When I was at Sock Summit, I saw a whole lot of these super beautiful and interesting scarves- which is how I like to think of small shawls, because that’s how I wear them.  I’ve never been the sort of woman who accessorizes much or well, and while I appreciate women who can artfully perch a small shawl round their shoulders and look elegant, I am not one of them.  I need something that has heft, or the ability to wrap and stay put, and this interesting knit had buttons along one diagonal side of it, and this- I thought to myself, was a rather gripping way of solving the "I want to be as well dressed as those women but I can’t find my shawl pin and how do you keep your purse strap from screwing it up anyway" problem that so persistently plagues me.  I admired those scarves, but I was a little busy, so I put it out of my head… besides, my head gets turned by good looking knits all the time.  I’ve learned to let things go.

Two weeks after the Summit, I was still thinking about that scarf. Man- I loved it. I tried to find it on Ravelry, but I was knitting Jen’s blanket and so I got a grip after searching for about 5 minutes and let it go again.  I didn’t forget about it though, and I’ve been waiting to finish the blanket so that lo – that knit would be mine.   A few days before the blanket was done, I searched again, and still couldn’t find it.  It turns out that this is because I was convinced – absolutely incorrectly, that Stephen West had designed it.  (I think this was a natural error.  It was an interesting neck thing and he designs a lot of interesting neck things.)

I tweeted that I was looking for the cool two colour neck thing that "everyone" had been wearing at Sock Summit, and shazam and behold, two minutes later I had it. I will warn  you now that if you are susceptible to interesting knitting things but are trying to resist right now because you’re looking to finish a baby blanket first, it is going to take a lot of personal will if you choose to keep reading this entry.  Steady on.

It was Catkin, by Carina Spencer, who I don’t believe is even vaguely related to Mr. West, so you can see how I was held back in my search.  This pattern was, once I found it, even more interesting than I thought.  I don’t have anything against working with a few colours at a time,  but the cool thing about this one is that it’s all done with one colour at a time- which is, even if you don’t mind two colours at a time, still a neat trick.  I queued it so I wouldn’t lose it, and it out as a carrot for when I finished the blanket, and the minute I was done, I was ripping up the stash looking yarn.   Three hours and a very big mess later, I had my choices, an hour after that, my swatch.

Pretty, yes?  The reddish brown is Dream in color smooshy in Chinatown Apple, and the slightly pinkish beige is a mystery skein from the depths of the stash.  (I had to go really deep to get it. That means it’s old.  The stash has layers like an archeological dig.  The deeper you are, the longer I’ve had it. There’s yarn in there that’s older than my children. Children who vote. There’s no way to know where a yarn like that came from- though for some reason I think it came from Alison, which might just be an association because she’s nice and this yarn is too.)

I cast it on that afternoon, and I don’t mind telling you, I’m a smidge obsessed. It’s fast, fun, and oh – so much smaller than the blanket. 

In short, I am charmed, I can’t stop and I don’t care.

133 thoughts on “Beguiled

  1. I should have stopped when you warned me to. I am equally charmed. Off to explore my stash.

  2. Yes, I have noticed the smaller shawls and have been thinking about knitting one myself in some beautiful fallish colors.

  3. I know how that feels. I’ve been looking for a shark tooth scarf and now I think it may be dragon teeth. somehiemers.

  4. Shouldn’t have looked! But this may have solved my dilemma about what(else) to knit next!! My stash awaits….

  5. It is pretty fun to make isn’t it!! I loved making mine and it was so hard to put down. Carina has some great designs!

  6. It’s beautiful! I look forward to you modeling that little lovely for us. I’m winging it on a cardigan right now; just charted the waterfall panels this morning after casting on and double-knitting the border. 😀 You gave me the courage to just throw things together once in awhile.

  7. That shawlette was already in my Ravelry faves for “someday I’ll knit that”, but you’ve tipped me over the edge into buying the pattern. I like that it buttons, so that it can just sit there on your shoulders and not fall off, no matter how you wear it.

  8. I’m also incapable of wearing a scarf gracefully, so I’m eager to see how you pull it off. There could be hope for me, yet.

