What Maya Knits - KORO KORO Shawl
As the pandemic spread and London went into lock-down, I went into melting mode. Turning to my knitting for comfort, none of my ongoing projects gave the nurture or the calm I was looking for. Maybe this is because they were newly started summer projects, in thinner yarns and airy stitches, neither carried the promise of what I needed the most, to be wrapped up in a squishy woolly hug.
Enters Olga JazzyKnits and her new design KORO KORO. I've been a fan of Olga's designs for quite a while. One of my friends had knitted up a sample of her previous designs, and I was fascinated by her technique where you knit something that looks rather gathered and then with blocking you achieve a beautifully structured, almost 3D looking, result. So when Olga announced a test knit of this up-coming design, I jumped to the task, needles at hand more than ready. Not only did I fall in love with the design, but the Koro Koro is done in a DK weight yarn on larger needles, bearing that exact promise that I was looking for, a comforting knit.
Those of you who know me, know that I am a complete construction geek and the Koro Koro does not disappoint. It has a somewhat asymmetrical triangular shape, like a sail, you start at the tip and work towards the wider side, increasing your stitches as you go, it is a very satisfying knit as the stitch pattern develops and the construction is revealed. A clever edging detail means that you are doing an I-cord edge as you go, so no need to pick up those never-ending stitches when your project is nearly completed to finish it all off. As you get into the rhythm of it, the pattern repetitions are rather easy to memorise, so an addictive knit which can still be completed while binge watching something exciting on the telly.
For my yarn, I chose the Norne Yarn Merino/Silk/Yak DK, a luxurious fibre blend which runs smoothly between your fingers. Estimated meterage in the pattern is pretty much spot on, I used 200g in each colour and had nearly nothing left when completing the design. The yarn has just enough twist to provide the structure you want for your stitches making that colourwork properly shine, also for any of Olga's designs that rely so heavily on the power of blocking, this yarn blooms beautifully providing the right effect for her construction to develop as it should. The result is so squishy and soft, while knitting I could not wait for it to be finished and to be able to wrap myself up in it – even in the middle of summer when the heat struck London.
As the world slowed down to an unrecognisable pace my shawl grew, and after a while it was covering my lap and knees, giving me the comfort I so desperately needed. I don't know about you, but I also found that even though constantly knitting somehow each stitch took longer to do, I was knitting slowly like I was savouring each individual stitch. Unfortunately this meant that I did not complete the test knit in time for the dead line, I wouldn't blame Olga if she never let me test knit for her again, but somehow this pace seemed necessary. I've now returned to the shop and we are finding our new rhythm, our new normal, a few days ago I weaved in the ends and finished of my Koro Koro.
If you'd like to make a Koro Koro of your own, I've made up a few colour suggestions for you (and for myself contemplating on making another one, just because I enjoyed this project so much). Starting from the top going to the right: the Norne Yarn colours I used for mine Gullinbuste and The Emperor of Miklagard, Ice One Night Old together with Dragon Gold, Fimbul Winter with Midgardsormr, and Benedik and Årolilja with Fenrir. Which one is your favourite?