FO: Geysir Stretch Shawl by Stephen West

Here is my first Choreo KAL project, the Geysir Stretch Shawl.

It was an absorbing piece of knitting and is an interesting object of knitted architecture… but I am not sure that I love it as a garment.

It is happiest at rest as a spiralling swirling twirling pattern of stripes and snail-shell patterning.

But when I pick it up and try to arrange it around myself?  I don’t know what to do!  Half of it plays nicely and drapes across my shoulders in the normal way, but then I come to swing the remaining length round my neck and I feel suffocated by ruffling frills.  It’s very… Pierrot style?

And where has the pink gone?  That amazing Radioactive Raspberry Jam colour is muddied by the fluff from the teal stripes and the whole thing becomes rather dark and murky.

Reviewing today’s photos, I can see it looks OK over my coat.  And worn that way, the fluffy Longwool doesn’t irritate my bare neck.  So I will definitely wear it, just not indoors.

But I am feeling a tiny bit deflated.  All that work for a great big fluffy (itchy) asymmetric ruffle?

And this is the problem with knitting:  because you are creating a textile, so much depends upon your gauge, your needle size, your choice of yarn.  Unless you use the same yarn and gauge as the designer, you are taking a risk that your finished object will turn out looking entirely different from the original.  It will drape differently, it may have different proportions.  And unless you are familiar with the properties of your chosen yarn, it all feels a bit arbitrary.  Which is exciting… when it works!  Less so when it doesn’t.

Pattern: Geysir Stretch Shawl by Stephen West
Yarn:  DK Wensleydale Longwool:  100g in Radioactive Raspberry Jam colour from Countess Ablaze and 100g each of teal and aubergine from the Sheep Shop, purchased online from Baa Ram Ewe

Process:  My yarn felt thinner than a normal DK so I changed my needle size down to 4mm from the recommended 5.5mm.  So I had to work two extra repeats of Section 2 to reach  similar dimensions to the original. 
But this meant I had an enormous number of stitches on my needles by the time I reached Section 3.  I had to add two extension cables to my Denise circular needles to accommodate the extra stitches, and inevitably an over-energetic stitch-shuffling movement resulted in a disconnection and approximately 200 stitches left hanging in mid-air while I mounted a rescue mission with a spare lace needle.  Aargh!
I decided I had had enough after only ten rows of Section 3, which should have been 24 rows long.

I think I should have used bigger needles to give better drape and a more open “weave”.
I might block it, to see if I can stretch it into submission. 
I hadn’t expected to do this to a stockingette shawl.  I usually only block lace.  But maybe it is necessary to sort out the ruffles.

I don’t see Stephen West wearing a tutu round his neck, so neither will I!