Apparently I don’t knit just for knitting’s sake. I also knit to try out ideas, and if I happen to have several ideas involving the same pattern, I may end up doing the pattern several times. Which is how I’ve ended up with my 2½th (2nd and a half?) Delphinia.
I knitted my first Delphinia in 2019. For this one, I mainly did the pattern as written, although I had enough yarn to do an extra pattern repeat. I liked it, for all the reasons I’ve already listed in that post, so when I had the idea to cross it with Reyna, a shawlette I’d knitted the year before, I followed the impulse and ended up with Reyphinia. And all was well and good, and the only lingering thought I had was to maybe try Reyphinia again sometime, but with more yarn so that I’d get more variation in the band widths. I haven’t gotten around to that yet, but here’s my latest variant of Delphinia. For this, I used a single yarn, Urth Monokrom Fingering, although it has enough color variation to make it look like I might have used more than one colorway.
I’d bought the Monokrom Fingering with no specific project in mind, just the conviction that if I left the yarn store without it, it would’ve disappeared by the time I made another visit. (This mindset is responsible for the existence of ⅔ of my stash.) I’d even wound it in preparation for another project altogether, but I hadn’t realized its color variation would be wide stripes when knitted, and that wouldn’t have worked with that pattern. Delphinia, on the other hand, was interesting texture-wise, but not so intricate that tonal stripes would obliterate the texture. Plus, up to a point, I could just repeat the pattern until I ran out of yarn, like the first time I’d knitted it. Yarn and pattern paired, I went boldly forth and from early September to early November 2020, knitted myself another Delphinia.
At about 90% completion, I frogged it.
Denial can be a real issue with, well, anything you’ve invested time and energy into. I was aware early on that Delphinia as written wasn’t working as well with the Monokrom Fingering as I’d hoped. Somehow I kept convincing myself that the problem would work itself out somehow, or it didn’t really matter that much, or that somehow this was going to stop bothering me by the end of the project, even though I was brooding over it practically every time I picked the shawl up to knit on it.
As written, Delphinia is striped both in texture and color: garter stitch bands in one color alternating with eyelet mesh bands in a second color. Except that the color and texture don’t change at quite the same time. Each eyelet mesh band begins and ends with a ridge of garter stitch. Since these ridges are in the same color as the eyelet mesh, you see them as part of the eyelet mesh bands instead of the garter stitch bands. The two kinds of bands look to be the same width after blocking. But this trick doesn’t work if you’ve knitted the entire shawl in one color. In the Monokrom Fingering, the garter stitch bands “gained” the 2 ridges from the eyelet mesh bands, and so they looked wider than the eyelet mesh bands, which in turn looked correspondingly thinner. Yes, it was only a problem in the sense that I didn’t like the look; it wasn’t that the shawl didn’t hold together or anything truly wrong. But at the 90% point, I finally admitted that this was going to annoy the heck out of me. So I ripped back to the very first stitch (!), recalculated the band widths, and began again. The original pattern had had 7 ridges of garter stitch in Color A and 2 garter ridges and 5 eyelet mesh “rows” (each made of two actual rows) in Color B. For one color of yarn, I decided it worked better with 7 garter ridges total alternating with 5 eyelet mesh “rows.”
It took me a little longer this time—I was starting to get distracted by other projects—but I finished the Monokrom Delphinia in January. I didn’t have enough yarn to work the I-cord bind off that the pattern originally called for, but the elastic bind off I used instead looks fine, and anyway, since the bind off isn’t in a contrasting color, it’s not as noticeable in the first place.
And hey, I might come up with another variant someday! It’s wonderful to find a flexible pattern.
Pattern: Delphinia Shawl
Yarn: Urth Monokrom Fingering
Needles: 4 (3.5 mm)