Choosing Yarn for Your Dragonfruit Shawl

Dragonfruit Shawl Collage

When I invited the Dragonfruit Shawl testers to share their yarn choices, I was amazed by the variety of yarns and color combinations that poured in. Some posted pictures of gorgeous gradients, others chimed in with solid and slow-color-change and self-striping yarns, and still others showed off combinations of yarns from all categories.

Altogether, my 26 inventive testers used over 30 different yarns to create their shawls. I hope the gallery of possibilities below inspires you when choosing yarn for your own Dragonfruit Shawl. With so many possibilities, you can make this shawl over and over again with a different look each time.

The Backstory Behind the Original Yarn: Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber

Two of my testers, MrsMcD918 and nikkifox81, also used Jazz Handz for their Dragonfruit Shawls. Coincidentally, they both used the same colorway, Rainbow Sherbet.

Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, created by the wonderfully sweet Susan Herkness, inspired and motivated me when working on the Dragonfruit design. When I received my very first cake of Jazz Handz, which I had ordered in the Bird of Paradise III colorway as a birthday present to myself, I had a vision of it worked up as a richly textured crescent shawl.

On fire with inspiration, I set to work to create my dream shawl. Hesitant to use such a gorgeous yarn for mere prototypes and possible failures, I used other yarns to experiment with textures and shaping techniques. These efforts, however, were largely unfruitful. Months of swatching and dreaming failed to produce anything close to the shawl I had imagined.

Disheartened, I unwrapped the gorgeous cake of Jazz Handz once more from its carefully wrapped swaddle of tissue paper. I suddenly felt an urge to work with it, to feel it running through my hands and over my hook, to watch with delight and suspense as the colors changed. After an argument with my perfectionist side, which advocated for perfecting the design in a different yarn first, I picked up my hook and began to crochet with it.

My first attempt was far from perfect, and my perfectionist side had cause to gloat as I regretfully unraveled several rows and rewound the yarn around the outside of the center-pull cake. The yarn was resilient, however. It looked none the worse from being frogged, and I realized that I, too, was none the worse for having tried.

In fact, I was better off. I had become acquainted with the feel of the yarn, and seen it worked up, and thus I had a better intuition for which textures would suit it best. Not only this, but in returning to the yarn, my original source of inspiration, I had rekindled my passion and excitement for my quest. Hook in hand, I picked up the yarn with renewed energy and confidence.

At the end of a few more days, which passed not without some frogging and frustration, my dream shawl was complete, and I felt the exhilaration that only comes after surmounting a difficult challenge. I couldn’t wait to share the newly born Dragonfruit Shawl.

To learn more about Susan Herkness and her wonderful yarn Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, check out my interview with her here.

Inspired to make your own Dragonfruit Shawl in Jazz Handz yarn? Click here to visit the Jazz Handz Etsy shop.

Other Yarn Choices

Gradient

Gradient yarns were a popular choice among testers because the pattern is easily modified to use an entire skein or gradient set. With Dragonfruit, you don’t have to worry about any colors going to waste.

Solids

Dragonfruit also looks well in solid-colored yarns. Whether you make it monochrome or use a different color for each panel, solid colors show off the contrast between each panel of texture and the intricate edging.

Slow-Color-Change and Self-Striping

The stitch patterns of each panel help blend the transitions of both self-striping yarns and slow-color-change yarns such as Knit Picks Chroma and Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable.

Variegated, Semisolid, and Combination

Dragonfruit is a great stashbuster shawl! Those beautiful but often tricky-to-use skeins of variegated yarn can be used by themselves or paired with coordinating solids and tonals.

Ready to make your own Dragonfruit Shawl? Click here to buy it on Ravelry.

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The Dragonfruit Shawl

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I am incredibly excited to announce the publication of my latest design, the Dragonfruit Shawl!

About the Design

Featuring an engaging hybrid construction and an unusual border, Dragonfruit is an adventure of a shawl. Its three textured panels and intricate edging pack a visual punch, whether made in solid, gradient, variegated, or slow-color-change yarn.

The pattern is written using US terminology.

