If you’ve read my moth hole post, then you know I recently and sadly found my, as yet unworn, Crazy Kakadu Shawl had become moth food. There were too many holes to count so I decided to frog the whole thing and knit it again. This is not entirely an awful thing as there were quite a few errors in it and thus its “rebirth” is a chance to do it better.
Crazy Kakadu what?
Last year on a trip to Chicago I stopped by Loopy Yarns and bought a number of skeins of luxury yarn. One of them was Queensland Collection’s Kakadu in the platinum colorway. This is a really interesting yarn. It’s a light fingering that is 56% Cotton, 40% Polyester and 4% Acrylic. It has zero stretch. This is a fun yarn for lightweight projects and warmer weather.
How about a shawl?
I live in Texas and the climate is pretty much hot most of the year. This yarn is lightweight and great for warm weather but I bought a single skein so it’s not like I can make a sweater with it. I could combine it with another yarn and use it as an accent but it still didn’t yell “sweater” at me. A shawl seemed like the perfect option. I also felt it would be prettier in combination with one of the solid colors in the yarn. That would highlight the variegation and make it more interesting than if I had used it alone.
I ultimately decided on Pena by Ines Sousa, A lovely, knitted lace shawl. This pattern is open to a lot of creativity in terms of yarn selection, colors and even size. All three sections of this shawl can be made larger so you can make it whatever size you want, vary the depth of the sections, etc. I also want to say this is the best written pattern I’ve ever bought. She even has little boxes so you can check off each row as it’s done and stitch counts listed for every row. This makes it much easier to track where you are as you work. It can be purchased via Ravelry. This is her photo:
What should I use for the contrasting color?
I took the Kakadu with me on my trip to Gauge, my local yarn store. I held it up against most of the colors in the yarn. White wasn’t interesting enough. Both red and turquoise were fabulous colors but if what on earth would I have to wear this shawl with if I made it red or turquoise? I settled on charcoal gray and a lovely lightweight 100% merino wool. Here is a closeup of Kakadu with the original merino wool.
See how nicely the Kakadu is displayed when knit with the charcoal? Unfortunately it was the merino wool that was soon to be moth food. I still have enough of the wool yarn to remake the shawl but I decided not to use it in the remake for two reasons:
- I’m too paranoid it will become moth food again, and
- Even though it’s very lightweight, it’s still warm and I thought a summer suited blend would be a better idea, presuming I could find one I like.
My choice for a contrasting yarn
I went back to Gauge to survey their spring and summer yarn collection and selected Lang Filo. This yarn is, in my opinion, as interesting and off the typical “path” for yarn which made it a fun choice to pair with the Kakadu. It’s got a cotton core that is wrapped with nylon. It’s slippery and shiny.
Work in progress
Here’s a closeup of the Filo/Kakadu stripe. Do you like it? It still works for me. This photo is of the shawl before blocking.
Knitting is done
Well here it is, hot off the needles. Looks like a hot mess at this point. There’s two more tasks I still need to do. Clearly it needs blocking. Lace should always be blocked and this is a great example of why.
Weaving in the ends
However before I block the shawl, I need to weave in ends. This poses a bigger challenge than usual because both yarns are slippery and the fabric is so very open. I want it to be invisible and to stay put. Neither yarn was a good candidate for Russian or braided joins so I left the tails hanging.
So I hopped over to Youtube to find a video on how to weave in ends when working with slippery yarn. This turned out to be a bit of a challenge as I found contradicting suggestions. In the end, while I found two videos for weaving in the ends on slippery yarn, neither was suitable for my project. Why not? Because both techniques involve splitting the plies in the yarn and weaving them separately. Neither of these yarns can be split. the Filo isn’t plied at all – it has a cotton core with nylon wound around it. The Kakudu is plied but the plies are woven together. My attempts to undo the plies were a mess.
In the end, I wove the ends into the nearest area that made sense. I stretched the fabric as I went to be sure my efforts didn’t damage the flow of the fabric or show on the outside. I went back and forth quite a bit to reduce the odds an end will pop out. I also did knot the ends for the two mid-garment joins as this seems like it would reduce the odds the ends are pulled out. Since the finished shawl will only be hand washed, I think it will be okay.
I used my blocking wires on the top edge and T-pins to make the little spikes along the side edges. So what do you think of my Crazy Kakadu Shawl? What colors would you use?