Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Goldberry Shawl

Slow living, crafting and blogging seems to be my way of life at the moment, and do you know what? It suits me just fine. After a busy year of constant deadlines, pushing crochet boundaries and never saying 'no', I've been taking it easy the first quarter of 2016. Self-care is so important and sometimes just doing something you like, or really want to is the best thing of all. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I recently took a fairisle knitting class at Loop, and it was so inspiring. The fabulous Juju Vail taught me so many new techniques, and she continues to inspire me with her beautiful dressmaking and prolific knitting output. While I was at Loop I bought her book, Juju's Loops, and can't wait to get started on the Cinnamon Girl cardigan and Brown Eyed Susan Shawl. However, I had another Loop-related project to complete first.

The wonderful Tif (aka Dottie Angel) recommended this shawl pattern to me way back in December (possibly November?) and began a small crochet-a-long group on Ravelry. It took me a while to select which kind of yarn I wanted to use, as some of the fellow CAL-ers had used aran, worsted and even chunkier yarns for a cosy, winter wrap. When I last visited Loop around the time of my birthday I purchased some limited-edition yarn called 'Speckled Mist'- a fingering/4ply merino by Viola yarns. It's exclusive to Loop to celebrate the shop's tenth birthday. I bought another skein online and began making the shawl after Christmas once my deadlines were done for the year.

I picked it up when I could, after leaving it as an abandoned WIP after the first 20 or so rows- I just wasn't sure this was the best use of my beautiful, expensive yarn. However, I don't like to leave a project unfinished and picked it up again in march and went for the finish line. I found the pattern slightly challenging- not the stitches, you understand, but the wordiness and addition of a poem and plenty of Tolkein. I don't like Tolkein. So if, like me, you prefer your patterns simple, then just follow the charts- they're much easier to read and understand.

As I only had two skeins of the Viola yarn (and at £24 a skein I wasn't prepared to buy a third!) I decided just to see how far the yarn would take me. In addition, I was using 4ply yarn so realising it would come up smaller than a DK or worsted weight shawl, I decided to go for the full 59 rows. I managed to reach around row 56 before my yarn ran out, then spent unnecessary time deciding whether to add a contrast border using stash yarn. I decided not too, actually rather loving the lacy edge, and wondering how it would turn out after a soak with some eucalan and a good block. And here it is...

Isn'tit beautiful? I love how the hand-dyed yarn looks with the pattern...lavender, grey, specks of gold and crimson in there too.

It's drape and lacy-ness have improved immeasurably after blocking, of course, and it's a delight to touch and wear. It's almost a shame the weather has been so mild to wear shawls! But I think it will make the perfect addition to my wedding outfit for a friend's wedding next month.

My next luxury shawl is already on the needles- a knitted shawl called French Cancan in Madelinetosh Merino Light in a stunning indigo blue. Yum!

Happy hooking y'all 


  1. Kath it's gorgeous, and I can assure you it certainly isn't too warm to wear it up here, in fact it's still too bloomin cold! x

  2. Wow! What a gorgeous shawl! I will definitely check out the pattern!

  3. So beautiful! I am enjoying making shawls at the moment too, maybe this springtime weather! This is a gorgeous pattern, and while I like Tolkein I'm not sure with crochet.


Hello! Thanks for stopping by to read. I've enabled Disqus so if I don't reply to your comment here, please know that I read and treasure every word. Let's stay in touch! I'm also found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Let's be friends.