It all started with some remnant yarn. I have a few jars full of fingering weight yarn leftover from sock projects that I didn’t know what to do with so I decided to cast on this Find Your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry sometime last year. I began with this dark purple yarn I bought by Dyed By Darrin from Lion Brand Studio (RIP 😔) which I had leftover from a pair of socks I made my brother.
I then added in some Madeline Tosh yarn I had leftover from a pair of socks I made my mother-in-law. After that came some blue yarn I bought on sale from Yarnia which I unfortunately can’t remember the brand name of. I had used it to make a pair of socks for my sister.
I was enjoying the faded shawl making process so much and was feeling so satisfied at using up my remnants, I decided to cast on a second shawl while still working on my Find Your Fade Shawl. The shawl to the left is the Free Your Fade Shawl, also by Andrea Mowry. I guess I’m just an Andrea Mowry fan girl.
After the blue yarn from my sister’s socks, I was running out of skeins large enough for the rest of the sections. So I decided to take my time and pick each additional color out as I came to it. The fourth color I added in was by Spun Right Round, which I also purchased from Yarnia. After that, I added in another Madeline Tosh yarn in grey that I purchased from Knitty City.
The next yarn I added was special. I was becoming a little anxious about how much this shawl might cost me when I came across a post on Instagram by someone in need of a project bag. I noticed she was an indie dyer and was a little smitten with one of her yarn colorways called “Crackle.” I messaged her and asked if she would be up for a trade. I would give her a project bag in exchange for a couple of skeins of her yarn. It was a while before I heard back from her and I was afraid she might think I was crazy. Luckily she was into the idea and we made the exchange! I loved working with her yarn so much. You can find her Etsy shop here. Below is the project bag she selected and I’m so glad she liked it in return.
For the last yarn, I really wanted to support an Asian American indie dyer. I had discovered Marianated Yarns online and loved all of her colorways. The NJ Sheep and Fiber Festival was coming up and she was listed as a vendor so I anxiously waited for the festival to arrive to purchase her yarn in person. I knew exactly which colorway I wanted and my husband was keen on buying it for me for my birthday. When we finally arrived at the festival and found the barns with all the vendors, I became overwhelmed. Clutching my vendor layout, I tried to make my way through the crowd looking for Marianated Yarns. Luckily we found her before long and I found the yarn I wanted right away. Then I did a quick pass around to see what all the other vendors had to offer. I purchased only one other skein of yarn from Wobble Gobble, another Asian indie dyer. I think I spent all of 20 minutes shopping the booths altogether, subconsciously searching out faces that resembled mine the whole time. My husband, Kevin, was surprised I didn’t need more time. I had been talking about shopping at this festival for weeks. It wasn’t until we got to the car that I confided in my white husband that I felt overwhelmed and anxious being in that large of a crowd with mostly white people. I felt very out of place and insecure. It made me feel a very deep sense of the anguish people have shared on Instagram. Luckily no incidences occurred, but I couldn’t help but feel a little alienated. That’s why I’ve loved seeing the #AsianKnittersofInstagram hashtag on Instagram and seeing so many faces that look like mine enjoying the same craft. Even if it’s only online, it’s very comforting. I hope to meet some of them in real life one day.
As much comfort as I find seeing other Asian knitters on Instagram, I’ve always felt uncomfortable sharing pictures of my own face online since the internet can be pretty creepy. So I’ve resorted to mostly sharing my makes on my dress form. So here is my finished Find Your Fade Shawl on my good ol’ dress form. Maybe at some point I’ll feel more comfortable adding my face to the mix with all the other #AsianKnittersofInstagram but for now my dress form and the cartoon graphic my sister drew of me as my profile picture will have to do.
I recently began a new job and was looking for a knitting project to keep me occupied on the train. Thus, I dug through my yarn remnants and cast on yet another Find Your Fade Shawl. It’s a little cumbersome to work on during my train ride, but I love that I don’t have to think too much while working on it at this point.
It was also soothing to start out my day by working on it and sipping my tea. Settling into a new job with a new setting and co-workers is always a little stressful even though I’m a freelancer who’s used to it. I don’t know if it ever gets easier but having worked so many jobs at this point, I know in the back of my mind that I will settle in eventually and that is comforting at least.
I started this shawl with some leftover yarn I had from my Bennet Sister Shawl by Mockingbird Fiber Co. Then I melted in two yarns I had leftover from making a Boxy Sweater by Joji Locatelli by The Farmers Daughter Fibers and Autumn and Indigo. For the third section, I underestimated how much yarn I had and needed to supplement it with another yarn I had leftover from a pair of socks in a similar color. After that, I used some metallic yarn from Earl Grey Fiber Co. that I purchased from Wool and Honey using a generous gift code for $25 that they gave out during the holidays. The yarn that followed that was more leftover from my Boxy Sweater by The Farmers Daughter Fibers. Finally, I finished with some Brooklyn Tweed Peerie yarn. It was perfect in that it included 210 yards and I only needed 200 yards for the last section.
I’m so happy with how these both came out and I know I’ll have trouble deciding between the two to wear from now on. But they were both very fun projects to work on that helped relax me during stressful times. And I love that color melting allows me to combine yarns from all different dyers and spread my support around. The knitting community has been very tense online lately and I think that we could all use some more unity, which is what these shawls represent to me.
Happy Knitting, everyone!