This shawl really lets that Noro yarn sing. I burned, very quickly I might add, through one skein to make this shawl - and apparently just in time as the temps here in Wisconsin are starting to dip into the 40's during the wee morning hours. The pattern called for regular color changes, to induce a predictable striping pattern I presume, but I went with my own interpretation and made the color changes a bit more random. I love the dramatic look of the shawl and the way the colors flow with each other; yet the colors are so different from one to the next. The last photo is the most true to color.
I was initially worried that the shawl, which I've mostly been wearing as a scarf, would be scratchy as it is 100% wool. While knitting it I did come across the random bit of straw too. But after a good soak and blocking it's really softened up. I love that about wool.
You might wonder about my blocking mat here in the photo...it's actually one of those kids foam floor mats that you can piece together in any number of sizes and shapes. We initially picked it up at Target, to cover part of the chilly tile floor in our sun room, but quickly realized that the kids preferred to chew on it, rather than play on top of it. So I put it away in a closet. About a month ago I noticed this new product in one of my favorite knitting catalogs and remembered that I had something similar stashed away. I'm so glad that I'm getting some use out of it, and there's no need to worry about ingesting it this time around.