Crafting · Wedding

Kaihola Shawl 

Long time, no type! With the new semester upon us, work and school have kicked into high gear. Which, to be honest, I much prefer to the slow summer days at the library. I love working with students, and without many of them around in the summer I start to feel like Lumiere: 

“Needing exercise, a chance to use our skills!”

As summer was winding down we made good progress on wedding planning: we picked a date and a venue (huzzah!), which has left us both extremely relieved and utterly uninterested in further planning at the moment. Luckily we have over a year, so we have time to take a break from the stressful parts of planning and focus on the more fun parts (like daydreaming about honeymoon trips and decorations). 

I managed to test out another shawl for my bridesmaids before the summer ended. I’d say right now this one is in second place, compared to the French can can shawl I tried earlier in the summer. It’s called Kaihola, which, according to designer Heidi Alander, is a Finnish word for yearning or longing.

A close up of the lovely lace pattern

This pattern has three great things going for it: it’s free (nothing to sneeze at!), has a lovely lace pattern border, and can be adapted to multiple sizes depending on how much yarn you have. 

The downsides: I had a really hard time knitting this shawl. This is in part operator error for sure, but even so, it makes me hesitant to make this pattern again. I had a lot of problems with the stitch count not lining up properly with the pattern, which a perusal of the forums on Ravelry told me was a common issue. I think if I was more experienced I wouldn’t have had quite so much trouble, but it was tricky for a relative newbie. 

I also had trouble stopping the top border from curling, even after blocking it carefully. So the drape of the shawl isn’t quite right, making it hard to wear. 

This shot is the most faithful representation of the yarn’s colors
I do really love the color of the shawl, though. It’s Come by the Stone Path by Avalon Springs Farm. I can’t get enough of their variegated yarn. I realize in hindsight that the darker yarn doesn’t show off the lace pattern very well, but I’m still glad I went with this yarn–it was fun to work with and these colors are definitely something I’ll wear a lot. 

With the packed schedule of the fall, I’m not sure I’ll be able to try out another bridesmaid shawl till after December. But I’m gearing up for cooler weather by working on some cozy scarves and hats.

Good luck to students and teachers on a new semester, and happy crafting to all! 

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