Admittedly there were plenty of shawls and scarves in the group of store samples I received for the Stitching Experiments Project. There were pieces in various sizes, from small items to enormous shawls. The piece I chose to work with this time is one of the smaller samples. This proved initially to be a kind of challenge as I was not sure how to work with it. But I found a way to make something nice with it. The process follows below.
The original piece was a typical triangle shawl with a simple stockinette body and a lace bottom edge. It was worked in a hand dyed merino fingering yarn in shades of dark blue.
Almost immediately after examining the piece I realized that a yellow/gold yarn would work well for re-working and/or embellishing the shawl. I was just not sure how! That’s why my first step was to gather some suitable yarn. I found two yellow/gold silk-mohair yarns, one even with some glitter elements in it.
Then I got to test some stitching. One idea was to embroider along the ripple lines of the lace to highlight them. That didn’t work that well so I soon abandoned the idea. I realized that working directly on the lace would not look well, so I focused on the stockinette section instead.
The semi-solid colorway looked to be like the sky, which gave me the idea to treat it as the night sky and embroider stars on it. I started adding random dots of the gold glitter yarn across the shawl and became immediately mesmerized. I achieved this by wrapping around 1-2 knit stitches multiple times with a single thread.
This type of embellishment worked really well, but it felt like it was not enough. That’s why I then shifted my focus on shaping/construction. I played around with folding, pleating and other configurations, but the small size of the shawl was always a limiting factor. In some of the configurations the lace would also get almost completely hidden and I found that to be rather counterproductive.
These issues then led to the idea: since the existing fabric is not large enough, why not add more surface? This was the key to the “solution”. After a few tries I came up with the final result: a crochet cowl neck.
This was easy to work. I picked up stitches with a crochet hook along the upper long edge, leaving a few centimeters away from each corner edge free. Then I started working in the round with single crochet stitches. To create some shaping make it a well fitting cowl neck, I worked decreases along the line above the shawl corner “opening”. The last round of the cowl neck is worked with reverse single crochet stitches to give a nice decorative edge.
All these steps result in a geometric cowl that can be worn in various ways: with the triangle edge in the front or in the back, sideways or diagonally. The piece can be bunched up to curl around the neck or stretched out to cover both shoulders.
I am absolutely happy with the finished piece. It is soft and light and I really like how the color contrast between the blue and yellow hues highlights the unique shape and construction.
What do you think of it?
The Starry Night Scarf is available for purchase now in my shop.