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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Z. Roush

Yarn Chicken or Design Element?

Today's question is "did I lose at Yarn Chicken or win at Design Element?"

I am very intriqued by this pattern: Match and Move by Martina Behm aka Strickmich. She is one of my favorite designers. She uses some unique and interesting construction techniques and that is why I have knit this shawl twice. A rare feat for me.

I started my first Match and Move after seeing a friend's scrappy version. I decided to do random striping in a variety of colors with a consistent background color running throughout. As I knit this I was confused by the how the construction was coming together. It worked but I wanted to better understand how it was working. So I started again with a new choice of yarn.

Which brings me to my question and this confession. I just hopped over to to verify the yardage. Erm, apparently I did not read it carefully before. It calls for 1094 - 1148 yards of fingering weight yarn. I seemed to remember the number 5?? so I knew when I started this second shawl with Perth (a 2-ply fingering yarn from Queensland with a long shading habit) that I would need a bit extra. So I threw in a few extra rows of solids with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering. Eventually I ran out of my first ball of yarn so I started in on the second continuing to sneakily add in the Nature Spun solids. Now as I was getting to the end of my second skein clearly before I was getting to the end of my shawl rows I decided I was NOT cracking into a third skein of Perth so I decided to put in longer repeats of the solids. When I got to the last rows and was binding off I wasn't sure how I would feel about the appearance of my shawl. I like it. It is a large comfy creation and I like the way the colors worked out on the end.

So after all that I guess I would say I won at Design Element. I want to share a few tips on how to win. We laugh about mistakes a lot saying that they are "design elements" because sometimes it is just not practical or it is too depressing to take out and rework something.

  • Be realistic...will it work out if you don't take it out? Sometimes a knitting error will make the item unstable. If that is the case you just have to fix it.

  • Done is better than done perfect (unless you are entering the item in the State Fair). If your work is being judged then you need to strive for perfection.

  • You have creativity in you. Embrace it.

So speaking of these two yarns; Perth and Nature Spun, they are both available in the Tiny Yarn Shop. I enjoy yarns with long color runs and a solid will also complement them.One of my favorites is Zauberball Crazy from Schoppele Wolle in Germany. I am waiting on an order, trying to be patient. Nature Spun is from one of my favorite yarn mills in Nebraska. Brown Sheep is a family business and they have been spinning wonderful wool yarns from domestic wool for more than 40 years. I have sweaters knit from Nature Spun which have been around for a quarter of a century.

Well this post has taken me much longer to write than it should have. I hope that it has been inspiring.

Happy stitching


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