Friday, August 21, 2015

FO: stripey shawl

I made a thing, but not for me. It was for another socks/shawl swap, and it was a lot of fun. Last year I made someone else socks in exchange for a shawl; this year I am bored of making socks, so I made someone else a shawl to swap for socks.

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Pattern: Itaca by Stephen West

Yarn: Ito Kinu

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I didn't add the shells / beads on the bind-off edge, but otherwise followed the pattern as written. The yarn is 100% tussah silk, and I really enjoyed working with it. It has a pleasant nubbly texture and a pretty depth of colour, in an almost tweed-y way.

I'm hesitant to commit to using it again, however; upon blocking, the shawl acquired a really strong musty smell. I'm told this sometimes happens to silk, though this definitely wasn't the 'fishy' smell that also sometimes happens with silk. Anyway, I managed to get the smell out, I think. I tried many things, but what seemed to work in the end was washing in regular laundry detergent (by hand) and rinsing in citric acid. Then hanging it outdoors for a few days. So, although I like the yarn, I have my reservations about it. Hopefully I just got a bad batch.

Next up, I'll show you what I received in return!

Linking up with FO Friday.


  1. It looks fantastic. What a shame about the smell issue, I can see how that would be a little off-putting. Glad you managed to get it out.

    I didn't know that about silk - I've only knitted with pure silk once or twice and I guess I was lucky in that neither time there were any issues with funky smells. Something to bear in mind if I ever plan another silk project!

  2. Oh wow, I didn't know silk can have a smell. No kidding. Your swap shawl is awesome. That pretty blue really pops against the milk chocolate brown.

    1. Another camera-fail: it's really gray and rusty red/orange. :) But thank you!

  3. Your swap partner is very lucky as this shawl is stunning! The color combination is stunning.

  4. It looks like it would feel lovely to wear, your swap partner should be very pleased with it :)

  5. Beautiful! Love the colors and the pattern. I've not knit with 100% silk but the odor does not sound pleasant. Glad you were able to remedy it.