The delightful Chasing Light Shawl by Veera Välimäki was a project I wanted to knit when I found yarns I fell in love with.
I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 14, 2023.
Veera’s pattern is excellent for beginners to lace knitting, as the stitches aren’t complicated. The repeats are simple, and if you’re good at memorizing, the repeats are easy. A skill I’m yet to achieve.
The yarns I fell in love with were from Rose Hip Island. I came across Hanna’s products when she was the Trader of the month for Yarn Trader (a yarn shop in Port Adelaide, Australia).
Hanna lives in Tasmania, Australia. Learn about her yarns on her website. The yarns that caught my eye were
- Merino Silk – 4ply 75% Australian Superwash Merino & 25% mulberry silk, 400m/100g
- Mohair Silk Lace – 72% kid mohair & 28% mulberry silk, 420m/50g.
The colorways reminded me of the flowers of a Lilac Tree. The names are delightful – Mia Bella (Merino Silk) on the left and Pixie (Mohair Silk) on the right.
Although you can’t feel yarn when you buy it online, I hoped it felt as soft as it looked. When they arrived, the squooshiness and softness were delightful!
Both the yarns were true to the colors depicted on the Yarn Trader website. Be mindful of this when buying yarns online. Colors in real life aren’t always the same as the images on the internet.
I wound the yarns by hand, and there wasn’t one join or knot in either skein. I’m no expert in hand-dyed yarns, but the quality is top-notch.
I followed the advice of experienced knitters and did a swatch. The pattern calls for a gauge of 18 sts and 34 rows = 4” [10 cm] in garter stitch using a US4 (3.5mm).
I got 24 sts and 40 rows. So, I went up a needle size to 3.75mm and got a gauge of 20sts and 36 rows. These needles also come in a set. For more info, see my review here. I thought I could get away with this, being a shawl project. If I was knitting a sweater, it’d be more essential to get the gauge correct.
I cast on using my 3.75mm Red Lace Chiaogoo needles. I love them.
It’s exciting to see the lace pattern appear. The fabric created with both yarns is super soft.
I love how the blues in the mohair silk yarn add interest to the look of the knitted fabric. When knitting with these colors, I’m reminded of my beloved grandmother (Mama). She was a knitter and fabulous seamstress. She repurposed a purple mohair rug into a scarf and hat. Such a clever and resourceful woman.
Once I finish the lace pattern section, the rest of the shawl is garter stitch. I hope I’ll get through that quicker in time for the winter season.
The pic above shows the lace section complete with 142 stitches picked up on the long edge. Picking up the stitches was a frustrating task. It took me quite a few times to get the number of stitches correct.
Now I am on to the garter stitch section with increases and decreases.
I did a bit of research on the instagram and Ravelry to see if other knitters had shared images of their finished Chasing Light Shawl. I wanted to see what the entire piece looked like as Veera’s pics didn’t give the full length view.
It is an interesting construction and design. The lace panel is clearly the feature and the garter stitch section adds texture and dimension. Doing all knit stitches is very meditative similar to when I knit my top-down cardigan. Unlike doing a mosaic pattern with slip stitches which requires a little more effort like my kentia wrap.
I realized that I would not have enough of the Mia Bella Colorway to complete the shawl when I was halfway through the garter stitch section.
I got in contact with Hanna from Rosehip Island to see if she had any of the same batch as I had bought. Unfortunately she did not.
Hanna explained to me that if she found her notes for the last dyeing session for the Mia Bella and Pixie colorway, she could do a custom order.
She did mention that it was likely the colors would not be the same as I had purchased. I hoped they would be similar enough for me to finish the project.
Fortunately Hanna found her notes and sent me photos of the newly dyed yarns. From the photos they looked good but it is always harder to tell on a device than in reality.
I received the yarns within the week which I really appreciated. As Hanna mentioned, the new skeins were different colors to the yarns I’d already used. The new ones were more blue/purple, the original more pink/purple.
I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best! Fortunately the original Pixie Mohair/Silk colorway lasted until 10 rows before the end so that helped.
The difference in color isn’t that noticeable. The repeats for the garter stitch section were simple. I was able to complete this section quite quickly.
It was such a good feeling to have finished this shawl, particularly as it is still Winter. I will have many opportunities to wear it. I had to laugh because I encouraged my family to give my shawls lots of praise.
I get so excited when I finish a knitting project. Do you also do a happy dance when you have something new to wear that you’ve made?
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