Through Ravelry, I had the good fortune to "meet" an incredibly gifted and generous crafter who is in the habit of spinning and knitting gifts, then sending them to lucky recipients all over the world from his home in Germany. Last year for my birthday, Jürgen sent me some gorgeous spindle spun silk in vibrant orange (he also sent me a beautiful spindle)! Enclosed was a note saying - among other things - that he wished I might design something for small amounts of laceweight yarn, as he had several 2-ounce portions of fiber, both spun and unspun, and nothing to do with them.
I thought for a long time about his request, trying to devise a versatile design that would make the most of small amounts of precious handspun. It needed to be a little out of the ordinary, and of course it needed to be lacy to maximize yardage. Finally, it all came together.
Introducing Geschenk - German for "gift" - a wide and shallow shawl worked
from the bottom up. Based on a historic lace stitch pattern, Geschenk can
accommodate many different yarns, changing its personality to suit each
length and weight as a scarf or a shawl. Three different weights of yarn -
all gifts to me - are presented as examples. And now: Knitty and I present
to you your Geschenk; wear it in health and well being. Pass it forward.
Jürgen provided some helpful tips on spinning silk. In his own words: "Don't be greedy! If you grab too much of the fiber to spin in one go, it may get sweaty and compacted -- after some time you won't enjoy drafting anymore. Thus, take breaks! This prevents your precious silk from becoming unenjoyable, and the fiber as well as your hands will have time to get dry again. Nice and easy always does the trick."
And he filled me in on his semi-worsted drafting method: "I usually don't completely pinch off the twist from the fiber supply but let it travel a tiny bit upwards, so the yarn gets a more pleasant feel. Not easy to describe; it's a "see me, feel me" thing like most spinners use."
model: Shele Pandl, Romi Hill photos: Rosemary Hill
Spinning Tool: Sourkraut Mini spindle (top whorl) and Bosworth Mini for singles; Bosworth Midi for plying.
Commercial Yarn Alternative Green fingering version [shown immediately below]
Little Gidding Farm Suri Elite, [100% Suri Alpaca; 400 yards per 4 oz skein]; green: Lucerne; 1 skein
Grey DK version [shown at bottom]
Great Northern Yarns [70% cruelty-free mink, 30% cashmere; 230 yds per 2 oz skein]; taupe: Natural; 1 skein
Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed
below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
1 set US #4/3.5mm[#6/4mm, #8/5mm] circular or straight needles
1 set US #6/4mm[#8/5mm, #10/6mm] circular or straight needles for bind off
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
This piece is bound off using a reverse stockinette i-cord bind off. The concept is the same as regular i-cord in that you move the yarn around the needle rather than over the needle to create the i-cord tube. If you are creating yarnovers, you are not binding off correctly. There is a video demonstrating this technique here.
M1: Insert left needle, from front to back, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then knit into the back of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
M1p: Insert left needle, from front to back, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then purl into the back of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
The orange handspun laceweight version as photographed has 6.5 repeats, the green fingering version has 7, the taupe DK version has 3.5. Each subsequent time through of Chart B will add 8 repeats of the 4 stitch repeat area -- for lace weight, adding 1.5 inches in depth, for fingering weight, adding 2 inches, and for DK weight, adding 2.25 inches.
Shawl is enlarged by adding repeats of Chart B.
To bind off, finish after any of Rows 6-12 of Chart B, or after any Chart C row.
The orange handspun version ends after Row 11 of Chart B; the taupe DK version ends after Row 6 of Chart B. The green fingering version ends after 2 rows of Chart C.
Binding off: Using knitted cast-on method, CO 2 sts. Do not turn. With working needle, p3. Switch to larger needle.
[Wyib move 3 sts back to left needle, move working yarn around sts to front of left needle (not over needle), p2, p5tog] 8 times; [wyib, move 3 sts back to left needle, move working yarn around sts to front of left needle (not over needle), p2, p2tog] to last 32 sts; [wyib, move 3 sts back to left needle, move working yarn around sts to front of left needle (not over needle), p2, p5tog] 8 times, wyib, move 3 sts back to left needle, p3tog, fasten off.
Weave in ends and wash using wool wash.
Remove excess water from shawl and block using blocking wires and T-pins. Thread wires through top i-cord tube for a straight edge and through points along edges. Stretch shawl tight, and pin wires. Pin each bottom edge motif into a bell shape.
When thoroughly dry, unpin.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Now a full time designer, Romi's very first published pattern appeared in Knitty, so she has a gigantic soft spot in her heart for Amy, Jillian and the rest of the Knitty crew.