It was so great to come back from Bendigo with yarn for specific projects and so motivating to cast on straight away.

When I arrived home on the Sunday afternoon I immediately balled up the charcoal and teal corriedale I had purchased for Colleens Crafts to make the Bloom Shawl by Kiri FitzGerald-Hillier.

The version of the pattern I followed is the original as it was published in Issue 31 of Yarn Magazine.

My default for reading patterns is the written instructions and then referring to a chart, if provided, as a reminder guide as I complete each round. After completing this pattern, my advice for anyone else is to follow the charts, as the written directions seem to be inaccurate or at least confusing in parts.

First thing I did was find a tutorial on how to do the pinhole cast on – I used the one from Very Pink Knits. It took me a couple of tries to get it right but overall not a hard thing to master.
The directions were for 5 dpns, but I knit the whole motif on magic loop. One thing that was not clear in the written directions was where to place markers – to split the motif into its four sections. If I had realised this earlier I would have been able to get this information from the chart. I guessed a little as I went along and I think in the end it is not noticeable that I fudged it a bit.

I made several modifications in the wing sections. For the decreases on both the left and right wings I knit two together through the back loop. I tried a few different decreases and decided that in the garter stitch I liked the look of this method best. I flipped the wings, so that the decrease side was the top edge, the finish and angle of the wing seemed to lay better that way. I also connected the blacks at the top of the motif together by knitting the last black stitch of one wing with the first black stitch of the other.

This was a super quick knit – it took me 15 days and zoomed along. I think part of the reason for this, apart from being knit in a DK, was that until you get to the edging there are really not many stitches on the needles, so the rows are short.

In the end I used all but 8 grams of the charcoal (from 213 grams). I do have plenty of the teal left, having only used 40 grams of a 100 gram skein.

I wet blocked the shawl, using blocking wires on the motif to make it square. Then pinned the wings and edge into shape around that square. I also pinned out each point of the lace pattern.