While I was at Maryland Sheep and Wool, my dear friend Sarah turned to me and said “pick out a yarn, I want to buy you something.” I may have put up a token protest, I may have jumped for joy and said “Okay” on the spot, I honestly can’t remember—there was a little bit of stunned silence in my head. When someone says they want to buy you yarn, how are you supposed to react?! Apparently I react by pointing to a skein of Sanguine Gryphon’s new Mithril lace and saying “how about that one?”
I knew I wanted to knit Jared Flood’s Rock Island shawl, and what better than this beautifully variegated woody green yarn with 750 yards to a skein? Not much, let me tell you. I’d never knit with a Sanguine Gryphon yarn before, though I had ogled them quite a bit. The colorways are gorgeous, and this laceweight is pretty phenomenal. It’s an 8-ply laceweight, very evenly plied, and not very splitty at all (with eight plies, you probably should expect a little bit of splitting as you’re working). The color is deeply saturated and didn’t bleed at all when washed, and moves in and out of darker and lighter greens beautifully.
The pattern itself is deceptively simple. The Rock Island shawl is knit from the long edge up, but you don’t cast on a million stitches. Instead, you work an easily memorable pattern from a 12 stitch–cast on until the piece measures almost 8′ long. All the while, you’re creating a selvedge edge, which makes picking up stitches infinitely easier.
The beauty of bottom-up shawls is that you’re always decreasing, always picking up speed. The exquisite beauty of this design is that the decreases are worked perfectly into the Rock Island lace section—the center decreases are almost invisible. That Jared Flood, man, he’s a wizard.
And then, it’s all garter stitch, all the time, and decreasing every other row. Best traveling shawl project ever. It’s lightweight, though still warm (almost a little too warm for today, but occasionally the air-conditioning in my office kicks in).
I was working on the last bit of the garter section while watching alpacas and llamas do the limbo at Estes Park Wool Market this past weekend. Apparently the ladies around me were all staring at my shawl—I didn’t notice at all until my friends told me. Oops.
Ravelry page here!