Hawserlaid is a wide shallow triangular shawl knitted from tip to tip or wing to wing, increasing, then decreasing as you go. The stitch pattern is a travelling rib that is worked asymmetrically across the shawl.
The sample is knitted in Quince & Co.’s Tern yarn, a beautiful fingering/4ply wool/silk yarn in the Dusk colour way. It was an absolute pleasure to knit with. It has a lovely hand and creates fabulous stitch definition and drape in the final fabric which also has a slight sheen. I liked it so much I have some more in the post on its way to me right now.
The idea for this shawl/scarf came to me whilst I was busily plaiting the onions, shallots, and garlic that we grew on our allotment this year. I plait our alliums so we can hang them in the kitchen and use them over the winter. Once plaited, the top end of the plait is folded over and I use heavy string to tie off the ends and to make a hanging loop. The string is made of multiple strands divided into three plies and twisted together. This is reflected in the stitch pattern I’ve used that imitates the texture and appearance of heavy string or rope. The knitting takes on this characteristic more and more as it is knitted. The knitter can then decide how much you want to block this out once finished.
As for the name, Hawserlaid, ‘laid,’ is the traditional term for twist in rope and string construction and ‘hawser’ refers to the three strands, so a hawser-laid rope is a three-strand twisted rope.
What I love about Quince & Co. is not only that their yarn is gorgeous to knit with and comes in a stunning colour palette but also that it is produced in a considered and responsible manner. I think they put this very well on their website so I’ll just quote it here so you can see for yourself:
We offer wool yarns that are sourced and spun in the US. Known in the trade as “territory wool,” our wool comes from Merino, Rambouillet, and Columbia-based sheep that roam the ranges of Montana and Wyoming. All our wool and wool-blend yarns are spun in New England mills with venerable histories. By sourcing our wool in the US and manufacturing our yarn locally, we minimize our carbon footprint.
But, hey, as much as we want to promote our American sheep and yarns, we also want to enjoy the pleasures of fibers that aren’t readily available in the US. We also want to be responsible for what we import. So, when we blend our wool with other fibers, we find out as much as possible where, how, and by whom they came to be. If we’re sourcing a yarn from a plant fiber, we want to know if it was grown in conditions that are healthy for the soil and for those who tend and harvest it.
If we’re looking for an animal fiber, we want to know if the animal was raised in a way that sustains the earth and preserves the culture of the people who care for it.
If, like me, you’re not based in the US, you can be assured that there are UK companies who work on a similar model with similar commitment to their materials and it’s impact on our environment. But if you are based in the US or just want to widen your horizons I have knitted with both Tern and Chickadee and just love them both.
Anyway, back to Scarves Etc. 2014, I must admit it really is an honour to be included in such a beautiful collection. You can browse the patterns in the lookbook here. There really is something for everyone and something for every knitting mood, from lace and cables to garter and seed, textured and slipped stitches and colour work. Moreover, for those of us in temperate climes there’s something for every season, from ‘bundle me up it’s cold out here’ to ‘there’s a bit of a nip in this evening air so I may just cover my shoulders’.
The Quince & Co. group on Ravelry is also hosting a Knit-A-Long. It starts officially on Monday 17th March and runs until April 30th. And what’s more, they’ll be picking 3 participants at random to win a $50 gift certificate to be spent on quinceandco.com – Do come over and join in for your chance to win and participate in the KAL chat.
All photographs in this post © Carrie Bostick Hoge