Fail Ninja

What was I saying about the lack of bloggable knitting?


Somehow I managed not to blog my Tokorozawa* Shawl.

Tokorozawa Shawl

Tokorozawa Shawl

(Pattern: Sagano Shawl by Cosmicplutoknits/Laura Chau)

This is a seriously big oops. Of all the shawls I’ve knit, I’ve probably worn this one most often, at least since I finished it. I love this shawl. So how did I manage not to blog it?

Tokorozawa Shawl

Thanks to my wonderful photographer, Mr. Bee.

This is the kind of lapse of reason and capability that makes Mr. Bee call me his ‘Fail Ninja.’ (Uh, there’s a story there. I kind of accidentally slapped myself in the face while trying to tickle him. And then, I managed to insert both legs into one leg of my pajama pants — and not realize what I’d done until I tried to walk. Fail ninja, indeed.)

Tokorozawa Shawl

Daisy stitch + tricked-out ribbing = magic bamboo effect

Anyway: the shawl.

The main yarn is from a sock blank that I dyed at Shall We Knit? last summer, at a Knit in Public Day event with Buffy of Shelridge Farm. I had no way of knowing the total yardage included in the sock blank, so I knit merrily along until I finished one of the two balls of yarn wound from the blank. Then — oh, I’m such a nerd — I whipped up a little spreadsheet to calculate the proportion of stitches I’d already knit to the number of stitches remaining… and I came up short. I could see that I’d have nearly enough, but I wouldn’t finish the border. It’s not a big shawl to begin with, so while I could have worked fewer repeats, I didn’t want to end up with a postage-stamp of a shawl. Of course, I couldn’t just go get more of the same yarn!

In the end, I found some Shelridge Farm yarn back at SWK in a very similar green. It was too solid a colour, but it was the closest in both tone and texture to the original yarn (in fact, it may have been the same base, but apparently everyone involved has been sworn to secrecy). So, I took it over to my friend Lindsey’s place (she of Waterloo Wools) and overdyed it just slightly with some diluted sloshes of brown.


Overdyed Shelridge Farm green

Overdyeing for the win!

As you can see, the yarn looks more similar in the skein than it does knit up as a border — but I’m actually really happy. I always see the shawl motif as bamboo leaves, and the border as stalks, so to me, the border should be darker and sturdier than the leaves.

Also, the border? Ingenious. Okay, so working all those KFBs got pretty old, but they allow the ribbing to be something fluid and drapey, not stiff and gather-y. And the little wraps, which are much simpler to work than they are to explain in a written pattern, transform regular ribs into stalks of bamboo.

Anyway, the shawl is a first for me. I’ve knit lace before, but I’ve never knit a shawl that’s not openwork. It’s smooshier, and denser, and drapes and folds differently. It’s snuggly, but not overly heavy — it’s still fingering weight yarn, after all!

Hmm. What else have I forgotten to blog about?

* Tokorozawa is the suburb of Tokyo where my sister and her boyfriend live.



Filed under Dyeing, Knitting for Me

4 responses to “Fail Ninja

  1. I do love that shawl on you, as well. I didn’t realize, but of course it’s not lace! Just lovely.

    • Annie Bee

      There are sort of open spaces in the fabric, around where the ‘daisies’ are cinched in, but they’re not really paired increases and decreases, so I wouldn’t call it lace. Now I’m all intrigued to look at non-lace stitch patterns for future shawls…

  2. That’s really, really cool. I love that the two skeins played so well together, I love how it came out, and I love how pleased you (rightfully!) sound. I needed a dose of that, a nudge to go create, and this is wonderful! Thank you!