In all this hot weather we have been having in the UK knitting with and wearing wool might have been the last thing many of you have wanted to do, even I considered putting the needles down for a while. I stress considered though as I just couldn’t do it and knitted on regardless of the fact that having a large pile of wool in my lap was making me feel faint. I did however branch out and embrace plant fibres during this time.
Now, I have worked with cotton many times in my knitting and crocheting life and I have to admit I am not much of a fan. It is not like wool, you can’t sniff the sheepy-ness of it, it sits rather stiffly in your hand rather than bouncing when you squish it and working with it for any length of time gives me wrist pain. Then along came linen, Erika Knight Studio Linen to be precise and knitting/ crocheting with plant fibres became a whole lot more appealing. The yarn came in to my life as a review for the Minerva Crafts blog and if you’d like to see that in more detail I suggest you head on over to their website to take a look.
The shawl I decided to make with it though is also partly responsible for why I fell in love with the yarn. I used the True Love shawl pattern by Michele DuNaier available on Ravelry. The pattern itself is brilliantly written with both written and charted instructions and nicely styled photographs. The shawl is the perfect size (and unlike wool didn’t require blocking to show off its beauty!) and as a crescent shape sits really nicely on the shoulders. If you want to see it in all it’s glory head over to my latest podcast.Slow Crafting Podcast – Episode 30: Ya-dah! Outfit 3 finished.
I have been known to attempt to wear wool shawls in the heat but after 5 minutes I am ripping them from my throat, gasping for breath and then spending the next half an hour generally looking like a swooning women from an old fashioned film fanning myself and being very red in the face. Not so with my linen shawl! When I put it on (because it is always nice to wear something handmade) it feels cool against my skin but heavy enough to be comforting at the same time. This in itself is a joy but it also means that despite having inherited my mother’s fair skin I can wear strappy summer dresses when I want but can also cover up my shoulders or cleavage if it all gets too much without having to reach for a cardigan and then feel uncomfortable and restricted in it. The stitch definition is also amazingly crisp so it looks smart and modern even in a lacy design. And finally the true test of a good shawl in the heat? I can run for a bus in it without sweating like a horse or passing out. Now if only I could master being able to breath and speak after running for the bus we might be on to a winner all round.