A Tale of Two Shawls

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic but there are two finished shawls today, from the same yarn, with very different results.

The yarn is Zooey from Juniper Moon, a 60-40 cotton/linen blend. It’s something I’ve had in the stash for a years. I was thinking about knitting a t-shirt for my Nephew with it but I wasn’t happy with the gauge. I abandoned that idea but still had the urge to use it up.

I originally shared this yarn montage back in March with big plans. It’s taken a couple months, but those plans have all come to fruition. I abandon ideas left and right so it’s kind of amazing to look back and realize all that yarn has been knitted! Yay Stash Busting!!

The top photo is my Earth & Air sweater. The bottom right pile became a brioche wrap. And now, the bottom left has become a pair of shawls, a Haida Gwaii by Heidi Kirrmaier (rav link) and a Dotted Rays by Stephen West (rav link).

Side by side, they aren’t drastically different. They have a lot in common besides the yarn, both garter stitch, both striped, both fun to knit. Dotted Rays for it’s easy, relaxing rhythm and Haida Gwaii for it’s modular construction. I really enjoyed putting these pieces together.

As written, the pattern calls for 5 colors and represents a thunderbird. Back when I bought the pattern though, I didn’t care about the thunderbird motif much. I was envisioned a patchwork of stash busting colors. All the different bits requiring various amounts of yarn, it seemed like a no-brainer for using up odds & ends, with complete disregard for how it might read. I’m happy I did a version that keeps the thunderbird in tact though.

And then there’s the Dotted Rays, which is clearly my favorite. This is my 10th Dotted Rays. I just can’t help but knit this pattern repeatedly. It’s a process knitters dream. Miles of garter stitch! Simple repeats! Intuitive repetition! It’s a classic for a reason. Surprisingly, this is the first one I’ve knit that follows the pattern as written, in regards to the colors. Previously I’ve always gone for the random stripes. Again, I’m happy I did a version that fit with the designers original vision. Even if it took me 10 tries.

Finished just in time for summer weather! Already this week, I’ve worn it a couple times, it’s perfect. Of course, summer doesn’t last long here in San Francisco so I’ve got a new wool sweater on the needles too…

I’m using the Ann Budd top down saddle shoulder numbers and making up my own details as I go. It’s growing quickly! Stay tuned for more progress, I’ll tell you about it soon!


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