Just published on Ravelry is my new crescent shawl design, Craic. “Craic” is Irish Gaelic slang for “fun, a good time, a good conversation,” and it’s pronounced “crack.” This pattern is all that: a fun knit that’s a good time all around. And, I found it both addictive and relaxing to knit. It’s so fun to watch a design that was just in your head become a physical thing in your hands. I’ve always loved creating knitwear; I’ve just been horrible at writing my designs-as-I-go down. One of my goals for 2018 is the WRITE IT DOWN (as in, write it down, stupid!). So far, so good :-).
When I started this design, my vision was for a pattern that had some texture, some garter stitch, some interplay between colors, but was basically a fairly simple design perfect for knitting while watching TV, or attending a sport or other event: places and times when a knitter’s concentration may be divided between what’s on the needles and what’s happening around you. You know how it goes: you’re happily knitting along, watching TV or one of your kids / friends compete somewhere and, at some point, you look down and realize you forgot to pay attention to the pattern stitch, and stitches (or rows) have to be ripped out.
I personally like to have my knitting with me, keeping my hands busy and my brain somewhat calm, when my kids are in a game or other competition. Or I’m watching something interesting or exciting on TV. Sometimes we just need a fun, easy pattern to work on, and that’s my vision for Craic. Easy knitting, with enough changes in the pattern to keep it interesting (i.e., not completely boring).
I also didn’t want it frilly, or too feminine. I was going for an elegant, stream-lined design that men could knit and wear, too. So, I kept to simple lines, textured stitch patterns, and an elegant i-cord bind off. I’m not really seeing men wearing this as a shawl per se, but wrapped around the neck like a scarf? Certainly.
There are lots of colors up in my Shop Update, that went live earlier this week, that will work with this pattern. It’s fingering weight, so any fingering weight yarn that’s at least 400 yards per skein will do; it doesn’t even matter if they’re the same ply or fiber blend. I bet we all have skeins in our stashes we can mix and match for this design, and I think mixing plies, or different types of fiber blends, would be fabulous – different textures as well as colors. One skein a single ply, the other a two or three ply? One skein 100% silk, the other a blend of wool, cashmere, silk, yak or some other protein fiber? Awesome.
The only thing I’d not do is mix protein fibers with plant fibers, simply because they are SO different, and don’t block, or stay blocked, the same way.
I can also see this design knit in two solid colors, two speckled colors, highly contrasting colors (like mine), more subtle contrast, or even all one color. Whatever you decide, you just need two skeins of at least 400 yards each, or at least 800 yards total for one color.
If you just don’t have what you want in your stash, or need something to go with a skein you already have, check out my Shop Update page.
If you love the colors I used and need to knit Craic in those, I’ve got you covered. Bog Cherry and Painted Hills, the colors I used, are both available on my Shop Update page, dyed on Aurora as well as Eos. And if you love the pattern but the colors aren’t your fave, I’ve got you covered there, too. Here are some color combinations I think would be fabulous:
Clockwise from upper left: first three on Aurora, Alpine & House of Romanov (this is the combination my test knitter, Anne, used for her shawl), Ashes & Embers & Silver Spoon(ish), Ashes & Embers & Bog Cherry, two Lucky Pots on Fiona (a brand new base I’m trying out, fingering weight two-ply Merino/Silk).
Clockwise from upper left: all on Aurora, It’s Not Easy Being Green and Good Vibrations, It’s a Party on My Needles and Pixie Dust, It’s a Party on My Needles and Happy Dance, I’m Just a Little Bit Crazy and It’s Not Easy Being Green.
Clockwise from upper left: all on Aurora, Blue Suede Shoes & Good Vibrations, Pixie Dust & Happy Dance, Moody Mermaid & Pixie Dust, Moody Mermaid & Blue Suede Shoes (Moody Mermaid also looks great with Happy Dance, but I seem to have misplaced that photo).
Shop update includes some new Astraea and Eos, both of which will work for Craic. Also? If you want a color or colors that aren’t show or aren’t available, leave me a message in the comments and I’ll do my best to add it into my dye schedule! (I’m nothing if not an enabler, right?)
Finally, some cute out-take photos of my photo shoot with Caragh, who continues to be adorable and the best knitwear model I could ask for …