I love a good mystery! Putting together all the hints one's given and then trying to come up with who did it and how it was done! Well, I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but there's a big mystery that's hit the on-line knitting community .... who made this shawl and how did they do it??
The shawl in question is the green/brown hued one worn by Lupita Nyong'o in the newly released Black Panther movie and probably ever since the first showing, everyone's been dying to make their own! I haven't seen the movie yet (am anxiously awaiting digital release as I have an airborne allergy to corn so, yeah - movie theaters are a danger zone), but I probably would've been like many I've read about who saw that shawl and don't know what happened in the rest of the scene. What is it about this shawl? I think in part it's the gorgeous earthy colors and its almost home-spun look, but also the variety of knitting stitches - it just looks fun!
Years ago, I walked into the now gone Yarn Garden in Portland, Oregon and fell in love with a blanket on display up front. I couldn't even look at anything else. It was in wonderful shades of green, gold, and cream .... many types and weights of yarn, many different knit stitches. It's probably that blanket that got me serious about learning to knit (well, that and I was working on my Master's Degree and in a fibers class that I had to learn to knit for). I started working on one immediately. Being a beginning knitter, I felt intimidated by anything other than garter stitch, so I just varied the types of yarn. When our first grandson was born, I made him this blanket using that same technique and blogged about it here.
I have to say, these blankets were some of the projects I've had the most fun with! It was addictive to see how the fabric changed with changes of yarn and I'd stay up way into the night to get to just "one more" new color.
So back to the mystery ..... After throwing myself fully into searching out clues and obsessively reading every Ravelry group talking about "the shawl" (the two best so far are a needlework news and events forum here and a group that is working on designs inspired by the movie and shawl but not copying it here), this is what I have. 1) it is a rectangular wrap 2) the designer used four yarns - one by Noro that's silk and wool, one by Malabrigo that's wool, and two by Madelinetosh, a wool/linen blend and a wool/ silk blend 3) there are no plans as of now to release the pattern 4) there are numerous photos and a few videos since the shawl is on display at the ArcLight Hollywood so people have been documenting it in detail - lots of photos on the needlework news and events site I linked to above.
I'm planning on making one, but I'm not feeling bound to make it exactly like the one in the movie. However, I do really like the colors (they are really "me" colors) and most of the knitted stitches! Here's what I have so far on my best guesses at the yarns - please read again that these are my best guesses and are undoubtedly not completely correct.
Noro yarn - this one seems pretty easy. That second section up from the bottom just screams NORO! I'm pretty sure it is color 359, but I'm undecided on whether to use Silk Garden or Silk Garden Sock. I'm leaning toward the sock since I really liked how mixing up the yarn weights looked in the blankets I made. Just a heads up - if you're thinking of doing this shawl and using this yarn, 359 has been discontinued in Silk Garden Sock.
Malabrigo yarn - this one was a little tougher. It's hard to tell which of the yarn weights was used, but I think the section at the very top of Nakia's head might be Pocion. The blue and rusty pink seems to match. Now, if you've used Malabrigo before and gone back to get another skein to finish out a project, you already know the colorways vary from skein to skein - sometimes by a lot.
Madelinetosh #1 - the wool/linen yarn is easy as Dandelion is their only yarn that fits the description. It also knits up like the first section on the bottom of the photo. Bad news - Dandelion was discontinued and is getting tough to find. The way the fabric looks, I'm guessing this was done with two strands of dandelion held together - my best guess is Shire (or maybe Fir Wreath?) and Antique Lace.
Madelinetosh #2 - my guess on colorway agrees with the current thought in the forums, Plaid Blanket. Which yarn, though? As far as I know, Pashmina is the only silk/wool blend (it also has cashmere) available in Plaid Blanket.
Update: The designer of the original shawl released the colorways she/he used - I got two out of the four! The Madelinetosh is Dandelion in Shire and Tosh Merino Light in Plaid Blanket, the Malabrigo is Mechita in Hojos, and the Noro is Silk Garden in color number 430.
There was also a chart of the stitches and color placement you can access here and here. I'll blog more about this later!
2nd update: I have more information about the shawl here in my next post!
So here are the yarns I've gathered so far:
Noro Silk Garden Sock in 359, Malabrigo Arroyo in Procion, and as a substitute for Shire in Madelinetosh Dandelion, Shibui Knits Twig in Fjord - it's stiffer in the hank but blooms after washing, and I gravitate more to the evergreen shades of green. The rest of my plans are Madelinetosh Dandelion in Antique Lace and Pashmina in Plaid Blanket. These all came from Eat.Sleep.Knit.
I'll keep you updated on how it goes and what stitches I decide on! And if you love knitting or crochet, I highly recommend trying a shawl where you pick out the colors and stitches that you love. Once I get going, I can help with dimensions and yarn amounts.
Happy Creating! Deborah