knitting · shawl

cool west.

Guess what?

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I have a finished project that has nothing to do with spinning or breed specific wool or anything! It’s a complete deviation and I luuuurve it!

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Pattern: Esjan by Stephen West

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca in colours 6205 Dark Chocolate, 6214 Steel Oats & 6201 Cream

                Needles: 8.00mm Knitter’s Pride Cubics Platina circulars (deluxe set for sweater knitting)

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There isn’t much to say about this shawl. I can use some descriptors that aptly … well, describe (for lack of a better word) this shawl: Huge, Ridiculous, Awesome, Over-the-top, Big Lace, Creative Genius or Just-plain-crazy, Gigantic … Should I continue?

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When I look at Stephen West’s designs, I see a designer who is thinking outside the traditional knitting “box” by stretching our minds at the visual overload that are his designs. Besides the yarn colours he uses, there is usually some intense stitch patterning created by either changing colour or direction (literally). He asks the wearer to sometimes just flip the garment around to create a completely different look … because, you know, that’s something most of us think to do on a regular basis when we want to mix it up a bit …. right?! I see complete genius when I look at his work. I will be completely honest and say that I didn’t like a lot of his work when he first started publishing patterns but to say he has grown on me is an understatement. As well, his patterns work beautifully for handspun.

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I’m not sure about the wearability of this shawl. Time will tell; however, I’m excited to play with it and see what outfits I come up with. The finised dimensions of this shawl to give you an idea of how big it is: 68” x 28”. It was longer than my dining room table. I will say, though, in my very humble opinion, the bigger the shawl … the better! My Campside is one of my favourite shawls for just this reason.

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What do you think about ‘out there’ designs? Do you knit them? More importantly, do you wear them?

Happy knitting outside the box :)

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