Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tart Berries & Honey - Finished!

I called this shawl Tart Berries & Honey because Tart Berries & Gold Mustard just didn't sound very appetizing.  I had two reasons for knitting this shawl, one was to use up some beautiful yarn in a way that would show it off, the other was to test my theory that you don't have to do the transition rows when switching from one skein to the next of a gradiance colorway.

When I started knitting with the gradiance colorways I did not set out to challenge the accepted practice, but by nature I am an optimizer and I am always trying to figure out the best way to do things, and that means you cannot be afraid to challenge accepted practice.  It is not easy to do, and I still have to remind myself to not just follow instructions or tradition without at least thinking about it.  So maybe there is some Buddhism in there too, in the form of mindfulness, knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it.  I first started questioning the transition rows when I noticed that they actually introduced discontinuities in the color transitions because it was impossible to match the colors of the two skeins when you switched them in the transition.  Sure, you could match that first switch, but any subsequent matches were pure luck, unless you were willing to cut your yarn, and there were enough ends to weave in already without adding any more.  The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt that, given the unique dyeing technique that is used, you could just let the yarn do all of the work for you.

So, here is my test case.  I knit the Through the Looking Glass Shawl with transition rows, and Tart Berries & Honey without.  Same colorway, different techniques.  Why yes, I do have a science background.
Are the color transitions in Tart Berries & Honey more orderly and less stripey?  Yes, I think they are, but both are beautiful.  So, in the end I guess it all comes down to preference.

The yarn is Luxe, by The Unique Sheep, in Tart Berries and Gold Mustard.

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