Ta-da: my second Damson shawlette! I finished it in April, but Knitting and Crochet Blog Week got in the way, and I’m only now finding the time to blog about it.
The technical details: the yarn is Gaia, from Dream in Color. If that doesn’t sound familiar, it’s because they call it Smooshy nowadays. (I like Gaia as a name better, but no one consulted me.) The colorway is Wisterious. The photos aren’t capturing the color perfectly, but not from lack of effort on my part. Judging from the range of colors all called Wisterious on Ravelry, it’s difficult to photograph. Even the photo on Dream in Color’s website looked different than the hank in my hand. Some of this probably is color variation in the dying process, but even my lone hank seemed to be a different color depending on whether I was looking at it in sunlight, cloudy daylight, under a CFL, or under an incandescent bulb. In the end, the most I could do was wait for a sunny day to take the photos and hope for the best.
It’s easy to just approximate gauge in a shawl/ette. It’s not going to have to fit all that precisely, so why bother? Bother with this one. The pattern calls for 440 yards. Don’t believe it. I had 462 yards in that hank of Stroll Hand-Painted that I used for the first Damson, and I had only a bit over 9 yards left when I was done. (Do the math.) Since Gaia only has 450 yards, I went through this entire project bracing myself for running out of yarn. I did all the little tricks I could. For one thing, I’m convinced, accurately or not, that the nickel-plated KnitPicks Options needles are a smidgen smaller than their Addi Turbo counterparts for any given size, so even though I prefer Addis, I used the KnitPicks. Also, for once, I tried to knit tightly—a real change in attitude, since as a naturally tight knitter, I’m usually trying to think loose, relaxed thoughts while knitting. I did make it. Barely. About 8 yards left.
Should I choose to make a third one, I think I’m getting the hang of it now. Have extra yarn available. I think that if you have used only 45% of your yarn by the time you finish the garter stitch section, you’ll have enough to finish the entire Damson, but that’s still a hypothesis. Use needles with sharp points, to minimize the chances of dropping stitches (the problem that plagued me through Damson I). I’ll be using a lifeline again on a third one, if it looks like I’m running out of yarn and will have to use a different edging. I think you could get a similar edging with less yarn if you used a combination of double crochet and chain stitches (*dc 1, ch 3, skp 3, repeat from * to end, dc 1, or something like that), or go in a different direction entirely: perhaps a nice picot bind-off? Okay, okay, I do have other projects to work on now—not starting a third Damson today!