I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling drawn to all things bright and bold these days. There’s probably something deep about the need for cheer in dark days – or it could just be y’know, Spring – but either way, colour! Lots of it! That’s what I need right now. Bright hues are all I want to wear and all I want to knit.
Since I have rather a lot of bright yarn lying around and no shortage of time to knit with it, I thought it was about time I turned my hand to designing a summer accessory to use them up. Tbh I still have enough leftover yarn to knit another 5 of these, but it’s a start! And so the Brighter wrap ( / shawl / scarf / whatever you want to call it) was born. I knew right off the bat that I wanted this knitting project to be simple enough to be relaxing, but interesting enough that I wouldn’t get bored. Stripes usually do the trick in that way; something about racing towards the next colour makes the whole project go quicker. And garter stitch is simple enough to knit whilst reading my book.
The design: I love fringing. Just makes a plain item that little bit more fun, doesn’t it? Including fringe in a bright summer project was a no-brainer, so I planned the design around a method of creating fringe as you knit. No cutting lengths of yarn to tie on afterwards for this one. The Brighter wrap is knit on the bias, working in from each end, with some nifty shaping to create a mid section with stripes in another direction. At least I think it’s nifty, anyway. No short rows, picking up stitches, or anything like that, just basic increases and decreases.
The yarn: I used 7 different 4-ply yarns for my Brighter wrap, of varying cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, cashmere, and nylon blends. Purist knitters may not even dream of combining such a variety of textures, but I wanted this project to be a stashbuster, so I did’t really care. It turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself! If 4-ply isn’t your favourite and you have other yarns to hand that you’d like to use, this design will work for any gauge, and there are directions in the pattern for how to modify it to whatever shape, size and gauge you wish.
Choosing colours: the sunset palette was unintentional, but I love it. I deliberated over colours for literally hours, which involved dragging out half our stash, laying various combinations on the floor and swapping them around until I had something that worked. White always works well as a base colour, and I love how the 2 colour families complement each other too. Choosing a ‘random’ stripe sequence is actually harder than it looks, too, especially when it comes to those ‘zinger’ stripes of orange in the blue end, and blue in the pink end. Hopefully the result is suitably random-but-balanced. The idea was that anyone who knits this pattern could choose whatever colours and stripe sequence they like, but I’ve included row-by-row colour tables for this sequence too.
Is it beginner friendly? The whole item uses only basic knit, knit front & back, and k2tog stitches in various simple combinations to create the bias shape. The only part that may be a little trickier is the crochet chain used to reinforce the edge (since stitches are dropped to create the fringe) – but hopefully it isn’t too complicated and my DMs are always open for help.
The Brighter wrap is available on Ravelry as of today, Friday 24th April. Hope you like it!
Lily Kate x