Even while I was knitting the Damask shawl, by Kitman Figueroa, for my sister’s wedding, I was already plotting which of Kitman’s patterns to knit next. Seriously, that woman is some kind of stitch-whisperer; the way she combines stitch patterns is nothing short of magical.
Back in June, for Knit in Public Day, Kim and Rom from IndigoDragonfly paid a visit to my favourite LYS, Shall We Knit? SWK had recently moved from New Hamburg (a 20-minute drive outside of Kitchener-Waterloo) right into Waterloo, so on the day the IndigoDragonfly team arrived to set up, I celebrated my newfound proximity to the shop by strolling over on my lunch break. (!)
I splurged, and came away with two skeins of their gorgeous Merino Cashmere yarn, in the colourway Self-Elmolation. (Umm, if there’s one thing you need to know about IndigoDragonfly, it’s that their awesome colour names are matched only by their fantastic colours.) When people say that a yarn is like buttah, THIS is the yarn they should be talking about.
Soon, that yarn was well on its way to becoming a Cobble shawl, pattern by — you guessed it — Kitman Figueroa. It was helped admirably on its way by my first-ever pair of Signature needles, a birthday gift from my
Unlike most of the triangular shawl patterns out there, Cobble and Damask both start with a looooong cast-on, which forms the bottom edges of the triangle, and then decrease on the edges and at the centre as you work upwards to the neck. In other words, it’s the same two-triangle construction as Swallowtail or Multnomah or Ishbel (to name a few) but you’re working inwards from the outer edge, instead of working from the nape of the neck out to the border.
This means two things:
- You have to choose your size before you cast on, and hope you have enough yarn. (There are three sizes offered for both Cobble and Damask. I knit the Medium Damask and the Large Cobble.)
- The first few rows are looooooong, but soon you’re cruising, and the last bit of the project totally flies by. Instead of slowing down as your own energy and interest dwindles, the shawl pretty much compensates by making the rows easier and easier as you near the finish line.
Kitman’s patterns are some of the most thoroughly-written and -charted patterns I’ve ever seen. Cobble is 20 — yes, twenty — pages long! Full written and charted directions are included, for each of the three sizes available.
The pointy Stiletto tips on my new Signature needles definitely helped me get the msot from this pattern — there are a lot of 1×1 cables. I started out on Addi Turbos, and switched when I got the new needles for my birthday; immediately, I was knitting almost half again as quickly, simply because the tips made cabling-without-a-cable-needle so speedy. Love.
Anyway, all of this knitting was public enough while I was doing it, but my motivation for it was not. See, my dear friend was and is going through a very bumpy divorce, and I wanted to make sure she had something tangible that she could reach for, to remind her of the network of support and care around her. I’m not one for prayer shawls, exactly, but there’s something really basic in me that wants to wrap up my loved ones, literally and figuratively, in huge warm hugs. In person, I’m fairly reserved and kind of shy about those big physical displays, but emotionally? I’m a total hugger.
This is my cashmere hug for my friend.
And you know what? I think she likes it.