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Creative Wooly Warmth

Patons Classic Wool DK Superwash

I guess it’s not that creative that you can keep someone warm with wool yarn, but…

Shhhh, don’t tell my mom about this! That’s g-g-ma to Abbi (a little smirky eye-rolling happens everytime she says that), grandma to Sam. Promise? Because it’s a present very specific to her that I am beginning today. Hopefully she hasn’t started visiting the blog yet in her new-found internet confidence.

Mom’s back is always cold. She herself is almost always chilly, but she mentions her back and often grabs one of our throws to drape around herself when at my house. We don’t keep our house beach-temperature and just can’t seem to get it warm enough here for her even when we turn up the thermostat.

So, upon spotting this new yarn, I decided IMMEDIATELY to make her a back-warming, cheery, thermal shawl.

Superwash wool means you can run it through the washer and dryer! I see more wool projects in my future.

What was it about this yarn that piqued my attention and creative urge? It is 100% wool and it is machine washable & dryable! I already know I love Paton’s Classic Wool, so this DK Superwash version was a fantastic discovery.

Did you catch that other detail above? Thermal!

Thermal knit sample: K2, P2 ribbing for two rows, then 2 rows of stockinette; repeat -- easy!

Thermal knit: cast on multiple of 4. Work 2 rows of K2 P2 ribbing then work two rows of stockinette. Repeat.

I’ve spent plenty of hours the last couple days looking at thermal knit and crochet stitch combinations. I’ve worked up two swatches of thermal fabric to evaluate both time, difficulty, appearance, and function. One in double crochet, and one in knit. Here you can see both sides of each.

Thermal crochet sample in double crochet: starting with the second row: 2 dc, 2 fpdc across; ch 3 and turn. Repeat so that the fpdc,s stack on top of the dc,s of the row below.

Thermal crochet: on a foundation chain that is a multiple of 4, plus 1: chain 3 (counts as 1st dc), work dc across for a final stitch count of a multiple of 4 plus 2 stitches. Ch 3, turn (all turning ch3’s count as a selvage dc). Dc in second dc, dc in next dc; fpdc in next two dc *dc in next two dc; fpdc in next two dc; * Repeat to end of row. Dc in turning chain space (resulting in this final dc becoming a selvage dc.) Check stitch count. Repeat rows until desired length. Note: each pattern dc should be worked into the top of the fpdc of the row below; each pattern fpdc should be worked into a dc from the row below. End with a row of regular dc.

The winner is the knit thermal swatch. It wins for function and appearance and yarn-conserving, and since this is for a special gift I am willing to sacrifice speed and the difficulty factor. It isn’t that much harder, and once I get going it shouldn’t be that much longer to make — I hope! I just have to concentrate harder with knitting. I just wish it was completely reversible like the crochet sample is!

To help with the speed factor I have decided to work this using the Portuguese style of knitting. You can become quite speedy with it once you’re in good practice. I will be lightning fast after this shawl!

Wish me luck, and send along your tips to this adventurous, low-experience, barely-intermediate knitter!


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