Meet the Wingspan shawlette. Admittedly, a great deal of the knitting world has already met Wingspan, since it’s one of those hugely popular patterns of the moment. I tell myself that wanting to knit one of these patterns doesn’t mean I’m a mindless slave to knitting trends—much of the time these patterns are immensely popular for good reasons. Wingspan, for example, has great features: simple construction, nearly-mindless knitting, and it shows off self-striping yarn wonderfully. That last one is why I made it with Knit Picks Chroma Fingering. I’d fallen in love with the Midwinter colorway and was saving it for a project that could highlight those color changes—Wingspan stood out from the other patterns in my queue in that regard.
Although the pattern itself was simple enough, the knitting wasn’t without suspense and tension. See, the pattern calls for 361-465 yards of yarn. This shouldn’t have been a problem, since a ball of Chroma Fingering has 396 yards. But I’d seen that some people on Ravelry had had to drop back to seven sections in order to have enough yarn to complete their projects, and I barely had enough yarn myself. After I finished the fourth section, I started weighing the remaining yarn after each section, trying to calculate how much was needed for a single wedge. Each wedge took about 11.8 grams, which reassured me that I’d have enough to finish the eight sections, but left me completely clueless as to how much of that blue trim I could manage. I did finish it as written . . . with only 22 inches of yarn left [shudder].
Aside from the fear that I was going to run out of yarn, I thought this was a fun project. But maybe I should’ve noticed something odd. For many projects on Ravelry, I struggle to find a good picture of the project laid flat. Often it’s photographed being worn or used or something that keeps me from getting a really good look at just the final product. That isn’t a problem with Wingspan. There are over 3,000 projects for it so far, and almost everyone takes a picture of it flat, as I have, but there are comparatively few photos of it being worn. Now that I’ve finally been able to try it on, I’m wondering if that’s because this isn’t the easiest shawlette in the world to position. As you can see, it’s asymmetrical, which is dramatic as all get-out when you see it laid flat, but which I found to be kind of hard to wrap around my shoulders. It was frustrating to try to get the two ends to behave when they clearly had different agendas from the get-go. So having finally managed to get it on my body in a reasonably pleasing fashion, I offer this photo to right the imbalance.
Will I knit another one? Despite everything I’ve just said, I’m tempted, especially as it would give me a chance to see what changing the pattern would do. For instance, I think a fingering-weight version made from three balls of Mini Mochi would be really nice, and with the extra yarn, I could add sections. This would bring the curve of the shawlette around, making it more of a C-shape rather than a J-shape, which should make it easier to wear. A worsted-weight version would be nice too, and warmer. Although the designer gives alternate instructions for both DK and worsted-weight versions, I think I would just use the numbers from the fingering weight version, making it a full-blown shawl, rather than a shawlette. Which yarn? Maybe Mochi Plus, or Lion Brand’s Amazing. And while I’m at it, I think I’d better look into acquiring a real shawl pin.