Malabrigo Quickie River Bend by Lindsay Lewchuk
In the northern hemisphere it is in the middle of a sweltering summer and the idea of cooling silk and a flowing river of water might be just the thing to turn down the heat. Eco conscious designer Lindsay Lewchuk put her design skills to the test to create the River Bend scarf, a light and innovative warm weather accessory that takes only 2 skeins of our silk base Mora!
Because I couldn't quite figure out how she had achieved this intertwining of streams of silk I asked Lindsay to write up a bit about her process and inspiration.
In recent years, Puddles (her great dane- ed.) and I determined to select a theme under which to publish our designs ~ from Color, to Daring Details, to Eco Elements, to our 2019 theme, Fiber Focus. Our goal this year, under Fiber Focus, is to examine the processes and natures of various fibers. Silk yarn was up next and I couldn't resist the urge of casting on some luxurious Malabrigo Mora to have a design debut to accompany the blog.
Concurrently, I was thrilled to be accepted into the Malabrigo Quickies program again this year! The prompt: a non-cowl 1-2 skein item. After settling on a summer scarf and with the forecast calling for an extra hot summer, my mind turned to ways of incorporating gaps into the design. Gaps like watching water ebb and flow over rocky river bases and seeing those iconic swirling downspouts created as the currents belie the massive rock formations below. I know the simplest way would be to use lace; however, I wanted to stretch the limits of the silk to discover if it were possible to create a structured item in what is otherwise an extremely drapey fiber.
Several prototypes later; I sent the proposal in and it was a "yes". The yarn arrived and I started knitting... but something was bothering me! Designed with a single cable transitioning the river and riverbed elements, an uncomfortable twist was forming since the skinny scarf lacked stitches on either side to anchor the transition down. It was back to the drawing board and many, many teeny tiny swatches to see just what worked. My creative side jumped around different techniques, much to my tech editor's chagrin. The pattern grew in length and difficulty as I tried to force the fiber to act in a way that was unnatural, until one day, it just clicked... just because a single cable was insufficient, the mass of cables was overkill!
As easy as that, the design pieces fell into place resulting in a skinny summer scarf that doesn't twist at the color transition! The pattern went through a major culling until the quickie nature once again resounded in the pattern directions. This piece is designed to engage the little grey cells on the first repeat, but then becomes an effortless, perfect for summer, repeat as you knit in true quickies fashion.
Working with Lindsay, we chose the colors Simple Taupe and Azure, in keeping with the cooling river theme. You'll need a set of US size 4 (3.5mm) DPN plus a cable needle and you will be on your way! Of course, you can choose your own color combination and have a blast.