This one sure took awhile to get perfect, but oh boy, I think it was a success!
Freewheelin’, the third pattern in my Remixed ebook collection (out to pre-orderers now, and to be available individually once the ebook is complete, next year), is a cable-tastic rounded shawl, and can be knit up in any gauge from around DK weight up to a super bulky (down to sport weight should work, for a smaller shawl).
It can be made pretty much any size you want, by just stopping when it’s as big as you like, or when your yarn runs out. The blue one, in a worsted-ish recycled yarn, is knit all the way through all 6 sections of the pattern (so it’s as large as you can get in worsted); the bulky red one was bound off before the third section was complete, for just a few cable repeats. The more sections you make, the more it’ll curve around and inwards:
The big blue one is so curved that it can be easily worn wrapped about with no shawl pin (like in the top photo)…
…and because it’s so big and the fabric is so drapey, it can be tied around as well, which I quite like:
You can see how with fewer sections worked, it’s still curved, but in just a U-shape. This red one was made with a light worsted-ish weight angora blend recycled yarn, held triple stranded, making it a super bulky weight, knit pretty densely on size US 11 needles.
My favorite way to wear this one is twisted around, or wrapped and closed with a shawl pin, though it can be worn in cape-like styles as pictured above.
I have a third sample as well, though it was an earlier prototype and has some major differences from the final design. There are a different number of increases per section, making it a not-as-curved shape, and making the cables run into each other differently in some parts. But it can still serve to show you how Freewheelin’ will look in a chunky weight commercial yarn (Cascade 128), worked almost all the way through section 5 for a large size:
Optionally, you can bind off in a contrasting color for a simple slightly-decorative edging. This option allows you to work right up through the last possible row in your main yarn, and not have to worry about leaving enough yardage for the bind-off. The bind-off recommended (and explained) in the pattern is Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, which makes for a nice squishy edge row in the contrasting yarn.
The pattern is made up of repeating cable segment patterns, which travel and twist into each other as you move from one section to the next. Most cable segment patterns have yarn-over increases built into them, making the shape of the shawl. You keep track of all segments as you work by using a color-coded stitch marker system.
All pattern parts are both written and charted. Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to make using the charts, but I had testers work successfully from both formats. The pdf also includes photo tutorials for cabling without a cable needle, a 4-page essentials-only section for printing, if needed, and all cable charts together on one easily printable page.
(A tester, Sadie, pointed out something cool about the cable chart page: Did you know that if you print it on standard sheet of paper and then fold it in half, you can read all the cables you need for the first half of the shawl on one side, then turn the halved sheet over and read the other side for the yellow-middle section and the rest of the other side?! It’s ingenious. It meant I could take this reasonably complicated knitting pattern on the move and even knit on the bus with it. I didn’t even think of that folding feature while laying out the page! Perfect!)
If you are intimidated by the look of this complex piece, well, one of my testers did recommend I include a disclaimer “not for the faint hearted,” but really, they all agreed that after the first couple of sections and getting used to the cables, with the stitch markers keeping track of everything, this pattern gets pretty darn addictive and hard to put down! There’s a bit of discussion in the leethal ravelry forums about this pattern being “a highway to divorce” haha!
I want to give a HUGE thank you to my fabulous testers for this one – I gave them a ridiculously tight knitting deadline (one week!), since I wanted to get this pattern out to Remixers asap, and they all got their shawls knit on time with excellent feedback for me. Monica, Sadie, Carole, and Kristin, you are all truly awesome! (They are also proof that you can totally get this knit in plenty of time for holiday gifting, hah!)
And lastly, I’ll show you my very first prototype of this design, which is super different from the final design; though the individual cable patterns are pretty much the same, the shape is all different (it doesn’t curve up, it’s just kind of a half-oval shape). It was made with exactly one skein of Manos del Uruguay worsted weight wool (138 yards), and can be worn as a cowl (or neck warmer, or whatever you want to call it), closed with a shawl pin. If you want to see a sample of Freewheelin’ made with exactly one skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted weight yarn (215 yards), check out Kristin’s project page. See, this can be a one-skein project if you want it to be!
Check out Freewheelin’ on ravelry, or on my Remixed webpage to pre-order your copy of the ebook and get your hands on this pattern right now! In case you haven’t yet read it elsewhere – the Remixed ebook is $16 and will include 8 accessory patterns total, all either for any weight yarn or with very flexible gauge requirements, starting with Parallel Lines, Wild is the Wind, and this one. Pre-orderers will receive each of the remaining 5 as I finish them (working on a pair of fingerless mitts at the moment!), and then the final ebook, with lots of tutorials on making your own recycled yarns, will be released next year (no official release date, just as soon as I finish it and it’s the best it can be).