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Monday, September 15, 2014

Etherow Shawl by Fyberspates & a Stretchy Cast Off Tutorial


Last week Fyberspates published a collection of patterns for their beautiful Cumulus yarn. Cumulus is an alpaca/silk blend which is in-between a lace weight and 4ply/fingering weight. It's a perfect yarn for shawls. One of my designs in this collection is the Etherow shawl.


Etherow is a big triangular shawl, it's the kind of shawl you can really wrap around you. Because it's knitted in a light weight yarn, it works just as well, bunched up around your neck worn as a scarf or wrapped around you like a shawl. It's worked from the top down with an all over lace pattern. 

I love using the crochet chain cast off on lace shawls. The crochet loops look so elegant with a delicate shawl. A crochet chain cast off is easy to do. All you need is to be able to crochet a chain. If you've never crocheted before, there are lots of online tutorials and videos that'll show you how to crochet a chain. Because I use this cast off for a number of my shawls, I've made a little You Tube video to show you how. You can find it here. If you've never crocheted before it may be an idea to knit a little swatch to practice on.

Some knitters aren't very keen on the crochet chain cast off, so if that's you then don't worry. You can use a normal stretchy cast off instead. My favourite stretchy cast off is the Russian Cast Off. This is my go to cast off for lace shawls.

(Cast off = Bind off).

Here's how to do it: 
1. Knit two stitches.


2. *Put your left needle into the front of those two stitches from the left and knit them together. This is the same as if you slip both stitches back to the left needle and knit them together through the back loop.


You've now got one stitch left on your right needle


 3. Knit the next stitch


Repeat from * until you've cast off all or the required number of stitches. You're left with one stitch on your right needle. Fasten this stitch off as normal.


This will create a cast off edge that's stretchy enough to block into picot edges. There are other stretchy cast offs but this one is so quick and easy to remember. This morning I was casting off a new shawl design with over 520 stitches. I timed myself but didn't knit particularly quickly and I cast off all the stitches in about 34 minutes. 

Etherow is available from Ravelry and it'll also be available from you local Fyberspates stockists. 

1 comment:

Lucinda Lai said...

I love the way you do the Russian Bind-Off. I tried another method of the Russian Bind-Off and it's not stretchy! Plus it was more complicated to do!
Thank you again for all your tips!