Ta-da! I’ve finished the first project on my list of shawls to test out for my wedding! This first shawl is Mademoiselle C’s French Cancan shawl. I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while, so it was fun to finally try it out!
While the pattern calls for merino silk yarn, I opted instead for 100% alpaca. The decision was more pragmatic than aesthetic: the pattern calls for a little under 500 yards, and buying that much merino silk gets a bit pricey. Since I just wanted this shawl as a test version for myself, I figured I’d save a bit of money and get the much more affordable alpaca. That said, I absolutely loved this yarn. It’s from Taylored Fibers , and was under $30 for over 600 yards (which meant I had enough yarn to make a slightly larger version of the shawl). It’s super soft and warm, and the color ended up being perfect. I typically prefer to knit with multicolored yarns (I get bored working with the same color for too long), but the texture of this yarn made it a pleasure to knit with from start to finish.
I really loved the pattern as well, especially the cable and lace border. Cables look so elegant and complicated, and yet are so easy once you get the hang of them. This was my first time attempting a knitted on border, and it was much easier than I anticipated! I liked that the border pattern was easy to memorize, so I was able to get a lot of knitting done on the go.
Personally, garter stitch usually bores me to death, but it was definitely worth working through to get the nice clean body section of this shawl. I only made one small change to the body section: the pattern instructs you to start one row with K3 (K1, P1 into the Yo) and end it with K3 (P1, K1 in the Yo). I found that in order to get the same effect along the neckline on both sides, it was better to both start and finish with K3 (K1, P1 into the Yo). Other than that, the directions were very clear and easy to follow. The pattern even included links to tutorials explaining some of the more complicated techniques.
All in all, I’m really happy with the way this shawl turned out. I plan to make it again, and will probably splurge on silk merino for the next one. On instagram you can check out #frenchcancanshawl to see some gorgeous examples of both single color and multi-color versions of the shawl. I think when I make this again I might opt for one color for the body, and another for the border.
So, what do you all think? Think you’ll give this pattern a go? If you do (or if you already have), please share pictures of the finished product! I love seeing what other people are working on and how they make the pattern their own 🙂