawl and Lacewing a free form knitted and crocheted shawl inspired by the colours of a blue wren's wing). I really didn't plan to make another. But Melba (one of the moderators of Ravelry's International Free Form group) dangled this pattern under my nose and even though I didn't find the original very inspiring knitted as it was in a single colour, there was enough mystery in trying to figure out how it was constructed to make me drag some yarn out of the stash and just knit up a little sample to see how it worked. (Note to self for future reference: this was in hindsight perhaps a bad idea. Resist the intriguing knitting puzzle a little harder next time).
This pattern with its use of short row sections and dropped stitches was a fascinating and addictive knitting exercise.You know of the 'just one more bit' and then I'll put it down go do the housework / complete tedious marking / insert any essential but boring chore here. I'd never done dropped stitches on purpose before (though there have been lots by accident over a long knitting career). I'd find myself insanely giggling inside each time I deliberately dropped and unraveled a stitch. I'm sure the knitting police were secretly watching me flaunting the laws of good knitting and waiting in the wings to slap me with a ticket for illegal knitting.
More by accident than design I'd knitted my little sample piece (it ended up becoming part of the aforementioned Lacewing) in a gorgeous varigated cream, grey and tan yarn. I discovered this pattern just shows off a short repeat variegated yarn to absolute perfection. And in my stash I had just the perfect thing to use: two balls of a acrylic print called Instinctive designed to knit up into a sort of a fake dead animal print.
Mel is responsible for the inspiration behind the name. I was knitting this and she said it reminded her of a chocolate coated something. The wave like patterning and the fact the colour is a mix of chocolate, white chocolate and caramel together with it’s wavy pattern reminds us of a Cadbury Curly Wurly chocolate bar. So Curly Wurly it is. (Though it was very nearly Chocolate Covered Pretzel)
Pattern: Summit Shawl by Mandie Harrington from Knitty Spring+Summer 2010 - a free pattern
Needles: 4mm straights
Yarn: Moda Vera Instinctive, colour 51, black, white and caramel, 100% Acrylic, used 2 by 100 g balls. Bought on sale for $1 each. (So yes, total cost only $2!)
Total elapsed knitting time: 11 days....
It wasn't a totally smooth knit though. There was some extreme frogging involved. I initially started knitting this to the width suggested in the pattern (15 columns) and completed almost two full repeats. However, I only had two balls on this yarn and wouldn’t get the length I needed. So I frogged it and cast on again with only 8 columns - more of a scarf / stole width.
It garnered some interesting comments on Ravelry on the way. I got told that the colour made it look likes hundreds of baby snakes together. Hundreds of snakes. That would be scary to wear around your shoulders….
The original knit in progress shot that inspired the hundreds of snakes comment
I wet blocked the shawl when I finished it but it didn’t hold its shape when dry and the pins were removed due to the acrylic yarn. I wore it once but wasn't happy with it because it didn't drape nicely and kept slipping. So I decided to aggressively steam block it to 'kill' the acrylic. Much happier with the finished stole / shawl now!
The photo-shoot took place on a glorious spring afternoon. Mel is an inspired photographer sometimes and she deserves a giant pat of the back today for making both the shawl and me look good.
Not sure I can pull it off as a head scarf.
The back view


  1. It's gorgeous! It's the perfect length with 8 repeats and killing the acrylic opened it up and gave it a nice drape. Well done - and for a total cost of $2- priceless!

  2. Thanks Loren. It always makes me happy when people take the time to leave a comment! Knitting and crochet can be such satisfying cheap hobbies, can't they? A bit of yarn (and it doesn't have to cost the earth to get great results) some needles and some deeply fun time time turning it into a happy result. And then add the chance to be creative. Waht more could you want?


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