  9. As soon as I read your description I knew exactly what you were talking about! I have this in my to do list also. It’s breathtaking!

  10. I dragged my Mom along with me to the Summit and she was equally charmed by the shawl/scarves. Especially the way Anne Burk wore it. She looked so cool! So I’ve been made to promise to make her one and have been researching Ravelry with vigour!
    Shawlettes Ho!

  11. What a surprise to see your current WIP, as I’ve been obsessed with the same pattern for weeks now! I couldn’t resist, for many of the reasons you listed. (Basically, I don’t know how to wear shawls that can’t be scarves, either.) I really need to make three more pairs of fingerless mitts for my bridesmaids for my wedding 5 weeks from now, but I cast on anyway. I’m pretty much at the same spot as you, over half way through the second section. Happy knitting on Catkin!

  12. hmm, this looks like it would make for a very nice nursing cover. and double very well as a scarf/shawl too of course 🙂

  13. Isn’t everything smaller than that baby blanket? The blanket is gorgeous and so is the new shawl on my queue.

  14. Thanks, I needed another shawl in my queue, like I need a hole in my head.. Now, what colors should I do it in???

  15. i knew it! i just knew it would be catkin as soon as you mentioned buttons.
    i have yarn on order for this very shawl. or whatever it is. but since the yarn is madelinetosh, it could take a very long time to arrive at my lys.
    i’m not knitting a blanket, but i do have other things in progress to keep me busy. the pattern will still be there when the yarn arrives. calling to me.

  16. I am smitten by this pattern also. However, having just cast on three shawls yesterday afternoon, even though I already have two others on the needles, I am going to show some self-restraint here….at least for another day or so.

  17. Hi Stephanie,
    Yeah, Catkin is in my queue and my faves. Just got a few things ahead of it that are in various stages of work.

  18. I love the catkin. It is on my list of things to make. I want to see how it looks on a chubby lady before I commit.Ravelry has so many fabulous examples of various colorways on this pattern!

  19. I love that shawl. It’s right at the top of my queue waiting for the perfec yarn color combo to come along. Now I want to make it even more. BTW I’m going to be in TO next weekend, which yarn shops should I hit up??? Definitely lettuce knit, but any other must see stores? (I’m from Winnipeg)

  20. I had the same obsession with that shawl at SS and bought yarn from Sincere Sheep to make it with. I had a baby sweater that was my version of your baby blanket but the sweater is now finished and Catkin is up next whoo hoo.

  21. Catkin is on my needles at the moment. The second I saw the pattern I thought I MUST KNIT THIS! I’m doing it in a darkish olive green and a golden beige, though I must say I gave serious thought to a red/beige combo like yours. Naturally you’ll be done first, and I’m sure your FO pics will inspire me to keep going. Yay Catkin!

  22. THANK YOU! I too saw this but had no idea what it was called. Now I can cast it on as well 🙂

  23. Lovely. I have a pair of shawls to make after I finish my latest round of speed knitting (I’m well on my way to an adult-sized colorwork cardigan in a month), so this will have to go in my queue for the winter.

  24. Very fetching, Ms Harlot! You will look very sophisticated in it! I would suggest one for each child that expreses an interest in it to have one of your own!

  25. When I was at Sock Summit my mission was to choose two yarns for my friend Connie who wanted the yarn to make Catkin. She could not make it to Sock Summit. I am only obsessed by association.

  26. Oh those two yarns together are beguiling! What a great pattern, and what a great combo to knit it in. Can’t wait to see the finished object!

  27. I have this 1) in the queue and 2) yarn all lined up for it. As soon as I finish ONE other project already on my needles. Really.

  28. OMG! I just printed this pattern out this morning. I’m planning it as my reward for finishing two adult sweaters, one of which has been on the needles for two years now. I don’t have anything suitable in my stash, rarely buy sock or fingering weight. But,I’m off to Portland right after Labor Day and will get the yarn at Happy Knits. They have loads of Tosh and I aim to get me some. Will be watching your progress closely…

  29. That gorgeous shawlette has been in my queue for almost a week now! I found the same piece of knitting as the Yarn Harlot. I almost feel like a celebrity.

