This pattern has been a long time coming, so to say I'm excited to finally release it is an understatement. I experimented with elongated stitch a few years ago, which involves a series of drop stitches creating the unique oval texture you see in the body of the shawl. The entire time I was knitting it I kept thinking of watching roly polys (or doodle bugs, everyone has their own name for them) in my back yard as a kid. The crossing and length of the stitches in this pattern reminded me of their little shells, their exoskeletons. Thus, the origin of the name, Exoskeleton. While I chose the name based on an association with the stitch pattern, I think a shawl in itself is a sort of second skin, another layer of protection and warmth.
I feel like I should state up front: this was not at all an original idea. The Whispers pattern by Veera Valimaki has been floating around in the back of my head, appealing to the part of my brain that regulates "start-itis" since it appeared on Ravelry one day. It's an adorable, feminine pattern that's great for the changing of the seasons (or even summertime, if you use some plant-based fiber). I was sold on the prospect of making one for myself after I saw Cassy's project on Knitthehellout. She used this gorgeous ombre dyed yarn by Black Trillium Fibres on Etsy, and I couldn't stop looking at the FO, it was so pretty. I went online to check out the shop and ended up buying myself a 31st birthday present of the Lilt sock gradient kit in plum and downloaded the pattern. Normally, I'm not one to copycat, but I give Cassy full credit for this brilliant idea and hope that mine turns out half as great as hers did. Truth be told, it's already bound off and waiting for blocking - hopefully I can get some finished photos in the next few weeks!
Palladio is a beautifully romantic boatneck top with high waisted ribbing and lovely fluttering sleeves. It knits up pretty quickly, and if you're looking for a project to work on this spring for light, summer wear, I highly recommend it! I finished this top a few months back, but there are only so many photo shoots I can get myself to do in the cold so I opted to wait a little while to show it off. In actuality, I think one of my last photo sessions - the flu ridden snow flurries one - had something to do with that. I'm hoping to get a lot of wear out of this beauty this year and there are several other patterns in the same booklet that I would also love to make. Berroco Captiva is a luxurious, beautiful yarn.
I've always been curious about this stitch, because just at a glance it looks really complicated.... but it's not at all. Basically, you are knitting two stitches together all the way across. Instead of dropping both of those stitches off the needles after knitting together, you only drop the one closest to the end. Essentially, every stitch gets knitted into twice. Each row alternates knitting through the front or back loop to create the opposite slants. In a nutshell, the pattern is very easy, but just takes twice as long as a normal cowl of its size due knitting each stitch twice.
I guess I finished it just in time too, because I came down with this nasty cold over the weekend and laid around with this cozy cowl around my neck. Even if it couldn't do anything for my symptoms, at least it lifted my spirits, right? Good thing I got the photos in before I really got knocked down - I sort of have sick eyes there, but a few hours later they were watering so much they were nearly swollen shut! I hope this post finds you in better health than me!