Summer's sun has reached its highest point in New York City skies, but my mind has switched over to burnished amber trees and fog curling through leaves. It always comes in Spring, while everyone else is planning summer escapes, all I can think of are the numbered days between this one and the first day of Fall. I'm ready for cozy reads, Once Upon a Time, spiced lattes and teas in bottomless mugs, for the skies to undulate in waves as The Civil Wars lilts enchanting with soft plush fibers wrapped around my shoulders.
Sometime last year, I reached the point as a knitter where I begun to dream in shawls. At first, I could never have pictured myself wanting to knit a shawl for the time and the tedium. But suddenly, I adored them for the stories woven in with time, for slow techniques, for the thought of having a portable blanket to wrap around my shoulders. I'll admit, however, that shawls of lace and sock weights are incredibly time consuming and I found myself drifting towards other projects after long. Soon after, I discovered Jess Gagnon's Tenmile Shawl knit in a chunky worsted/aran weight yarn, and I've been in love!
Tenmile is a shawl inspired by keeping warm during the winter months, and it was one of the first shawls I discovered worked in a chunkier weight. It looked so soft that my fingers itched to knit one of my own. This shawl led me to the wonder that is Malabrigo Worsted, a brand of yarn harvested in Uruguay. I can't say enough about this yarn. It's luscious to the touch, and fueled by so many gorgeous colorways that come alive in garments like waves. I chose the colorway, Roanoke, a gorgeous brown inspired by a character I've been writing from the end of the 19th century (and I might be a little enchanted by the lost colony of the same name). I wanted my first shawl to be neutral enough to be paired with anything.
I decided to become "semi-monogamous", splitting my time between this shawl and another I'm determined to have finished by October. The weight makes it more of a reality that I'll finish it up by then. I definitely recommend this pattern for a beginner/intermediate knitter, as it requires knowledge of Make One Left / Right, Knitting and Purling. Thankfully, it does not require knowledge of lacework or slipped stitches (because then this would be an entirely different post!). This would be good for someone wanting to knit their first shawl, learn beginner shawl techniques, and be rewarded with a garment in no time!
I can't wait to cast off on Tenmile, block it (my first time blocking anything!), and take it with me on afternoon strolls through Sleepy Hollow, or bustling across Museum Mile towards Central Park. Until then, I simply luxuriate in the satisfying weight of it as a single strand of yarn becomes this almost living breathing thing. Something romantic enough to holding stories, and practical enough to keep me cozy.
Autumn hearts, be glad. Fallen leaves are coming soon!