Hitchhiker: A Love Story


Oh, Hitchhiker! How do I love thee? I can’t begin to count the ways.

The Hitchhiker shawlette has got to be one of the most wearable handknits ever. I know because I made one several years ago that I wore and wore and wore until I gave it to my mother, who has worn and worn and worn it! It’s the most wrap-able, tie-able, drape-able piece of knitted fabric you could ever hope to have. And the Malabrigo “Archangel” absolutely soothes my soul. I love it.

This particular Hitchhiker will always remind me of this crazy first semester back in the classroom after so many years. Each row represents a moment of calm–before bed, between classes, during the frenzied lesson preparation that has been the constant theme of the last few months. It saw me through a bout of doctor’s visits. It helped me find calm as I anxiously awaited a friend’s visit and sustained me when I was sad after she’d gone. How on earth does knitting do it? All of this?

If anyone knows of another scarf or shawlette pattern that compares to the Hitchhiker in terms of its perfect suitability to every occasion, please let me know. I need it.

Last weekend was SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair, in Asheville. It’s a huge good time. Fabulous vendors, animals, knitters, weavers, fiber people of every sort are there. Last year, I had to miss it, so this year, despite the crazy busyness, I was determined to go. Plus, I got to meet an online fiber friend (and her dog!) in person, which was a delight, and grab some actual face time with a few of the nearby fiber friends I’ve seen precious little of over the last couple of months.

And of course I bought some yarn. I’ve been dying to jump on the “fade” bandwagon but wasn’t up for the epic bigness of the Find Your Fade shawl at the moment. Happily, my BFFF Cari alerted me to the Free Your Fade a few days before SAFF! So that’s what I had in mind when I went yarn shopping.

What do you think? It’s Dragonfly Fibers DK weight Traveller. The squish is real.

I also picked up some buttons. Love buttons. Cardigans are in my future.

Tomorrow, it’s back to class, but I’ll be sporting my trusty Hitchhiker. Happiness.

My apologies for the disjointedness of this post. My brain is in a million places. I’m off to read some of the sure-to-be-wonderful blog posts I’m behind on before I turn in for the night. I hope you are well, my friends. Take care, and knit on.



    • melinda

      Thank you, Marilyn! The mustardy color is outside of my comfort zone, but I was drawn to it, so I thought, why not?! I’m actually really excited to start knitting it up although there are one or two things in line before I can start this project. The button booth at SAFF was amazing! The vendor’s whole booth was nothing but buttons! There were new ones, vintage ones, every color and type. . . It was almost too much to take. She was the first stop inside the entrance, so it’s a wonder I saw anything else! Lol!

    • melinda

      Oh, Fran! You definitely need to knit yourself another one. It’s such a good feeling to have a Hitchhiker back in my scarf/shawl rotation. Please post pictures if you do knit one. 🙂

    • melinda

      Thank you so much for pointing out Picabeau! It looks like exactly the sort of thing I had in mind–different from Hitchhiker but similarly sized and wearable. I’ve added it to my queue. 🙂

    • melinda

      Yes, try Hitchhiker again. It’s so versatile and easy to wear. I think you’d really like that about it. I got five colors for my Free Your Fade, but I’m thinking I’ll just use three. Your mom and I picked out the three best, so that’s probably what I’ll go with. She was a big help!

  1. Wow! So absolutely gorgeous 🙂 I’m currently knitting Trillian by the same designer that created Hitchhiker. Can you believe I’ve never knit Hitchhiker? I bought the pattern and it’s sitting in my queue. One day! I love the colors you picked for your fade project. I’ve been wanting to do one of those too; however haven’t gotten around to it as of yet. I will get there…promise! I just need to finish whats up on my needles first 😀

    • melinda

      Ohhhh, I like Trillian a lot! How did I not have that in my sights?? It looks like another super wearable design. I can’t wait to see yours! I can totally believe you haven’t knit Hitchhiker when I think about how I haven’t ever knit Monkey Socks or Clapotis or Ishbel . . . I guess it’s good there’s always something out there to look forward to, right?! Lol! 😀

    • melinda

      I’m so glad you like the yarn! Your instagram post about the mustard yellow made me smile because I’d just gotten this skein of it and love it so much. Definitely pick up your Hitchhiker! Despite how long it took me to finish mine, it’s a pretty quick knit and is so super handy to have around.

    • melinda

      Thank you, Melissa! And thank you so much for stopping by! I just finished listening to your podcast, and the Linus Shawl strikes me as similarly quick and wearable. Think I’ll be making one of those soon!

  2. <3 A beautiful post for a beautiful shawl. Your description and photos (that light on your beautiful stitchwork + edging!) have sold me on the Hitchhiker – a wearable knit sounds exactly what the doctor ordered. 😉 I love the question of how knitting does it all – I'm not entirely sure, myself, but a knitting session always manages to smooth things out, if only for a little while. Bravo, Melinda – I can read that your love for this shawl is true!

    • melinda

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting, Shirley! It seems like you’ve been as busy as I feel lately, so I’m super happy to see you. 🙂 I think the thing about the Hitchhiker is that you’ve got those rows and rows of stockinette where you can go on autopilot, but then you keep having to bring your attention back to do the edging, so it’s not entirely boring. The best part is just how versatile and wearable this pattern is, though. I’ve already worn this more than some things I’ve had for years. Happy, happy holidays to you! Can’t wait to see what the new year brings for your crafting adventures. ❤️

      • Super happy to catch up on your knitting news, Melinda! Yes – it has definitely felt a little busier here, too; I find my focus shortening in tandem with the hours of sunlight!

        It looks like Hitchhiker is knit on the bias, too? I’ve wanted to try that for a while. And yes, it looks so versatile; I can see it going from day to evening in a cinch! It’s such a lovely, uplifting colour, too. Likewise – looking forward to your upcoming creative ventures, and wishing you many of them. Happy Holidays. 🙂

Talk to me!