Four Color Bradway Shawl
Posted on 20 June 2017
I think I probably own somewhere around 2783 scarves or cowls...but not a single shawl. I've just never really considered myself a shawl person. But you know what kind of person I am? A blanket person. Enter the Bradway Shawl. This thing is basically like a big ol' knit blanket that you can wrap around yourself and stay cozy. Right up my alley!
I've had Bradway on my knitting list for a long time - ever since I saw it at my local yarn store ages ago. But I just couldn't decide on what yarn to use and what colors to pick and it kind of seemed like I might never land on a combination. Then Cedar House Yarns came along.
Toasted Marshmallow and Ginger became quick favorites of mine as soon as we received our first shipment from Cedar House Yarns. I personally think that dusty pink and mustard are basically neutrals (and just so happen to be part of my Curated Closet color palette) so they became the base of my shawl. I tried to add only Snow or Ink to keep it at the three colors that the pattern calls for, but I just couldn't narrow it down. And after seeing a couple other four color versions on Ravelry (here and here), I knew it could be done.
I studied these versions as I knit my own version and copied quite a bit of how they adjusted the pattern, with only a few changes. I wanted it as big as possible, so if there was ever an opportunity to add some extra rows, I took it. So, on to some of the details...
I hope I'm not being too vague in my descriptions, but I want to be cautious about not giving away too much of the pattern, as I'm a HUGE fan of the designer, Shannon, and want to make sure she gets all the credit for this amazing pattern!
I knit the first three section as called for, using the main color (Toasted Marshmallow), contrast color #1 (CC #1 - Snow), and contrast color #2 (CC #2 - Ginger). I then added two rows of garter stitch to create a stripe in contrast color #3 (CC #3 - Ink) before starting section 4 with the tile texture.
Instead of knitting the second ribbed section in CC #1 like the pattern calls for, I used CC #3 (Ink) and then continued into section six as called for with the main color (Toasted Marshmallow). I added two rows of garter stitch in CC #1 (Snow) and CC #2 (Ginger) before completing the final rib section as pattern is written.
I added one more set of garter stitch rows in CC #3 (Ink) before finishing with the final tile section and the garter stripes in CC #1 and CC #2 (Snow and Ink). The shawl wasn't quite big enough yet (and I still had some more yarn!), so I added a final rib section in CC #3 (Ink) before finishing and casting off in the main color (Toasted Marshmallow).
By adding all of the extra stripes and rib section, my stitch count was different from the pattern almost immediately. But I really appreciate the Shannon took the time to add a table to the pattern with an explanation of what the stitch count should be at the different sections of the pattern. There's nothing worse than when you read a pattern and it says "Knit for 17 inches, increasing every 4th row until you have 256 stitches." Um, what? How can you keep track of that?! Having a way to check in and make sure you're on track as you knit was SUPER helpful.
I also love that this shawl is knit in worsted weight yarn. I really don't think I would have had the patience to get this done in any sort of timely manner if it had been in fingering weight. It also gives it some weight and makes it feel pretty substantial when I put it on, which I love.
I do think that I need to block my shawl again to get it a little bigger. I wasn't really sure how to go about blocking it since it was so big, so I stretched it as far as I could on my blocks...it just wasn't far enough. I saw a picture on Instagram of someone using clothespins and a clothesline to block it and I'm definitely going to need to try that idea to get it a bit bigger - I know it has more room to grow!
This pattern is so much fun to knit! It goes really quickly in worsted weight, but it's also addicting. I found myself staying up WAY too late, saying "I'm just going to finish this section..." One section turned into two and before you know it, I was done!
It's already become the perfect layer for these gloomy June-uary days we've been having in the Pacific Northwest lately and I can definitely see myself wearing it later this summer during cool evenings and early mornings. I really can't recommend the Bradway Shawl enough! The changes in texture and color are just perfect.