This beautiful shawl, DON'T PANIC designed by Nim Teasedale,was a birthday gift from my friend, Claire, in 2019. Claire's brother, Hugh, plays bassoon for the Cincinnati Symphony and my second oldest daughter plays Trumpet so Hugh would often gift her tickets to the symphony when he knew they would be playing a piece that featured trumpets. I love the symphony but, not being as musically inclined as Hugh, Claire, and Marie, the symphony is as much a visual experience as it is an auditory one for me. I would play with colors in my mind while enjoying the spectacular music and it didn't take long before I noticed that the stage, filled the musicians and their instruments, were a gradient! From the deep ebony of the piano and the conductor's tuxedo at the front, up through the beautiful rosy-orange wood tones of the strings and into the brass before ending in the creamy proscenium arch over the entire ensemble! The result is the SYMPHONY gradient color, which is used in this shawl shown here in the photos.
This shawl requires nearly 1100 yards for the large size shown here. However, the longest length skein for our gradients is 470 yards. To make the gradient transition over the entire length of the shawl, two gradient skeins (470 yards each) in the same color were used and skeins were alternated every two rows; a total of 940 yards (out of the required 1100 yards) are accounted for by the 2 skeins of the gradient. To make the transitions even smoother, the first 200-300 stitches were worked entirely with one of the skeins before adding
in the second skein and alternating rows begun. This offsets the color transitions in the two skeins, thereby making the transition smoother. Finally, since the gradients only account for 940 of the required 1100 yards, a solid color was used for the remainder of the shawl. Although the terminal color for the Symphony gradient is a dark brown called 'Woodwinds', Claire and I decided a deep black to continue the gradient and act as a contrast to the gradient and a frame for the shawl itself would be more fitting, so this shawl used 'Morticia' instead. Once the gradients were used up, then the remainder of the shawl (bottom border) was knit in Morticia. This is a breathtaking shawl and a truly lovely gift that illustrates how a single piece can knit together multiple people, in this case, Claire, Claire's brother Hugh, my daughter Marie, and myself.