  30. very pretty! I can’t even consider starting anything right now, because my son’s Bar Mitzvah is coming, and his tallis isn’t started. It’s not even, actually, designed, except in my head…..and the dress for a friend for her son’s wedding, the same day isn’t done (that will be, though, today, except for the hem, which doesn’t count), and my dress for the bar mitzvah? Fabric for it? Um….getting on that…..

  31. Oh yes that is a drool over worthy knit. I’ve had that saved for some time. That is going to be my birthday knit to myself.

  32. Your are a very bad influence, I hope I can resist the urge to make one (probably not). I will probably be dreaming about this shawl, for months.
    Glad you like the colors, I do to 🙂

  33. That has got to be about the prettiest swatch I’ve ever seen!
    You could make another, sew them together, attach an i-cord, and you’d have a darling purse.
    Enjoy your new knitting project!

  34. Yay! I just ordered yarn and bought this pattern this week. I haven’t seen this project in person, just on Ravelry, and it really blew me away. I also decided to use this as my “carrot” to get an Icelandic steeked hoody done because I’m SO excited to cast on for Catkin. I’m proud to say I sewed and cut my firsts] steek this weekend, and now just need to knit-in the zipper, finish the hood and I’m done and can start this lovely garment. I can’t decide if I’m excited to knit this on the plane to LA this October or have it done in time for my trip to LA this October….

  35. I have wanted to knit this ever since you tweeted about it the other day. It’s my carrot for finishing my sister’s lace shawl (that has been promised to her for about 2 years now). 🙂

  36. Catkin’s been in my faves but hasn’t made it to cast on yet. Love it!! Considering what’s all on the needles at the moment (although nothing the size of The Blanket), I’m showing admirable restraint. For now.

  37. I like that one too–I did her Scalene and like it very much, although it’s still too warm to wear it. Now if I make it, everyone will think it’s because YOU did…lol.

  38. oh, and to answer someone’s earlier question, it looks like it leapt into 255 queues since your tweet 🙂 I love that Ravelry feature.

  39. I’ve been looking for a shawl pattern that would dress me up ;). It’s in my queue BUT I must finish my “summer” top before the first day of fall!!

  40. Beautiful! And thank you!
    If it’s fingering weight and it’s baby alpaca, I may well be guilty. Sounds like something I’d do–and I did, at one point quite awhile back, buy, over several months, three dozen pounds of baby alpaca cones from a wholesaler going out of business, with some colors (which met the dyepot) going for $15/lb or less. I have by now used very nearly all of it up that I kept, and I had great fun sharing it.
    I am knitting up the final bit of the light blue, at long last, right now in a lace stole. It’s hard to believe that that will be the end of it.

  41. Oooooohhhh! What a pretty shawl or neck thingy! So different. I must knit this one, or give it a try, as I think it might be beyond my ability or patience. Thank you for sharing the pattern name! Yours is going to be beautiful.

  42. I love this! I am one of those people who looks like a dork when I attempt to wear a shawl. I might just be able to pull this off though! I like your colour choices.

  43. I have drooled over that pattern before. Smashing, isn’t it? Can’t wait to see yours!

  44. OMG! How could you have resisted that long? I would have dumped that blanket for this! (I wish I hadn’t looked…….)

  45. I can wear a scarf easily and keep my bag on my shoulder. But not a shawl, sad to say. It gets all clumped up and the bag keeps falling off. Your shawl is lovely and I can’t wait to see you or one of your family or friends modeling it.

  46. Well darn…that is just way cute! I thank my lucky stars that I have already ditched a shawl for a hat that is the Best Thing Ever, or I would be out the door for some Catkin yarn.

  47. I am thrilled that you’ve found Carina’s designs!! As charming and intriguing as her knits are…she is even better. 😉 Drop her a line…you’ll have a fast friend. 🙂

  48. Wow, it’s beautiful, now I know what my sister is getting for Christmas! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  49. that DOES look like an interesting scarf!..I really wanna see the entire thing now, but I wasn’t at sock summit, and I just got home from work so I’m feeling too lazy to look it up. At the rate your going, I’ll just wait til you post a pic of it tomorrow all finished.
    v e r y p r e t t y y a r n!

