30 minutes before I took this picture, this yarn was a shawl.


I’m not telling you this story for sympathy or pity. Sometimes a yarn is just not meant to be the first project that you try. It isn’t the fault of the yarn or the pattern, there are just too many things working against the combination for it to stay the way it is.

The yarn is a lovely alpaca that I purchased from an yarn co-op at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival a few years ago. The name of the alpaca that donated the yarn is Jasmine. The yarn has a lovely luster and halo, and there is a lot of depth to its oatmeal color. There was less than 400 yards in the skein.

I was making this shawl before crescent shaped shawls had become so popular, and I didn’t want a stole. So I chose the Brandywine Shawl pattern because you start at the tip of the triangle and knit up. Meaning that I could use up every last bit of the yarn. And I did.

In fact, I cut it so close that the bind off had to be rather tight to get across the top before I ran out of yarn. And despite trying to convince myself that the tight bind-off wasn’t that bad and that the triangle wasn’t too small…I realize now that I was just in denial. When you are in the midst of the project or just at the end, it can be hard to see it clearly. Especially if seeing it clearly means that you aren’t happy with the results.

Fast forward a year and a half. I barely ever wore the shawl – it was just too small and didn’t wrap around my neck when needed. And then I find two very small and totally fixable moth holes near the point of the shawl.

Of course, they would be totally fixable if I had more yarn. But since I had used every single yard of yarn I had in the shawl, the only way to fix it would have been to take out the last two rows, use some yarn to mend the holes and then bind off again. If I loved this project that would have been totally reasonable and doable. So it became clear to me that I didn’t love the shawl.


Alpaca bath

After the shawl had a bath, made a trip to the freezer and then had another bath…I realized that I didn’t want the end product enough to fix the shawl. It was going to get even smaller and that was a lot of effort for something I wasn’t going to wear.

In my future, I see a crescent shaped shawlette or maybe a stole made from Jasmine’s lovely yarn. And I also see a Brandywine shawl for myself made out of a different yarn with much more generous yardage.


Just to prove that sometimes projects work out REALLY well, here is my daughter in a sweater I made that she’s been wearing for 3 years. The sleeves are just starting to get short…Of course, 3 years ago they had to be rolled up!

Sweater at age 2


Long lasting sweater


About Structured Stitches

Designer - Knit, Crochet and Architecture
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One Response to Frogged

  1. Sarah says:

    Hey, I recognize that backdrop in the second picture of your daughter! 😉

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