Thursday, 6 July 2017

Nordic arrows and some geometry

When I saw the Nordic Arrows pattern in the first issue of Laine Magazine I was immediately drawn to the low contrast look, and interesting triangles within a triangle design.  The pattern is described as ‘overlapping triangles in syncopated brioche – inspired by Norse Runes and Symbols – are the focus of Nordic Arrows’. 

The knitting starts at the pointy end of the triangle with just a few stitches, and the increases happen relatively slowly in order to create the long isosceles triangle shape.  

However, I knew I wouldn’t wear a shawl with such a wide base because I couldn’t see how to wear it.  I modified it to turn it into an offset diamond shape – that is, after the 5th (of 6) brioche triangles in the middle of the shawl I started decreasing at double the rate of the increases. The increase portion was net 2 stitches over 4 pattern rows (I say 'net' as there was other increases and decreases involved in a set of 4 pattern rows).  This meant that I did decreases at the rate of 4 stitches over the 4 pattern rows (with no other increases or decreases). 

This resulted in a shawl that is overall a diamond shape and the first part is a long isosceles triangle (that is, both sides are the same length and the base is not) and then an equilateral triangle, which makes up the short end of the diamond. 

I really love the cream on yellow in the middle as it maintains the low contrast look of the original, without being all grey.  And the dark grey edge means that I can actually wear such a yellow item as usually yellow doesn’t look good on my skin tone - though despite that I have decided to give this to someone who looks far nicer in yellow!

A few notes on the delicious yarns that I used - first the JC Rennie lambswool above. A friend had purchased this colour (called Pistachio) and I just had to have some, even though the colour is pretty awful on my skin tone!  JC Rennie traditionally makes wool for machine knitting (and weaving) and are a relatively newcomer on the hand knitting market.  It's a light 4 ply/fingering weight with close to 500m for 100grams, likely explained as it's a very lofty yarn.  Probably great for colourwork - which I will test out with my leftovers.

The John Arbon Devonia is quite different as it's a blend of 3 long wools.  This means that the yarn itself is quite compact, and smooth, and comes with 388m for 100grams, though the diameter of the yarn is very similar to the JC Rennie. This yarn has a good amount of sheen (likely due to the combination of Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester wool in the yarn blend). This would be incredible in a lacey shawl, as it is so drapey.

The Knitting Goddess is a well known British dyer with a really amazing colour range of semi solids.  I had already purchased the other 2 colours and the KG herself helped me choose the right border colour in her lovely British wool & nylon blend.  I started looking at lighter colours, but the KG steered me to this coal colour, and I think it's the perfect way to finish the shawl!  This yarn was a lot plumper than the other 2, so suited being knit separately to the other 2 colours.

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