Free Your Fade

When I attended Knit Stars 2 this past fall, one of the instructors was Andrea Mowry, and she included a free copy of her "Free Your Fade" pattern.  A lot of the other knitters were working on their shawls right away and posting pictures to the Facebook group, but I didn't have suitable yarn for it yet.

For Christmas I received a gift certificate to a local yarn shop, and I set out to find the perfect yarn.  This pattern is typically knitted with speckled yarns because those create a really smooth transition between colors, but there weren't any good speckled options at my local yarn shop.  I spent almost two hours there laying yarn out on a table and putting different combinations together.  I finally decided to get Mirasol Khusku, a fingering-weight yarn, in three colorways: "Rio Amazonas" (blue), "Camino Inca" (pink), and "Lineas de Nazca" (orange).

My original plan was to start with pink, put blue in the middle, and end with orange, since the pink and orange both have blue in them.  (See the left half of the swatch above.)  However, when I posted a picture of my swatch to the Knit Stars Facebook page, several people told me to do blue, pink, orange.  I grew up believing that pink and orange clash, so I was sure I would hate this combination.  However, when I tried it, I was stunned at how beautiful it was.  I had a revelation that will forever change the way I think about colors
I also experimented with needle sizes in my swatch and decided to use size 5 instead of the size 4 needles recommended by the pattern.  I want my shawl to be more lightweight.  Another thing I learned from Knit Stars: swatching can be fun!

"Free Your Fade" starts out very small and adorable, and grows into a very interesting shape.  The eyelet rows help break up the monotony of the garter stitch.  The color transitions are what is really keeping me interested.  After knitting in one colorway for several sections, there is a "fade" section where two colorways are alternated, and then the new colorway takes over.  The pink/orange fade section reminds me of a sunset.
I have several projects going at the same time right now, but I am setting weekly goals and hoping to finish this at the end of March.

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