Boho Blush Shawl double feature

It's been a bit quiet over here on the blog - there has still been making but not much photography and writing! About this time last year I decided to learn to knit as well as sew, and I've been just as addicted to this as dressmaking. (If you are interested, the knitting label on the right will link you to my very first projects and how I got started with learning this new skill). I gave away my first shawl as a gift for my Nan, and found myself on holiday later in the year desperately wishing I had another (it was hot in the days but cold at night!). So whilst on holiday I spent my time looking at patterns and yarn. It just so happened the Andrea Mowry also had a sale on her patterns, so the Boho Blush shawl became top contender for my return from holiday project. I loved knitting it so much I made a second as another gift, this time for my Mum, which turned out even better!

Yarn and supplies

I really wanted to find a special yarn for this project, something that had a more luxurious blend to it so when I snuggled in my shawl it would feel really soft. I eventually settled on 3 skeins of Julie Asselin Fino, which is a merino/silk/cashmere blend, in the Biscotti colourway. I bought mine from A Yarn Story for £28 a skein (currently it's not listed as stocked but here's a link to the store anyway!). It's a neutral grey - beige colour which was nice to knit with a blocked into a lovely soft shawl. I had about 50g left over from the three skeins, which is still quite a usable amount....certainly some socks or the contrast yoke on a Zweig sweater.

By the time I was making my gift shawl I had come across another yarn stockist, The Wool Barn, who has a wide range of beautiful colours on their merino/cashmere/nylon base. This time I selected the Shortbread colourway and ordered three skeins at £19.50 each. (Side note, they will also custom dye a sweater quantity for you, if you need it). When I used this yarn there was only 5g left, despite using the same needles and same gauge, so I would always advise 3 skeins for this pattern, just to be sure. This yarn blocked into such a cosy shawl too! It is very soft and went down well.

A quick tip on buying yarns online - Both yarns I felt looked different to their photos. It is hard to get an exact match on computers but the Julie Asselin was definitely more grey than I thought it was going to be, and the Wool Barn was darker. Both are still lovely, but arrived different to expected. (Even trying to get true to life colour in my own photos here was challenging!). 

I used the recommended needle size in the pattern, on Chiao Goo red lace circulars (which I love) and Soak for blocking.

and... I have seen a faded version of this on The Little Tailoress podcast which looks awesome in case you are looking for more inspiration.

The pattern

The pattern is by Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits. It is a crescent shaped shawl which uses garter, brioche and lace, along with tassels at the end! It is quite a wide wingspan and sits nicely around your shoulders due to the shaping. It's an interesting knit because of the different sections - you don't spend too long on any one thing which can be a little boring otherwise.

Learning brioche was a challenge, not not overly frustrating. The directions in the pattern are very clear which helps - often Andrea Mowry explains what is happening so you know what she's written it like that. My first section of brioche went brilliantly, but I did have to rip back a few rows in my next section because I had got confused with how the yarn overs in a brioche stitch actually work. I made extensive use of You Tube in learning what a brk, sl1yo and a brkyobrk were meant to look like. Actually, I found the fan lace sections needed more concentration because there's a lot of counting in there! 

I enjoyed knitting this pattern. The rows are long towards the end but they are the kind of thing you can still do whilst watching TV or similar. Clearly I would make another as I went and made a second one soon after! My second was a lot faster, now that I've been practising knitting and I knit on it monogamously because I had a tight time frame of just one month to get it done in time to give as a birthday present. It has had a lot of use already so the colour and pattern turned out to be good choices all round! Binding off takes a long time because there is a lot of mileage down at the bottom, but adding the fringe didn't take as long as I thought it might. Personally, I don't find it as fun as knitting but it does add a lot to the pattern and really makes it look good in the end.

Would I recommend this pattern to a beginner? Well, I made this as my fourth project. Most of what was in it had to be learned on the job, but it was fine really. There isn't any reason that it couldn't be tackled by a beginner - that's what I am!


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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