Springtime in Seattle

Crocheted shawl in pinks, browns, and greens on the back of a light brown upholstered chair.
Banksia shawl designed by Dedri Uys of lookatwhatimade.net in Scheepjes Frosted Whirl Skinny Scream.

My hubby and I are very fortunate to have jobs that include a sabbatical. Once every seven years we can take a semester off of teaching to pursue professional development opportunities. In January, we drove across the country from our home in South Carolina to spend four months in Seattle, WA to work with collaborators and spend time at the University of Washington. Upon arrival, we were greeted by snow, but now we are in the midst of a gorgeous spring.

I grew up in the northeast of the U.S. where, among seasons, Fall reigns supreme. I love the cool weather, the change of color on the trees, and the crisp feel in the air. However, in the southeast, my current home, Spring is stunning. The warmer weather means Spring arrives earlier. Its arrival is accompanied by bursts of flowers, both from the ground and on trees. There are days that bring to mind the Indigo Girls song, “Southland in the Springtime” and I enjoy driving around listening to this song and admiring my surroundings.

Spring in Seattle is very different from Spring in the south, but still a beautiful array of colors. Seattle is particularly famous for its cherry tree blooms in March:

But there is more to springtime in Seattle than cherry trees. As I walk to work each day, I am constantly stopping to take pictures (though I’m no photographer) of stunning colors that turn to yarn combinations in my head. I feel surrounded by inspiration. Greens and purples are emerging as one favorite combo (of many), which inspired a recent purchase of some beautiful hand-dyed green and purple yarn on a trip to Portland, Oregon.

Four skeins of yarn in a row. The first and last are a deep purple with some greens. The middle two are lighter purple, greens, and off-white. Blissful Knits labels.
Hand-dyed yards bought at Pearl Fiber Arts in Portland, Oregon.

I love how orange-ish shades of pinks (coral) and browns are also subtly present in the second, third, and fourth flower pictures above. This next picture is a lovely combination of greens, purple, coral, and white that would make a unique yarn combination for crochet. For even more pictures, see the bottom of this post.

Banksia Shawl in Skinny Scream

My recently-completed Banksia Shawl, designed by Dedri Uys of lookatwhatimade.net, in Skinny Scream Scheepjes Frosted Whirl sings Springtime in Seattle to me. I originally bought this whirl to be the first (center) Whirl of a multi-Whirl Sophie’s Universe, another LookAtWhatIMade design. For a sneak-peak, see below. I am working on this project slowly to savor it. When I ordered the yarn online, I did not realize it was a “frosted” whirl. These whirls have a thread of shimmer in them that provides a subtle shine. However, this was not the look I was going for with Sophie, and the texture is slightly different than traditional Whirls, so I decided to find a different use for it. The colors remind me of a blooming tree, like this one, another Seattle stunner:

Thus, I wanted to find a subtle floral pattern that would show off the lovely color. I also knew I wanted to make a shawl because whirls are perfect for shawls and I love that shawls are both straightforward to work up and wearable. The Banksia shawl pattern was perfect! The three-row pattern repeat was logical, easy to memorize, and fun to make. While making this shawl, I learned that I chain loosely and had to concentrate for a while to make tighter, and thus more even, chains for the central loops of the flowers.

The making of

Hook: 3.25mm

Yarn: One Scheepjes Frosted Whirl in 322 Skinny Scream.

Pattern repeats: 23. I added the border when I reached the final color change.

Final size: long edge = 72 inches; height (point to long edge) = 31 inches (after blocking).

Detail: I added one single picot on the point of the shawl. I considered making a shell border on the whole shawl with a picot on each shell, but did not have enough yarn left.

Here is one last shawl picture with my new white leather “shawl bracelet” (I don’t know what it’s actually called, so that’s my name for it) that I bought during my Woolith Fair Yarn Crawl at Wet Coast Wools in Vancouver. I love the embossing on the leather!

Shawl in pinks, browns, and greens with a white leather loop holding the ends together.

A sneak peak at Sophie’s Universe in Scheepjes Whirl Peppermint Patty Cake and Blueberry Bam Bam:

More Springtime in Seattle crochet-spiration:

Not only are the colors in this picture beautiful, but I love the shoots growing out of the bush and fear someone will trim them off. They remind me of Simy’s Studio‘s May Mandala Challenge.

The moody sky adds shades of gray and blue to the deep reds and bright greens in this picture.

I am drawn to these orange flowers that seem to grow wild around here. They remind me of tulips but with thinner petals that appear to unfurl as they open.

The bright fuchsia, almost red, flowers and green foliage are a classic color combination.

In this last picture, the tiny buds add oranges and yellows to a sea of greens and the grays and browns of the stones.

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