I joked about it earlier in the year, but it really is starting to look like 2016 is the year of the shawl. Better yet, it's looking like the year of the Kauni shawl. I'm very okay with this.
As my regular readers will know I'm working hard at completing as many challenges as I can in the Knerd Girl Knits Bad-Ass Women Craft-Along. This round is focusing on women in literature, and one of the challenges was to knit something inspired by a woman in literature. The first thought in my head when I read the challenge was "where do I start?!" I have so many amazing, bad-ass female book characters that I've loved throughout my life that I found it hard to pick just one. Admittedly, my current favourite is Blue Sargent from Maggie Stiefvater's A-MAZ-ING series The Raven Cycle, but I don't have a good handle on how I could knit something inspired by her since her style isn't hugely similar to mine. I thought about dyeing her a colourway (that's almost certainly going to happen anyway) and just knitting something with it, but if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right. I'll still honour Blue some way, but this wasn't the project for it.
The next place my mind went was to Daenerys Targaryen from A Song of Ice and Fire. Although I admit that I've lost my enfranchisement with the TV show, Dany was one of my favourite book characters from the start (and still is at what is currently serving for the end). So I thought, I'll look for dragon-themed patterns to honour her as "Mother of Dragons". I have a whole bunch of red Kauni solid and thought, red could be good for a dragon shawl. Then I got word of Gynx yarns doing a Dye-Along, Knit-Along and briefly entertained the idea of trying to dye red and black yarn and knit it into something. This led me down the Ravelry rabbit hole of Daenerys-inspired patterns and I found one simply called "Daenerys" by Valerie Johnson. It wanted 650yds of fingering weight. So then I was back to the "can I dye the yarn AND knit this in a month?" which didn't seem likely. But then it occurred to me...I had to readjust my thinking! Daenerys is most known for her dragons, BUT!, a year ago I had purchased the perfect Targaryen-coloured skein of Kauni. Which, while it isn't fingering weight, is 650yds and is fairly light for a sport weight. Plus it's a shawl, so there's not really a gauge to it. Now, this yarn isn't what you're thinking. Targaryen house colours are red and black. This yarn is not. No! It transitions from a tan colour to dark purple to light purple to silver grey. If you've read the books you know that a mark of the Targaryen family is that they all have white hair, tan skin, and purple eyes. Daenerys shawl, meet Daenerys yarn! A perfect match made out of perfection and fortuity.
The shawl is a pretty simple (though not yet easy to remember!) dragon scale pattern. I haven't gotten through a full colour repeat of the yarn yet, but I think I might be in love.
It's been going fast, but I'm sure progress will start slowing now that the rows are getting longer.