Friday, October 12, 2012


About five years ago, I bought some qiviut yarn from a now-forgotten vendor. I hated it. It wasn't anywhere near as soft as advertised, had as much stretch as garden twine, and somehow still warped out of shape after knitting. For the price, I could have bought some cheap acrylic and gotten the same amount of satisfaction.

While I was writing Fleegle Spins Supported, I purchased some unspun qiviut roving from Cottage Craft Angora...and boy, did my opinion of this stuff skid into a complete, 180-degree turnaround. The roving is a dream to spin, dyes beautifully, and knits up into a delicate, luxurious fabric that is difficult to stop touching.

Here's the roving, the spun yarn on a supported Trindle, and the final yarn, dyed a rich, dark purple.

From the admittedly costly and indulgent two ounces I purchased, I ended up with 900 yards of laceweight two-ply, and decided to knit Vostok, an exquisite design by Beth Kling. I used a size 3 needle, and had about 150 yards left over.

As you can see, the shawl consists of bands of ethereal lace, all of which are patterned on both sides.

I like semi-circular shawls, because they don't slide off your shoulders like triangular ones do. I was, however, bothered by the neck area, which seemed insubstantial. The shawl hangs from the cast-on edge, and that made me uneasy. And when I tried on the shawl, the neck just looked unfinished.

After consulting my library of crochet patterns, I decided to add a small collar. You can see it in the first photo--it's the odd thingie sticking up at the top of the shawl.

And here's what it looks like when worn:

And from the back:

I hadn't crocheted lace in a long time, but it didn't take long and I think the result is visually pleasing. I will be adding a similar collar to my Nouveau Beaded Capelet to give the neck a bit of body. That's a heavy shawl and a little collar will add strength, as well as a bit of interest to the neck area.