Sock Yarn Shawls – Part 6 – free form, fireworks

After finishing the “starry night” shawl, I decided to explore the techniques used in it  a bit more, but incorporating more colorful yarn for the circles, inspired by aerial fireworks of Independence Day celebrations.

And in addition, it gave me a way to use up some left over yarn from other shawls.

Here is the first fireworks shawl:

The background/main color yarn used for this shawl was the Paton sock yarn “Singing the Blues” used for the starry night shawl.  The eight circles were worked up using colorful yarn left from other shawls, specifically the triangular and square shawls discussed earlier.  I selected the color to start each circle according to what I wanted to emphasize and discarded some yarn if the color was not what I wanted.

Here is the shawl laid out so you can see the pattern:








Once again, as I worked on the piece, I would lay it out on blocking mats to see how the shape was coming and decide where to “grow” it next:



Also in this piece, I first tried joining two circles by using the “three needle bind off” method.

Here is a snap of that method of connecting a new circle.  Basically, the two needles, one from each circle, are held together, pointing in the same direction, and a third needle used to knit together one stitch from each needle.  The first stitch is then held on the third needle, the next two stitches knit together, and the first stitch slipped over the second as if binding off.



The number of stitches to “bind off” when using this method to connect circles will vary depending on the size of the circles and whether or not you need to keep them strictly circular.  Sometimes I use short rows to add little triangular ears to a circle to be joined to the work so that I can use the bind off method for a longer area of connection

When using the bind off connection, you can use both the yarn from the main piece and the yarn from the added circle to do the bind off, or you can use one or the other as a single strand, and use the other yarn later when you knit around and incorporate it as you like.  Sometimes this decision is influenced by the colors of the respective yarns, if different.

This is a second fireworks shawl:


This shawl was worked similarly to the first fireworks piece, but in many of the circles, the yarn was switched/changed to make the individual circles more colorful and also to have the same colors appearing in several circles.

Again, I found it very helpful to periodically pin the piece out on blocking mats to evaluate shape and color balance and decide where to add additional circles.  In this photo, you can see there are already seven circles of very different size, and also that I have used the bind off join method more.







Exploring where to add which circle next.  I will start several circles and decide on placement based on which look best as well as where the shawl needs to grow next to have desired shape.

Here two circles have been added but added together.  The two were first joined and then expanded, as I wanted one to “overlap” the other.  Once large enough and with a somewhat flat side, the two were connected to the main work with a bind off.

This shows a circle being joined to the main work with short rows.  The short rows have been worked in the lower part of the picture, below the joining point, and I am about to work back around the smaller circle to work short rows in the space above the joining point.

Here is yet another variation, worked in one multi-colored sock yarn, using multiple circles.


Next projects include more works using multiple circles and free form designs using short rows.  Stay tuned.