Recommended yarn:

Dragonfruit was designed in Jazz Handz Fusion Fiber, a wonderful unplied cotton gradient yarn available on Etsy. Its excellent stitch definition and semi-gloss finish showcase the fine details of the textured panels and intricate edging. The dramatic color changes, far from diminishing the effect, enhance the contrast between the panels.

Dragonfruit is tremendously versatile, and there are plenty of possibilities for yarn to choose from. Dragonfruit is suited to solid, tonal, striped, and even variegated yarn! You can also mix and match by using different yarns for each panel. For inspiration, check out the wonderful projects on the pattern page.

Click here for a blog post all about Dragonfruit yarn choices!

Techniques and Difficulty Level:

Dragonfruit incorporates the following techniques:

  • basic stitches (ch, sc, sl st, hdc, dc, trc)
  • basic increases and decreases
  • back loop only stitches
  • back loop only slip stitch

Construction:
Dragonfruit is worked in 3 sections. Starting with a single shell, the Section I is worked from the bottom upwards. Then the work is turned, and the other sections and the edging are worked from the top down.

Customization:

Dragonfruit is a shawl of endless possibilities. By playing with proportions, trying different transitions, and concocting original color combinations, you can create a Dragonfruit Shawl uniquely your own. For inspiration, check out the wonderful projects on the pattern page.

A blog post about customizing your Dragonfruit Shawl is coming soon.

How to wear it:

See 5 Ways to Wear a Crescent Shawl.

What to expect in the pattern:

For a complete list of what to expect when you buy a Knot Theorist pattern, click here.

Here is what you can expect to find in the pattern-specific designer notes:

  • a summary of how the shawl is constructed
  • a schematic of the body with labeled pattern sections
  • how to treat turning chains
  • where to place the first stitch of each row
  • tips for working the slip stitches
  • instructions for an alternate transition between Sections I and II (as seen in the Dragonfruit in Grey)
  • instructions for customizing your shawl size

Coupon code:

And now, my wonderful followers, here is a launch discount just for you. Add the Dragonfruit Shawl to your Ravelry cart and use the coupon code “KTDblog” without quotation marks to enjoy 20% off the Dragonfruit Shawl. This code will expire at 23:59 PST on July 18, 2016. Thank you for following the Knot Theorist blog!

The Dragonfruit Shawl by Knot Theorist Designs

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The Bridgette Shawl

Bridgette Shawl Bridgette Shawl

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I am pleased to announce the publication of my latest design, the Bridgette Shawl! It is available on KnitPicks and Ravelry.

About Bridgette

Bridgette is a shallow crescent shawl designed to keep the shoulders warm during the transition seasons. Together, the textured body and lacy geometric border form a versatile accessory that can be worn with both dressy and casual outfits.

Recommended yarn:

Bridgette was designed in Comfy Fingering Weight, a lightweight cotton-acrylic blend that is squishy soft, yet sturdy enough for everyday wear.

Skills required:

To crochet the Bridgette Shawl, you need to know the following:

  • the basic stitches (ch, sc, sl st, hdc, dc, tr)
  • basic increases and decreases
  • back loop only stitches

If you can do all three of those things, you can crochet this shawl! Bridgette is suited for both beginner and experienced crocheters.

Construction:
The body of Bridgette is worked sideways. A varying increase/decrease rate forms the outer curved edge. The other edge remains flat throughout. A round of single crochet surrounds the body, then the border is worked along the curved edge.

What to expect in the pattern:

For a complete list of what to expect when you buy a Knot Theorist pattern, click here.

Here is what you can expect to find in the pattern-specific designer notes:

  • a summary of how the shawl is constructed
  • a schematic of the body with labeled pattern sections
  • how to treat turning chains
  • where to place the first stitch of each row
  • a table explaining how the increases work

How to wear it:

See 5 Ways to Wear a Crescent Shawl.

Coupon code:

And now, dear readers, here is a launch discount just for you. Add the Bridgette Shawl to your Ravelry cart and use the coupon code “KTDblog” without quotation marks to enjoy 25% off the Bridgette Shawl. This code will expire at 23:59 PST on March 26, 2016. Thank you for following the Knot Theorist blog!


Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves

Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves

I recently finished another project from my Karissa’s Fingerless Gloves pattern: this time I made elbow-length wristwarmers using Knit Picks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway. I think you can guess Who was the inspiration Four the colors. 🙂

This was my first project made with Knit Picks Felici, which is an acrylic-wool fingering weight yarn that comes in self-striping colorways. It’s incredibly soft and light, and I only needed one ball of it to create my Tom Baker Fingerless Gloves! I have one more ball of the Time Traveler colorway…

What shall I make next?

Note: Hi Moogly and Petals to Picot Readers! I’m Keilah, the Knot Theorist, and I’m honored to be featured on the 100th HOHD. If you’d like to see the free pattern for this project, click here. If this is your first time visiting my blog, make sure to read my About page, and check out my latest posts, such as my Interview with Vicky Chan, which includes a special giveaway. If you’d like to see more of my recent projects, you can also look at my Titan Top and my projects for my WIP It Good challenge. Also, please feel free to like, comment, and subscribe! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

City Neckwarmer

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One of my favorite go-to gift patterns is the City Neckwarmer by Donna Rutledge-Okoro. It’s a simple ruffled scarflette that only requires one ball of yarn and can be made in one sitting. This scarflette works with many different outfits and can be worn all year round.

The project pictured above was made in Lion Brand’s Modern Baby, which is an airy chainette acrylic/nylon blend, perfect for light spring accessories. I have also made this pattern with Lion Brand’s Cotton-Ease, which is slightly thicker, but just as breathable and machine-washable.

Chroma Crescent

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One of my favorite gift projects this Christmas was the Christmas Crescent. I loved the pattern so much, I had to make one for myself. The Chroma Crescent is now my favorite scarf. It’s my warmest and most colorful accessory.

The yarn I used was KnitPicks Chroma Fingering in the Carnival colorway. It’s a soft wool-nylon blend with beautiful stitch definition and stunning colorways. As with many wool blends, it’s a little tricky to frog, but other than that, I love the yarn.

The Spring Crescent pattern is definitely one of my go-to patterns for gifts now. It’s simple, versatile, and unique.

Sweet Eleanor Scarf

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Last December, I was looking for a quick, easy Christmas gift to make, but I also wanted to try something new. I had never done a project in lace before, so I decided to try a Sweet Eleanor Scarf. I prefer to give gifts that can be thrown in the washer and dryer, so I bought some acrylic crochet thread.

The pattern was unique, easy to follow, and required only one cake of lace yarn. Straight off the hook, though, my project was a frumpy mess. It needed some heavy blocking, but I had never blocked lace before.
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After a short search, I found a helpful article on How to Block Acrylic Lace by Subversive Knitting, and carried out the instructions. I was amazed at the difference it made! The stiff, rumpled project softened and expanded into a crisp, drapy scarf.

Karissa’s Fingerless Gloves – free pattern

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Last Saturday, I had an idea for a new design: gloves that would leave the very tips of the fingers open for use on touchscreen devices. Crocheting several narrow tubes for the fingers seemed complicated, so I looked for another solution.

I had an idea for a spiral design with openings at different finger heights. The concept wasn’t quite clear in my head, so I decided to test it with some scrap yarn. Since I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the cuff when I just wanted to check the finger design, I started from just below the thumb.

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Christmas Crescent

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November is almost over, and Christmas is approaching quickly. It’s time to start making presents!

The first gift I’ve finished so far is my first shawl project. I used one skein of Simply Soft Light in Hawaiian Sky to make Julie Aakjær’s beautiful Spring Crescent pattern, which is available as a free download on Ravelry, here.

I would definitely use both the yarn and the pattern again. The Simply Soft Light has great yardage for the price, is machine washable, and is available in several jewel-tone colors. Even after heavy frogging, the yarn hardly pills at all, although it sticks to itself in some places. The light twist of the yarn lends texture to the finished fabric and adds interest to the project. The Spring Crescent pattern has clear instructions and simple charts. It’s easy to modify to accommodate for different amounts and weights of yarn. This simple one-skein shawl will make a great gift.