TBT:: Radiation

In Blog, Knittish, tbt by Shannon1 Comment

This is the first in a weekly series of trips down knittery lane (a lame take on memory lane), in which I go on (and on) about inspiration for an older pattern. The patterns discussed will be offered for $2 off for the week, until the next TBT post. Use coupon code tbtshannonsq-rad on Ravelry to get your $2 off of Radiation this week…


I recently had a query from a customer about one of my older patterns, Radiation, which made me remember the road trip I was on with my family as I knitted the original sample, and the inspiration behind the pattern, and brought up all of these good feelings of love and nostalgia that I just had to come over here and draft a little ditty all about it.

Radiation wingspan

It started, as many of my designs do, with a nebulous idea and the desire to use a certain yarn. The yarn(s) in question were Starke 6 from Zauberball, a lovely long-color-changing sport-weight yarn, paired with the most delicate of light greys in Quince & Co’s Chickadee. I was madly in love with short-rows, and knee-deep in playing around with how they can alter a shape by adding them. I wanted something simple and fun, that highlighted the changing colors in the Zauberball, and once I got the scarf off of the needles, I was absolutely tickled with the results.

Radiation is a long scarf, tapered on one end, perfect for tossing over your shoulders or scrunching up around your neck. The garter stitch makes it so delightfully squishy to wear and super fun and forgiving to make. I’ve always meant to make one in two skeins of fingering-weight yarn, too, and 2018 might just be the year to do it.

When I finished the shawl and blocked it, I was struck by how it resembled a big wooden sign we had as one wall of the basement in my childhood home. The sign was from a hippie-dippie head shop my folks owned: they sold water beds, lava lamps, spoon rings, and even some… let’s just call it paraphernalia. By the time I came around, the only things remaining from the shop were the sign, now one wall of our basement, a few roach clips, and box of spoon rings. That basement was the center of my social circle as a teenager: we had enough autonomy to feel like we were on our own, but my parents felt better knowing we were all just a flight of stairs away. They had little clue about the 40s that were consumed sitting on the couch in front of the Radiation sign, I’m sure. Just sitting here, in my house (and life) thousands of miles and so many years away, I can still, in the eye of my memory, see every single part of that midwestern suburban basement. I can still feel the plaid couch under my me and see the stacks of records (including so many amazing ones that I wish we still had to this day). I can feel the felt of the pool table under my hands. Nostalgia is really something else, isn’t it?

Now, the making of the shawl, well, that was something else. It was in the Summer of 2013, when my wee family headed to Boston to see my sister and her wee family. She had just had her second, sweet baby Mack, and we spent a week with her, then borrowed her car for a long-ass road trip back to Cleveland to see my brother and his family, as well as attend my 20th high school reunion. Again, with the power of nostalgia, I can feel the heat baking into our borrowed-from-my-sister Jetta Wagon as we drove the 13 hours between Boston and Cleveland and I made short row section after short row section on the original Radiation

All of those thoughts and feelings came rushing back to me with one simple message showing up in my email. And just like that, I was transported back to my childhood, well over twenty years ago. Back to a family road trip almost five years ago. So, thank you, sweet customer Cindy, for messaging me and asking about yardage requirements for Radiation. You gave me the best trip down memory lane. (Also, the pattern is super duper adaptable for different yarn weights and yardages, yada yada yada)…

Dying to get your hands on the pattern *right*now* for $2 off? Click this link, and the shopping cart will get all populated and what-not!


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