I went a little crazy earlier this year at Stitches West – I know you’re shocked – and picked up many skeins of luscious, hand dyed yarn. Including two gorgeous skeins of Tosh Vintage in an amazing colorway called “Calligraphy,” which I immediately knew would become a worsted weight textured shawl.
I finished knitting the prototype in next to no time, but it took me MUCH longer to actually block it and then also to start writing up the pattern.
Of course, I couldn’t find any of my notes. Did I use size 10 needles? Or size 8? Maybe 10-1/2? Since needle size is sorta important, my hand was forced: I had no choice but to procure two more skeins of Tosh Vintage (hehe).
Which required a trip to Yarndogs, my local source for all things madelinetosh. They didn’t disappoint and in less than two weeks, I finished my sample, and more important, completed the first draft of the pattern for Texelle.
If you know anything about me by now, it’s how I love making up names for patterns with a little bit of a French twist. (I took four years of French in high school, which largely involved our mangled attempts at creative French if called on: “je went le skiing this weekend. on samedi.” Good to see that my creative French skills have been put to good use 30 odd years later!)
My working name for the shawl was “chunky,” neither elegant nor sexy when it comes to knitting pattern names!
BTW, “chunk,” in French, is “gros morceau.” Also neither elegant or sexy.
My goal with Texelle was simple: chunky, cozy, all texture, no lace, in the kind of hand dyed wool that you couldn’t help but want to wrap yourself up in.
As I drew up possible designs, I quickly realized I really didn’t want to put anyone – least of all myself – to sleep with solid walls of a textured stitch. The idea of bands of pattern was very appealing, particularly fairly brief bands. With lovely garter stitch at the neck and along the edge.
Of course, theory and practice are always a bit different. I knit at least several shawls worth of Texelle before all was said and done. Several stitch patterns didn’t make the final design. I switched up the order of stitch patterns when I didn’t like the bobbles or linen stitch earlier in the shawl.
I’ve worn my original sample several times, thanks to cold and rainy weather earlier this month, and really, really love this shawl. I’m tall (nearly 6′ in bare feet!), so appreciate a generously sized shawl that I can wrap around my neck when it’s cold and windy!
Best of all, Texelle takes just two skeins – or less – of your favorite worsted weight (or DK) yarn. I really love Texelle in Tosh Vintage, but can’t wait to knit this up in my own worsted weight yarn or in a wool/cashmere blend (wouldn’t that be heavenly?).