Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cat's Cradle: The Second of Three Playground Shawls

Today I would like to introduce my second Playground Shawl, Cat's Cradle, and to share with you its "spark" which is a term that I like to use to refer to the origins of any of my designs.

If you read my last post, Double Dutch: The First of Three Playground Shawls, you might remember that the design sample was knit as a June 2013 "Summer Camp Project" for my LYS, Gosh Yarn It!  As July approached, I had the idea of an ebook named "Playground Shawls" and my challenge to myself was to design and knit a shawl as a July Summer Camp Project, followed by another as an August Summer Camp Project.

What to design for July?  I knew that it would be a more-than-one-color shawl.  I knew that it would be a smallish shawl.  These would be the unifying features of the collection.  The variety would be in the shawl shapes and the stitch patterns and knitting techniques.

I was drawn to making a crescent shape for July -- what could be more opposite the angular shaping of Double Dutch?  I had read a post at PicnicKnits by Corrina Ferguson where she described in one sentence the formula for one of her favorite shawl shapes.  (Sorry, but I could not find the exact post.)  She was talking about a shawl that she designed that I would call a deep crescent.  She called it "a heart shape that is not really a heart shape", and she said all you had to do was (starting from the top) increase 6 stitches every other row (or the equivalent of 6 stitches every other row over a greater number of rows).

I thought, I can do that!  I had these skeins of The Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering that I bought at a trunk show at Gosh Yarn It! 

I made many decisions rather rapidly.  It would be top-down with stockinette two-row stripes.  The crescent shape could be thought of as a cradle shape (no, not a heart).  The 'acai' (orange) and 'sarsaparrilla' (brown) colorways used for the striping call to mind a tiger, or more precisely a tiger-striped cat.  The shawl was named (only in my head for the moment) "Cat's Cradle".  I already knew that I could create some kind of a lace border with a cat's cradle inspiration.

Photo Credit:

I created a project page on Ravelry with this "July Camp" image.

I cannot say that the designing was as effortless as in Double Dutch, but it actually did move along very well.  I would knit on the striped body of the shawl when mindless knitting was best, and I worked up a swatch of the edging when I was more alert.  Perhaps the biggest challenge was not to run out of yarn.  I had to rip out swatches to have enough of the sarsaparrilla to complete the bottom edging.  I liked this shawl that I finished before July 31 quite a lot.  It is another pretty and "playful" little shawl.

"Cat's Cradle" was my second Playground Shawl.  It inspired me to attempt just one more shawl last summer in order to release my very first ebook.  Stay tuned for the story of shawl number 3.

Thanks for reading!

"Playground Shawls" is my first ebook collection on Ravelry.  It is currently available for a purchase price of $11.  The three shawl patterns included in the ebook are also available for individual purchase at $5 each.

Much thanks to my Cat’s Cradle team.
Tech Editing:  Holly Priestly
Test Knitting:  Tina W & Catherine M
Stylist/Model:  Ali Dervin
Photo/Styling Assistant:  Mallory Kern


  1. Another great shawl with wonderful choice of colours.

  2. I have already been out to Ravelry and will be purchasing this shawl collection come October!! They are beautiful.