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The moment I saw an image of this pattern I let out an audible, “wow”. My greedy little brain went into overdrive trying to understand the construction and I yearned to see the final fabric with my own eyes. The original images I’d seen were beautiful to look at. The final product in my hands is no less beautiful. And that is owed entirely to the brilliance of Nancy Marchant. I followed the instructions, listened to plenty of Thom Yorke and BRMC and voila! Whorl for me.


The pattern gives instructions how to set up two different versions of the shawl. The principal instructions detail how to make a shawl where the main garter colour matches the raised coil stitches, and a contrast colour forms the background band of colour behind the coil stitches. A second version is shown a few pages later where the main garter colour is the complete background colour of the shawl and a contrast colour is used for the coiled stitches.


I began making the first version of the shawl using Marine Splendour as the main garter and coil colour, but changed my mind after working a repeat of the patterned section. I was using Deep Gold as the background band of colour, and realised I’d prefer it instead as the coil colour. I pulled back to the garter two colour striping and realised I’d need to take this out too to stay true to the pattern. I contemplated it, but then decided I was ok with it not being exact. I was watching ‘The Farewell’ at the time and wanted to give Awkwafina’s character a hug. I think the timing helped make it an easy decision. If you can catch up the stitch count somewhere, then good enough can be enough.


As suggested, I used a locking stitch marker as a cable needle and JR’s advice to move the centre stitch marker two places across on row 3. That worked well and was helpful.


I made an extra repeat of the final garter stitch section so the lower band of garter would be a little deeper. Other than that and the change to the two colour striping the rest is as instructed.


I dyed up 200g each of Marine Splendour and Deep Gold in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino. I thought I was going to need more, but my gauge meant I ended up having some leftover.


Make this shawl in whatever fibre makes you happy. It really is something special. I will love it forever.


The Whorl Shawl pattern can be found at:-


https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whorl-shawl-2


xx



This pattern is available for free online under an agreement between Paintbox Yarns and Katie Jones. Please go and have a look at the Paintbox Yarns site first if you’re considering making it. Also, check out Katie’s other designs on her website.


I liked the original pattern and knew immediately I wanted to make it in Merino. The intention for me was more about having something warm to snuggle in through winter, rather than an ultra-cool acrylic fashion piece.


The changes I made were based on my objectives of comfort and warmth. While my final jacket looks significantly different from the artist’s original work, the bones are the same. And I love these bones.


When winter arrives, there’s every chance I’m going to be gorging on kimchi noodles and pork belly daily if last year is anything to go by. Yun Mart in Fairy Meadow, I love you too. As such, I figured a longer jacket would facilitate the lifestyle choices that make me happiest.


To create the extra length, I considered how the pattern is constructed. I could’ve added rows to the bottom edge of the jacket once it was finished, but I wanted to keep the triangular geometry going along the edges. I find that aspect of the pattern interesting.


In short, there are two hexagonal fabric panels (one for the right side of the body and one for the left) and these are individually folded in half to make a ‘7’ and a forward-facing 7. Can you visualise how the top edges of the 7 and forward 7 make the sleeves? The slanted vertical edges are the length of the jacket. Without going into too much detail, any alteration can be made by understanding which edges of the hexagon create depth and length.


Three edges of the hexagon when folded into the ‘7’ become the sleeve. One edge is the sleeve opening folded in half near your wrist, and two edges are seamed at the top to create the length of the sleeve. The other three edges of the hexagon form the depth of the jacket as it wraps around you, and the front and back length.


Each side of the hexagon represents:-


Sleeve upper edge (1), wrist hole (2), sleeve upper edge (3), length (4), body depth (5), length (6).


When casting on the foundation chain, instead of 10 chains, I made 20. This allowed enough space for me to increase the stitch count at sides 4 and 6.


At round 1 per the pattern, the instruction is to crochet 6 clusters of 3 trebles (US dc’s), and these set up the 6 sides of the hexagon. I crocheted 3 trebles for all clusters except sides 4 and 6. I made 12 trebles at those clusters to get the right proportion of length I was after.


From this point forward it was easy to follow the rest of the pattern, and I had two completed 7’s within a week.


When it was time to seam along the centre back I was concerned there was going to be too much room in the back and it would pitch out the front and back at angles. I made only one infill row for each of the left and right centre back edges. When I seamed the centre back together, I started a few stitches lower than the shoulder so the shoulder seams wouldn’t get pulled into the back.


I crocheted the cuffs and left them on for a few days while I thought about whether to keep them. I live almost exclusively in black, white, grey and blue. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I could use some colour. So I thought about it. And then I wussed out and took them off.


I didn’t attempt the blooms on the same basis as above. Although, they are pretty cool.


I used my 8 ply 100% Australian Merino which forms a soft and stretchy fabric.


The finished jacket is all the comfort I was hoping for. I like that the stitches remind me of colourful teeth. Cosy with a bit of an edge.


The 'Blooming Bomber Jacket' pattern can be found at:-


https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-us/p/blooming-bomber-jacket-free-crochet-pattern-for-women-in-paintbox-yarns-simply-aran


xx



The asymmetry of this trapezium shaped shawl is among my favourite aspects of it. There are so many angles already being played off one another, and the final shape is icing on the cake. Excuse me while I geek out. I really, really like it.


Wedges of stockinette and garter stitch begin the shawl, and the way they’re placed gives an undulating, sea swell-like effect. The garter stitch rows create a raised 3D stripe which adds another sensory layer beyond just keeping you cosy and warm. Like a fluffy lion’s mane in a baby’s book, you can’t help but touch it. Surprisingly gratifying.


The first panel of brioche stitch encapsulates the above wedges and draws attention to the essential shape of the shawl. A fun aspect of this brioche band was changing the knitting direction yet again; now working horizontally across the edges to install vertical parallel stripes. Mind blown. The repetition and predictability of the brioche made this a comfortable place to relax and enjoy my cups of coffee while they were still hot.

The yarn over section was worth the time and I love it now that it’s blocked and finished. Each yarn over hole is made with a lower and upper stripe of colour, and the section came alive when blocked. In full disclosure, there was a moment part way through when I felt a bit grumpy and didn’t want to pick it up. Nothing dramatic, just a little misunderstanding over the time making the yarn overs. And obviously, I was in the wrong.


The i-cord border was knit progressively, giving a nice tidy edge. I marvel when i-cords stripe and morph into other colours as they go along.


The reverse side is pretty neat looking too. I’d happily use it in reverse to get more wear out of it when the cool weather returns.


The colours I used were Plum, Deep Gold, Particle, Woods and Verbena, all in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino (280m/100g). In my easy-going state, I didn’t keep track of how much of each yarn I’d used. Given the shawl’s 435g final weight, working backward would estimate: Plum 122g, Deep Gold 91g, Particle 68.5g, Woods 68.5g and Verbena 85g.


I’m really pleased to have made this shawl. The name ‘Stripescape’ is incredibly fitting. I’d encourage anyone thinking of making it to go ahead and get started.


The 'Stripescape' pattern can be found at:-


https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stripescape

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