Forest Grove is yet another brilliant design by Mara Catherine Bryner (Orange Knits). Worked in the round for the first color, this sizable, oval-shaped shawl showcases evenly spaced eyelets that radiate outward across four colors and through three well-blended color transitions.
For my Forest Grove colors I chose this remarkably gorgeous fading kit that I spied in my Instagram feed. Knit Cosmic Strings is a new yarn brand for me, and I have to say–I am impressed! Not only is the yarn beautifully dyed, but this kit is perfectly assembled. Clearly Knit Cosmic Strings has a keen artistic eye.
Dyed on their 4-ply Sock Blend base, the colorways (from left to right) are Smoke, Dark Woods, Tobacco and Penny. What I adore most about this fade kit is its subtle success: Flecks of copper from Penny are highlighted in Tobacco; larger fragments of dark purple in Tobacco are lent to Dark Woods; and Dark Woods possesses a considerable amount of the charcoal gray that comprises Smoke. In other words, some of the brightest colors are faded gradually, while the darker colors are faded in larger doses. They all come together superbly for a complex light-to-dark evolution, reminiscent of a late November evening.
The colors, however, do not perform the fading magic all on their own. If there is one thing you must know about Mara Catherine Bryner, it is that she is a master blender. In fact, I would say that when it comes to designs involving the fading of colors, hers are the very best. For Forest Grove, the yarn is held both singly (one strand) and doubly (two strands) for a thick-and-thin texture throughout. The color transitions follow this texture pattern by alternating two-color double strand rows with one-color single strand rows. The effect of any one of Mara’s techniques is mesmerizing, but combined she has created a phenomenal shawl design.
A video is worth a thousand pictures? Above is a quick video showing how I wear my Forest Grove shawl. Despite the eyelets and fingering weight yarn (except when held double), the shawl is surprisingly warm.
Clearly I highly recommend this shawl pattern. If you decide to knit Forest Grove be sure to closely follow the instructions for the i-cord edging (which is worked as you knit back and forth). While I thought I was working the edge loosely enough throughout the pattern, in the end it was not as loose as I would have liked it.
To view the pattern page for Forest Grove on Ravelry click here.
To view my Forest Grove project page on Ravelry click here.