  50. That is not just “interesting,” dammit. And I have too much to do to get involved with another project…
    On the other hand, I’m *not* working on any baby blanket right now…
    You just had to make us look, didn’t ya!

  51. Great minds think alike – this is currently on my needles also!! I’m not a great accessorizer either, but I just don’t think you can mess this one up 🙂 Have fun!!

  52. I’ve been thinking about that pattern. It’s intriguing that the projects shown on Ravelry are so often in strong or unusual color combinations. What I mean is that people seemed to take more chances with the combos, instead of choosing safe and predictable pairs. It really makes it interesting.
    However, I’ve yet to find a shawlette or shawl that looks decent on me, and I suspect I’d need to make this one bigger. Please model it when done? If it looks the right size for you, then I know I’d have to add a whopping amount.
    Nice yarn. Enjoy this knit.

  53. Lovely! You’ll knit that up in a trice. I like the less contrasty versions of the shawl for myself and will definitely put this in the lineup for after I finish my daughter’s wedding present. Thanks so much for the link.

  54. I’m beguiled by your beguiling. Always a little shocked by your super speedy knitting skills! 🙂

  55. Catkin! I bought the pattern a few months ago and am still planning out which yarns to use. Dying to start my swatch!!
    One of my spinning group friends started one after our summer spinning retreat, so I feel good I’ve enabled at least a bit.
    Yours is beautiful!

  56. I’m almost done with my Catkin, although I’m making it a few rows longer than called for. It’s a fun knit, because it looks way more complicated than it really is! Have fun with it!

  57. Hellllooooo? What about the Sock of the Month? Or does Joe have to get pregnant for you to pick up the gansey again?
    You are hopelessly fickle, my harlot, and I love you for it.

  58. I clicked on the linkie. It’s lovely. I wish I were a better, faster knitter but wait! that could be a challenge for me to improve my knitting. Right, like I need another challenge. Thanks for sharing – you’re so generous that way 🙂

  59. Yes, this has been at the top of my Ravelry list, too! I’ve even gone so far as to purchase and take back some yarn that I thought would do, but wasn’t “the Thing”. Looking forward to seeing yours.

  60. This is why I put all my yarn into Ravelry Stash pages – makes it so much easier to narrow down possible yarns for new projects and pull out all the contenders if you write in where it’s stored. However, this also allows me to know that I have just over 38 miles of yarn, which is kind of a depressing number because I’m moving across the globe in a few months and need to pack it all up soon!
    Also, my queue just got one pattern longer.

  61. sigh …yes, i am working on a baby blanket …no, not done yet …yes, its huge and i’m tired of it …no, i shouldn’t have looked …yes, i bought it …no, i didn’t listen to the halot’s warnings …yes i’ve been looking for that yarn i stashed from spirit trail no, i probably won’t sleep till i’ve found it …sigh, kath

  62. I want you to know that I have *never* purchased a pattern thirty seconds after viewing it on a blog. Until today. Gotta have that Catkin!

  63. I recently caught a newscast that stated delivery of an overdue pregnancy can be induced by fresh lemon. The interview covered a bakery which served “lemon drop cupcakes” to women who came in looking for help getting their labor to start. Even local OB-GYN physicians have started to recommend the women to go get the cupcakes. The baker commented that she used fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in the cupcakes, which means that it is based on natural ingredients. Maybe this is something Jen is willng to try? Can 19 overdue women be wrong?

  64. How Funny! I bought the yarn and the pattern for Catkin while at Sock Summit, I love the textural quality of this design.

  65. Thanks so much for this. Where I live, this kind of small shawl is essential equipment for much of the year, and this is a real charmer.

  66. I’ve been drooling over this one since I first saw it on Ravelry.I may have to make it my mission at Rhinebeck to find just the right yarn for it.Thanks for the final push of inspiration to jump on the Catkin wagon!

