Handspun silk, part 2 - Aeolian Shawl swatching

I've fallen in love... with a swatch. (!!!)

Generally I, like many knitters, am not a fan of the swatch. It wastes precious yarn, it wastes precious knitting time! But I force myself to swatch for lace work, so I know I'm happy with the needle size I choose. I'm not a fan of lace that's too airy - that is, I would rather the only holes in my lace fabric to be the yarnovers. Fingering weight on size 8 needles? That isn't lace to me. That's just holey fabric.
Unfortunately the result is I have to do some shawls on size 2.5 (3mm) needles... Heh.

Anyway, here is the new project I was talking about. Behold... the swatch!

Spindle handspun laceweight silk yarn hand dyed green brown and blue swatch for Aeolian Shawl

I love this swatch. I adore this swatch. You cannot know how excited I am about it. It's for the Aeolian Shawl from Knitty. I have 634 yards of lace-fingering weight singles (thick and thin, as you can see), itching to become a shawl. I've actually mentioned it before, at the bottom of this looong post. Click below for more info on this swatch and the yarn.

It was spun from 2 ounces of hand-dyed silk roving, from Enchanted Knoll Farm. It was dyed in every natural color you could imagine - greens, blues, browns, even a hint of yellow and some other colors. The colorway is called Wood Elves.

I was originally planning on plying this yarn with some wool, but the silk is just so luscious on its own. So, after testing it on the ball winder to make sure it was strong enough (there were three breaks, but I think it's safe to say that the rest of the yarn will hold up to knitting), I came up with this:

Handspun bombyx silk singles yarn in green, blue, and brown

So I knit my swatch, and blocked it, and out came this ridiculous drapey colorful swatch. I cannot wait to start on the shawl, but I'll have to finish the Japanese Feather & Fan shawl first. I think I have about a third of the yarn left with that, so it shouldn't take me too much longer.

If you're not familiar with the pattern, take a look at it right now. Here is Aeolian on Ravelry. The Aeolian Shawl is sheer gorgeousness, and what else could we expect from Elizabeth Freeman, the designer of the Laminaria shawl? Sadly, those are the only two patterns she has released so far. I eagerly await her next design.

Handspun silk singles yarn lace fingering weight green balls

This is gonna be fun.



  1. I would frame the swatch!

  2. Your articles on knitting and spinning are very nice. And your Entrecard logo, too.

  3. That is absolutely gorgeous! I love the yarn and the knitted lace shawl pattern. I can only knit a scarf and hat right now and am quite scared of using more than 2 needles but one day I might convert from die hard crocheter to KNitter because of the beautiful wearable art I keep finding.

  4. I can see why you love that swatch. It's gorgeous!