First there was a double graduation.
And now, a family vacation. Which means, time to torture myself by figuring out which knitting projects to bring along. The log cabin blanket is too unwieldy already and would require its own suitcase full of those gigantic skeins of Plymouth Encore. Not a good idea.
The cabled linen project? Naturally! I wouldn't dream of leaving it behind. I'll bring the first sleeve and enough yarn to knit its match. But what if I find myself with lots of free time? What if I knit the second sleeve as fast as I did the first one? Not a likely proposition while on vacation, but one never knows. One doesn't want to find oneself plain out of knitting projects, ever.
So I spent the last few days, whenever a knitting opportunity presented itself, swatching for this or that. I focused on light weight -- a shawl most likely, perhaps in lace. I took out my yarn purchases from Stitches West, tried a few rows of the Stonington shawl with some laceweight Zephyr, then a few rows of the Corner to Corner shawl with a Pygora blend from Toots Le Blanc. Both were, still are, good possibilities. But I have knitted versions of those patterns before and maybe, this being summer and all, I needed to branch out.
Enter Mustaa villaa's modern take on the ruffled shawl, which I have wanted to imitate ever since it appeared on her blog last year. I had been dreaming of a shawl or stole that would look elegant and modern, and that would function as a lighter version of a travel blanket. I liked the idea of something a bit more substantial than lace, a bit more opaque, less likely to catch on the zipper of my travel bag, and so on.
The yarn is another Stitches West find, a merino sock yarn hand-dyed and sold by Miss Babs, whose booth was pure, irresistible eye-candy. My two skeins are more than enough for a big shawl. Swatching for this swiftly turned into beginning the project in earnest; it was so addictive that I had to force myself to put my needles aside so that there will be enough rows left to do once I reach my destination.
As this chocolate brown is especially dark and rich, I am not sure I want to use black as an edging. For now, I am leaning towards a skein of greyish-tan shetland wool I found in my bag of Harrisville orphan skeins. It won't have the same texture as the sock yarn, but it is close enough and I know it will block very nicely.
As Terhi explains in her post and on Ravelry (all subsequent links are Rav links, with my apologies to readers not yet signed up), she followed the instructions for the Wool Peddler's Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls , simply replacing the deep lace edging with a simple, barely undulating ruffle. Other knitters have made their own versions, like seashoreknits, KayGardiner and KayGardiner again .
I know, I know, garter stitch has vanquished me. I surrender to garter stitch. Stockinette can wait.
Happy summer to all! Posts will resume when I return from vacation.