Close to you


This is Close to You, by Justyna Lorkowska, a free small shawl pattern available on Ravelry. Knitters have started calling these small shawls a word that doesn’t fit well in my mouth. It’s a shawlette to some. Neither my dictionary nor my spellchecker knows that word. And when I hear it my head thinks towelette or worse, toilette.

Lorkowska has such a sweet story to tell about this design and how she named it. Compactly, her husband Martin decided he wanted to start hand dyeing yarn in their flat. He’s not, or wasn’t, a yarnie. Martin just did it to be “Close to you,” he explained. Now he’s off and running with his own yarn and fiber shop, Martin’s Lab.

Close to You is an almost mindless knit, with just enough interest in that easy lacy edge to keep a knitter’s hands interested when a knitter’s mind sort of needs to be someplace else. And the delicate picot bind-off is the perfect ending to this quick knit.


I decided I liked the bouncy garter stitch feel of this, knit up in caterpillargreen yarns self-striping fingering weight. So I decided not to block it. 400 yards. Knit on size 6 in a true fingering weight. My (ahem) small shawl turned out to be 13 inches at its widest and 32 inches from point to point.


I know the self-striping went a bit wonky, but I’ve declared it interesting. Even without the self-striping, its 70% merino, 20% cashmere goat, 10% nylon blend would be interesting.

I enjoyed this knit so much that I soon decided I wanted to knit another Close to You, this time in a more tame colorway.


A second Close to You was my first time knitting with Whimzy‘s Sokkusa O yarn. (The O is for “original.”) Other than the yarn being afflicted with bad spelling, it’s wonderful. Seriously wonderful.100% merino. Rich color. No knots. A little bit of clingy fuzz here and there to be easily picked off without affecting the integrity of the yarn. It was wonderful to work with.


Glass head declares it cozy and classy.


This time I decided to block. I wanted those yarn overs to open up a tad more than in my first effort. The steam-block worked well. It retained the nice squishy garter stitch feel, acquired a bit more length and width, and is now showing off its yarn overs to nice effect.

Yellow Tail


This is Yellow Tail, by Taiga Hilliard. She’s Cashmere Junkie on Ravelry. Honestly, what I most like about Yellow Tail is the Caterpillargreen shawl striping yarn. This is fingering weight. Twenty percent is what’s described as “cashmere goat,” with seventy percent merino and ten percent nylon. I had some trouble with dye spill-over in the yellow. That was very disappointing. But Catherine totally made it right with replacement yarn. It’s possible none but the knitter’s eye will notice.

I find some projects fight with me. This was one. It’s a very easy pattern. But it’s written idiosyncratically. I did not rate the pattern highly and Hilliard contacted me and sincerely asked for feedback on the problems I had with it. I offered that feedback and she received it with genuineness and open spirit, which I much appreciated.

You can see that the pattern is easy peasy. If you like the design, don’t be put off by my critique of the way the directions are presented. You’ll be able to figure it out.


Heck, you can practically just look at this thing and figure it out. It is a situation where the yarn makes the pattern. And, by the way, I ran out of yarn with about 40 rows left. It really doesn’t matter. You can almost end this thing anywhere and still have a finished object.


Here’s a look at the yarn still skeined.


This is going to be a lightweight, scarfy shawl. No photos of me wearing it though. It’s been around ninety degrees for days and days and it’s hard to even believe at this point that it will ever be cold again.