Late last year I received a really exciting wee package from the lovely Nan Bray of White Gum Wool. It was a sample of her soon-to-be released new yarn that she had concocted with Rebecca from Augustbird and there was so much about this yarn that excited me and ticked all the boxes. It was a 5ply/sport weight constructed with 3 plies and a blend of her beautiful merino and silk. I swatched my precious little ball of yarn and all stereotypes aside, honestly did squeal a little with pure delight.
Since that precious parcel, Nan has released her 5ply Silk/Merino to the wild in two colours, Hawthorn and Natural. Rebecca, also has been busy hand-dyeing up this beautiful new yarn base and I was lucky enough to be sent some of the first skeins she dyed. Now these skeins were extra special because they were naturally dyed with tea.
Let's talk a little about this yarn -
Construction wise, this is a worsted spun yarn made up of three plies which gives it beautiful rounded shape. This means that stitches knit in this yarn are well defined and knit up uniformly. Nan's superfine merino coupled with silk makes this is a yarn that has beautiful drape but yet still retains its elasticity. The silk gives the yarn an almost pearlescent quality.
Each skein has 286 metres (313 yards) per 100 grams, it is at the fuller end of the sport weight spectrum and can easily double as a very light dk weight.
I knit this yarn on bamboo Chiaogoo needles, swatching with needles in the range of 3.5mm to 4.5mm. Each of the different fabrics was equally beautiful and useful for different applications. Cables and garter stitch were crisp and beautifully defined. Lace work on the larger size needles produced an incredible result, once blocked the lace draped beautifully and held its size and form exceptionally well.
This is an incredibly versatile yarn, and I really really love it!
Taking all the qualities of this yarn into account, I decided to make the most of them and play on both the drape of the yarn and the stitch definition and create a shawl.
This was a fun shawl to both design and knit, it really comes together in three different sections. Firstly, beginning with a provisional cast on, the bottom edge is knit lengthwise creating the lace and mock cable border. The lace is simple and intuitive and the pattern contains both charted and written instructions. With the border complete, a simple technique for picking up the edge stitch of garter stitch is used to quickly and efficiently pick up the stitches for the main body of the shawl. Short rows, my favourite type German short rows, are used to create an elongated crescent shaped shawl. Finally, the shawl is finished with a mock cable edge knit onto the top edge as the shawl is cast off.
This is a shawl to wrap around you as you sip tea, wander through the garden, immerse yourself in a gothic novel, or just enjoy the fading light of the day.
Oolong conjures up an atmosphere of timeless elegance with its beautiful lace and mock cable edgings captured in tea-dyed yarn.
White Gum Wool 5ply Silk/Merino
14 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches
in stocking stitch (blocked)
20 stitches and 32 rows (unblocked)
Finished blocked measurement of approximately 78¾ inches/200 cms from tip to tip and 18¼ inches/46 cms deep.
Intermediate to Experienced
600 yards/550 metres
Pattern available on Ravelry and LoveKnitting
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