Silk, glorious silk!!!  Wool is awesome, but I have developed quite the passion for working with silk yarns — especially the chunkier types.  They are light, warm to wear and luxurious.  A couple of years ago, I happened upon a destash of naturally dyed LaLana Wools silk yarns and it seemed time to bust them out and make something.  I was ready to knit a new shawl for fall so, I decided to finally knit the Esjan pattern by Stephen West.  So, I dug down into my stash and armed with my trusty knitting journal, I embarked on my road to knitting a silk shawl.

Set up

In my knitting journal, I keep info about the piece including yarn samples and the yarn labels.  It’s fun to look back later and remember the experience of knitting the piece and these tangible reminders are very helpful.

Journal Page

I also make notes from the pattern.  Writing out some of the trickier parts by hand is a good way to work out the instructions in my head before I start knitting.  Usually, I tuck my printed pattern into sheet protectors, but this time I didn’t.  My poor pattern got attacked by an overturned bottle of beer and it was “aromatic” as a result (think “frat party — the day after”).


While these were all commercial yarns, except for the cream colored cone yarn, they were singles, which gives me the idea of using some of my handspun yarns the next time around.

Close up

Also, with non-fitted garments like shawls, I pay no attention to the yarn suggestions.  I look at the needle size and take it from there.  So, because the pattern calls for a size 11 needle, I picked yarns that would be suitable-ish for that size needle.

in kitchen

In the stripey sections, I swapped the colors around to get slightly different effects.  It’s fun to do it that way and gives more interest to the finish piece.



Now, it’s done and in time for fall.  I can’t wait to wear this!!!

Until next time, all my fibery best, Arlene


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3 thoughts on “On the Silk Road

  • September 15, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Dear Ms. Arlene,
    Good morning.
    Thank you for sharing your insights into shawl knitting especially with silk. The one tip about ignoring the recommended yarn rather using the needle size as your guide to dive deep into your “STASH” is very intriguing. Your finished piece is glorious and I am sure will be stunning on you.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Thank you,
    Miss Dahlia

  • September 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Silk is beautiful to knit and to wear!! It has a richness like non other. It is fun to see that you Journal your experience….you are so organized…I lack that gene.

  • September 16, 2016 at 12:36 am

    This shawl is so beautiful! It inspires me to make one too! 😀


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