Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kindergarten Rug Shawl

Well, it's been done for a good, long while, but it was in one of the windows of the yarn shop, along with 2 other Kindergarten Rug shawls made by my sis, Cass. It sure was fun to do, but I didn't think I'd ever get done. I guess I'm way spoiled making socks. They're ever so much smaller than shawls!

I chose a base color-range to work with (Fall colors), then I just dug through my yarn scraps to see what I had, plus Cass gave me a ton of scraps in "my" colors that she couldn't use for her own shawl(s). Aaaannnnd ... we were off and running! Ain't it kewl? And oh-so-warm! As you can see, I've got some crazy fibers in there: metallics, ribbons, tapes, chenilles, pom-poms, eyelashes, fuzzies, furries, bumpies, hand-spuns, sock yarns, bulky name it - it's in there. I used up nearly all my handspun scraps - I'm so glad I didn't throw them away - I nearly had!

We both started with an "inspiration" yarn (Cass' idea) and dug around in our (much-bigger-than-we-realized) stashes to find yarns that would "go" together (okay, much in the same way horses and clocks "go" together...). I quickly discovered that if I used just Fall colors, the shawl just looked...dull, somehow, even though many of the colors were very bright. I realized I HAD to have some brights and lights in the mix to make it "work". Back to my stash I went and gleefully dragged out More Yarn.

Just FYI, we worked the shawl in the most simple way possible. Starting at the bottom, we cast on somewhere in the neighborhood of 3, 4 or 5 (I can't remember and it really doesn't matter) stitches and increased by 2 stitches on every other row, by knitting in the front and back (K1fb) of the 2nd and 2nd-to-last stitches. For example:

Using needles anywhere from about U.S. size 10.5-to-whatever...

CO 5
Row 1: K1, K1fb, K1 (or across until 2 st remain), K1fb, K1
Row 2: Knit
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you're sick and tired of knitting. Cast off loosely and wear. You don't even have ends to work in!

You could use yarnovers, instead of K1fb, if you want holes along the edge.

You could also just increase by one stitch EVERY row, and make it way easier on yourself. I wish I had, because I was constantly forgetting whether I'd increased or not. Seeing that there is NO front or back to the thing - and seeing that I was too lazy to go get a freaking marker to assist me - I couldn't tell which "side" I was to increase on. Yes, I am that lazy.

The way we changed colors just depended entirely on whatever whim was driving us at the time. Sometimes we cut varying lengths of yarn (from 12" to a yard or two - or three.) of whatever yarn came to hand, either leaving it by itself, or combining it with 1 or more strands of other yarns. That depended mostly on how heavy the yarns were to start with. Mostly, we ended up with bulky-weight stuff, which made the knitting faster!

Other times, we'd start a crazy-looking yarn ball to work from later (tails sticking out everywhere), by grabbing some yarns, holding them together and say "yep, that looks pretty good" and cutting them off. We'd then tie strand/s after strand/s of yarn together, leaving 2-4" tails, using over-hand knots (important - NOT square knots!). We did this if we wanted to knit on the shawl somewhere besides our homes, because our scrap stashes were absolutely NOT portable in any real sense of the word.

Just knit the shawl from your short scraps of yarn, leaving the tails wherever they "land". I did go ahead and pull some tails to the other side if I had a bunch on one side and a big, bald, tail-less spot on the other.

Anyway - we added some fringe, et voila! Finis! A crazy-looking piece of fabric that would probably bring $120 - $150 in a boutique. And it's mine. Our shawls are just gorgeous!


Dori Ann said...

Very Very pretty! My daughter is going to get one of these :)

Delighted Hands said...

Gorgeous indeed! I love it-great idea and you did it, that is the best part!

sewbeezy said...

Love the Kindergarden Rug Shawl!! How ingenious!! I will definitely have to keep this pattern in mind when it comes to using up all those smaller skeins of yarn.

Fairy Spun Fibers said...

Hey, Tina! Isn't it wild? I wore mine to Church last Sunday. LOL - people didn't quite know what to make of it :-) But then...I'm not exactly conventional...I don't seem to "fit in" any mold on earth - hah!

Dori Ann said...
Dorothea's page is great and she has wonderful patterns! She sends them PDF so you have it right away!

Fairy Spun Fibers said...

OOOOH - hey, thanks, Dori Ann! I'm going to bookmark that in my favorites immediately (before I forget).