  67. Oh man! I disregarded your disclaimer. I should have listened to it. Now I have another item in my queue.

  68. wow, that is an awesome shawl! I love how geometric it is (which is probably one reason you thought West). Love that Chinatown Apple too.

  69. I’m in an obsessive scarf mode myself…I bookmarked one on Ravelry and really, I’m not the scarf-making type! I prefer hats and other fun stuff like difficult sweaters that turn my mind into mud and make me a difficult person for the dust bunnies to live with.

  70. If you like this, check out Ysolda’s Peaks Island hood…buttons, scarf, headcover..and a fun knit….

  71. That catkin was the hit of the conference! I bought yarn and my friend and I will be doing a KAL as soon as we have some other projects wrapped up. 🙁 I want it so bad!

  72. Isn’t it fabulous to sometimes just give in to the moment? And it is a cunning looking shawl, and I’m not much of a shawl person either. Its different looking, more tailored I think, and, not lace. Thanks for sharing!

  73. Yes, I do have a baby blanket I’m working on. So I’ve added it to favorites and I’m going to let it go. For now. Or at least I’m going to try. 🙂

  74. You do have an eye.
    The project photos on the Rav page are some of the best ever. All the color choices are great.

  75. Had to have that pattern asap- . Now I have to live to be 110 to finish all the project on my list.

  76. Be careful – shawlette-type scarves are ADDICTIVE! I have 4 completed and yarn for #5. Seriously. I can’t stop. And they’re perfect for those gorgeous skeins of sock yarn that you want to use for something special. I mean, you wear them up around your FACE, how much more on-display can you get?

  77. I can’t start anymore projects till I finish my sweater (2 years now), the booties, sweater and hat for the layette set for my baby due in 5 weeks and a nursing shawl. Huh that seems like a lot as I’m typing it, guess I’d better get off the computer and start knitting.

  78. *craning her neck painfully* That’s a scarf? Really? Are you sure? Cuz it looks like a sweater to me…look, button holes and everything.
    Maybe I should go peek at the pattern and get a better look…what could one look hurt, right?
    Must….not….must…not….cannot resist urge….AAAGHHHHGGGGGG!!!!

  79. Chinatown Apple is my single most favorite color of yarn of all time, full stop, the end. I dally with other colors and combinations and have flings with purples and blues and greens, but I always come back to THAT color. I can’t explain it.
    Needless to say, I salute your choice.

  80. well, you did warn me. And I think I do have the yarn somewhere in my stash, and the pattern is now firmly in my queue. Sigh.

  81. Seriously stylish. Thank you for the heads up – I don’t think this trend has made it to Switzerland yet.

  82. If I didn’t like you so much (even though we’ve never met!) I would be cursing you right now. Guess who just bought yarn and printed out the pattern??? You have such great taste! I’ll have to put some pics up on ravelry soon. I’m mandylee81. Sigh. I’ll be knitting my swatch tonight!
    Thanks YarnHarlot (no really, I’m being sincere, thank you!)

  83. I fell for this same exact scarf/shawl/thing, too! Two women at our booth had them in two totally different colorways and I was immediately smitten.

  84. Okay, Presbytera gets the award for best comment! I’m going to be giggling picturing a pregnant Joe in half a gansey for the rest of the day.
    And while it’s always fun reading about your adventures in other areas- I do love to see what you’re knitting! It’s going to be a lovely scarf. And I haven’t even stopped drooling over the baby blanket yet. (If you publish the pattern, you should call it the Epic Blanket!)

  85. I’ve been in love with this pattern since I saw it earlier this year. I felt jealous of all the knitters wearing it at the Summit! How did they get it done so quickly??
    Right now I am making myself finish that vest I promised hubby….then the sweater that is just missing a 4th of a sleeve and hem…
    THEN I can start this…

  86. Oh no, I’m hooked. This pattern is absolutely beautiful and I just have to knit it. Now the dilemma begins…do I finish my current WIP or dive right into this pattern? I love it. Thanks for sharing. Your knitting looks beautiful!

  87. I too jumped on it the minute I saw you tweet about it, and immediately repurposed two colors of TML to make it – got to the second part, and drifted away to something more mindless; definitely will pick it up again, probably in a day or two. Thanks once again, Steph!

