mandarine's
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DIARY

Moonlight garden & Mandarine's shawl knit along

Moonlight garden shawl
Moonlight garden shawl
Moonlight garden shawl
Moonlight garden shawl
Moonlight garden shawl

It's hard to believe that a full moon has past since my last shawl design has been published. Moonlight garden has been such a joy to design. A couple of months ago, I have been contacted by the sweet Jocelyn of O-wool to ask me if I would be interested in creating something in one of her yarns. She sent me her whole collection of shade cards so I've been able to touch the different fibers and see in real life all the colorways. If choosing the yarn that I wanted to work with was an easy part, I can definitely not say the same about the colorways! Once I knew that I wanted to work with Local, I selected a couple of colorways that really spoke to me, and for the design that I had in mind. Then I gave my top 3 to Jocelyn, and asked her to surprise me in the mail, as I wasn't able to decide for myself. A couple of weeks later I received the three most gorgeous hanks of Local in the Wood Dove colorway. I might have squeeled a little bit at this point, and I couldn't wait to get back to Riga to cast on (I was then in France when the yarn arrived).

The yarn is a pure delight. It has this very unique "thick and thin" texture that is somehow very similar to homespun yarns. Local is a worsted weight yarn and a blend of alpaca and certified organic merino. I first made a couple of swatches in simple stitch patterns, to see what would look the best as a background contrast. I first thought of using garter stitch, but the result was a bit too bouncy to my taste. So I made another one in stockinette which I found quite boring to be honest! But then, I flipped it around, and I knew that was it. Reverse stockinette. YES! I knew that would work, and the contrast bewteen stockinette vs reverse stockinette would be quite interesting.

Moonlight garden has been inspired by beautiful wooden houses like this one in Little women. I imagined myself living is a similar house with a magnificient backyard garden. A spring garden more precisely, when the flowers are just starting to bloom and the first greens are harvested. I have heard about gardening alongside the phases of the moon, and I've been so captivated by that ever since.

Moonlight garden is a half-pi (half moon) shape shawl that features several sections of lace, eyelet increases, a beautiful reverse stockinette background and an applied border (no bind-off!).

Finished measurements
55in (140cm) long & 22in (57cm large)

Yarn
4 skeins of O-Wool, Local,50% organic merino, 50% alpaca or about 400g of worsted weight yarn. The sample used the 3 full skeins (9g left). 4 skeins are highly recommended.

Gauge
• 30 rows & 15 st= 4in (10cm) in stockinette stitch in larger needle.
• 3in (8cm) long x 2,7in (7cm) large= 1 full border repeat in smaller needle.

Needles
US 5 (3,75mm) circular needle.
US 7 (4,5mm) circular needle
Or needle size to obtain gauge.

Notions
A tapestry needle to weave in the ends.

The shawl portion is written and the attached border is both written and charted.

It has been so much fun to see my sweet test knitters working on the pattern in the different yarns that they had selected. Since then, I've seen many more beautiful versions in instagram and ravelry. There's even a fingering weight one!

That leads me to announce the very first Mandarine's shawl KAL! The knit along started yesterday and it will run thoughout the month of May. To participate, choose any of my shawl patterns, and knit it during the month of May. At the end of the month I will select a couple of winners from the different Ravelry group threads that I have openned for the event to win some prizes. That will include some of my naturally-dyed yarn! There's been a lot of chatter already, so feel free to join in and participate!