What Maya Knits - Eifelgold Shawl
“I'm not a shawls person” is clearly a lie I've been telling myself forever. After making a humongous DK weight shawl a couple of years back (the Askews Me! by Stephen West) and having worn it constantly since then, maybe not through the worst summer heat wave, but other than that every single day is like … I can feel a draft, where is my shawl! Then this book lands at our door step, Colorwork Shawls by Melanie Berg, and I come to this self realisation that I am most definitely a shawls person – I want to make every single shawl in that book!
Starting with Eifelgold. What immediately drew me in was the strong graphic colourwork in sections – to me it has almost an Asian aesthetic – simple and complicated at the same time. I knit up this shawl in no time, the pattern was very clearly written with the option of using charts if you prefer this. My Eifelgold has been finished for a while, but moving house mid-November means that I haven't had access to proper floor space to block it out until now – as anticipated it grew quite a bit making it a good size for wrapping the shawl around ones shoulders – but should I decide to make this again I would definitely go for a DK maybe even an Aran weight alternative to make it even bigger.
And this brings me to the fascinating world of shawls and yarn choices. As knitters, we often swear to the law of tension – in any pattern the most crucial element of the relationship between yarn and stitches is the tension which secures the right size and fit. Now coming to shawls the question about fit is (almost) eliminated, we are not talking constructions that are supposed to hug your body in a certain way or neatly fitted pieces that are to be sewn together immaculately, and this opens up to endless possibilities in creatively making your individual version – and we all know I am a sucker for changing absolutely everything with a design, sometimes with not such great results, but shawls I tell you are very forgiving coming to such rebellious behaviour. (As I'm writing this I realise I love shawls more and more). Your yarn choices are most likely to only affect the size of your finished shawl
So back to my Eifelgold – it is originally written for a Sport weight yarn. I chose a combination of two different 4ply yarns – the Merino Singles by Black Elephant (in Cinnamon) and Cumbria by The Fibre Co. (in Eden Valley). The Merino Singles are slightly lighter than the Cumbria giving a discrete 3D effect with more structural contrast between the different blocks of plain garter stitch and colour work. As I wanted a shawl with lots of drape I stuck to the recommended needle size even though using a thinner yarn. I am so pleased with the result, I now have two favourite shawls – where my Askews Me! is thick and heavy keeping me warm no matter how cold it is, the Eifelgold is a gentler hug, a comforting warmth around my neck – I might even use this through the heat waves...