  88. Catkin did the same to me. That “must knit now” that certain patterns have. I finished mine out of bugga in under two weeks which is pretty obsessive for me. I did wear to Sock summit, was mine one of the ones you saw? Maybe.
    While at Sock Summit I bought 2 skiens of Hazel Knits to make another Catkin. This time with steampunk buttons. I can’t wait.

  89. What lovely colours you picked! I have the bug to knit this thing too, but first there will be a custom-dyed-for-me cashmere blend damson. I think that’s fancy enough to make me bear waiting to cast on the catkin.

  90. I love your comment about the problems wearing shawls, especially “how do you keep your purse strap from screwing it up anyway”, because that is a particular pet peeve of mine. Excellent solution. And congrats on finishing the baby blanket.

  91. Why don’t I listen to you??? It’s not a baby blanket I’m trying to finish. It’s a knitted stuffed lion. Still….

  92. Coincidental – I was eyeballing this a while back and put it in my favorites. Loved the colors on the pictures of it, and got all wound up (np) about what colors to use, blah, blah, blah. Ended up with the Margaree Harbor Shawl because of the one color – one less decision. May go for catkin right after the queued Guernsey shawl is finished. Might have a color scheme in mind by then!

  93. That swatch would make a beautiful scarf if you just keep on going. Just wondering, why do you need a gauge swatch for a shawl?

  94. Catkin hooked me last month! Because of her, I discovered the velvety softness of tosh merino light! Now, as I am knitting happily away on this project, my mind is exploring color combinations for the next one. And how fun is it to find just the right buttons? This has been one of my favorite knitting projects of all time. Oh, and I’m also a big fan of the clutch purse, for certain occasions. It makes me feel all Audrey Hepburn, and there’s no strap to screw up my wrap. (Accidental rhyme there.)

  95. I am so used to finding cool knitting projects because YOU find them and blog about them, (thanks, much!) that having this project on my needles BEFORE you blogged or tweeted about it is making me a little dizzy. Head rush …

  96. Wow – thanks for the link! Somehow I had not seen this pattern before. Looks like the perfect garment for watching TV & knitting in a drafty old house.

  97. I think you will want to put a facebook icon to your site. I just bookmarked this site, although I had to make this manually. Just my $.02 🙂
    My blog:
    dsl anbieter

  98. Yeah. As soon as I saw that swatch, I thought, “Catkin.” I’ve been eyeing that thing on Ravelry for a long time. Ummmmm, yours looks really, really good.

  99. You knew exactly what you were doing when you posted this one. Of course I fell for it.

  100. I cannot commit to Grandmothers dishcloth directions without having to rip it out at least once which I am doing right now.
    Early dementia or I just don’t know how to fix errors.

  101. My friend Lynn just finished knitting this and it’s freakin awesome when it’s finished! I love the colors you picked!

  102. This. looks. Awesome. I found this pattern as part of obsessive searching through Ravelry for patterns to knit for my Steampunk swap partner (and then ended up making up patterns, as is my usual way with these things), and I wanted to have it immediately.
    Also, yes, Stephen West’s neck things are amazing. 😀 Gotta love his patterns, especially with all the amazing colorwork.

  103. As soon as I clicked the link to Ravelry and saw it, I had to have it! Searching for the perfect yarn now. THANK you for sharing!

  104. Uh oh! Well, you warned us. I checked the link immediately, saw just a few of the 377 projects from this pattern and now have a sick fantasy: I would LOVE to make this out of Silk Road Light. I would LOVE to win the lottery….

  105. I’ve been eying this one for what feels like the longest time. It’s in my “faves” and I just may have to boot it up to my queue! Love your color choice!

  106. oh, I looked. I have never once had a “absolutely must dropped everything and make this” moment until now. I must make this. And I’m supposed to knitting a blanket for my brother’s wedding. You warned us….

  107. Do you think, Stephanie, that this shawl has enough texture to work in one colour? I keep looking at my brown Fisherman Wool and wondering. It shows texture beautifully, cables and moss stitch and such. 🙂

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