I’ve just been working out the details of the back of neck gusset for the new Mille-feuille Shawl (Lots of lovely crispy layers in a delicious confection of colour, and calorie-free.) I wanted something to neatly fill the 90 degree back-of-neck position and then be able to continue the lacy edge across the gap. It required the appropriate rate of bind-off yet still allow one to knit up the exact number of stitches with reasonable ease. Imagine my delight at discovering that if short rows were used instead of binding off, it would give exactly the right number of stitches straight away (no fuss in knitting up the new stitches). It’s so perfect, so simple: it must be meant to be done that way. Oh, I am having fun.
I suspect I’ll end up offering both methods in the pattern, as so many knitters are intimidated by short rows (they’re not that hard, honest!). I’ve also decided to enhance the waviness of the scallops across this last section by adding extra replacement stitches. The photo is just quick snap of the shawl in progress and the back of neck, hot off the needles (not yet blocked). I knew that I wasn’t yet finished with this wonderful type of hole (warning, there are yet more lurking)! When I designed a square for the blanket project in support of Knit-A-Square, I was so taken with the effect that I decided that it had to grow up into a shawl one day.
To create this shawl with such amazing speed, I have teamed up with Diane (some of you may know her as my workshop coordinator) to act as an extra pair of hands for me. Up to this point I have always knitted all my own prototypes, but, at last, I think I may have found the test knitter of my dreams. It takes all kinds of factors to make this kind of partnership work: you need to be able to give sufficient time to get the project done, be near enough or in contact regularly to be able to make adjustments, and, for testing purposes, I need someone who doesn’t read three words and then carry on doing their own thing (as I would). Diane is meticulous! Here’s to a long and happy partnership and the Mille-feuille Shawl!