I finally found a model who was ready and willing to model one of my few recent FO's today, so I can go beyond shawl-on-the -couch shots and really show off this piece, finished in August, blocked in September and languishing on a shelf ever since. I call it my checkerboard wrap.
A smiling, gorgeous model never hurts when displaying a modest home-made project; this is Sarah, my oldest daughter, mother of infinity-scarf-model Lola. As for the wrap, it started life in the Spring of 2010, but I had bought the yarn long before. Sometime in the early years of this millenium, I visited Artfibers in San Francisco and fell in love with this silk yarn called Siam. The colorway reminded me of a favorite dessert, strawberries mixed with cream, and I came home with a whole cone, determined to knit a sweater with this luscious fiber.
This was before Ravelry, in the days when researching other projects that had used the same yarn took some extensive googling, and what I did find on a couple of blogs was not very promising; knitters commented on the way their project would grow and stretch beyond their control. On my end, I swatched and was not inspired. I gave up on the thought of a sweater and dreamed of a lace shawl instead, but the thick and thin texture of the yarn gave me pause. During my years of procrastination, Ravelry got its start, I joined and checked comments on Siam periodically. Still I postponed casting on, until my guilt at having this gorgeous, unused cone of pink goodness in my stash finally propelled me to action.
My swatching showed me that the yarn really wanted to bias badly. That made finding the right stitch pattern a bit more challenging. After discarding several other ideas, I made up this checkerboard texture which turned out to be just right: 10 stitches of stockinette alternating with 10 stitches of reverse stockinette, with the sequence reversed every 12 rows. I added a slim border (3 stitches) and I was off.
Once it was on the needles, the only reason the whole project took so long is that it was a bit boring, and that the bulky cone prevented it from being a good travel project. I must have knitted about half in the summer of 2010; then it languished in my knitting basket until I resolved to complete it this past summer. Once I made up my mind, it went very fast.
The final shawl is about 86" long. During the blocking phase it grew in width as well as length, and now I wish it had been a bit narrower. Oh, well. Blocking made the silk fabric even more drapey -- this is one elegant, slinky wrap. I felt that it needed a dramatic finishing touch so I gave it four extra-long tassels for good measure.
Now who will get to wear it home?