Our longer-than-usual Indian summer came to an abrupt and painful end a week ago, and now the entire San Francisco Bay Area is being reminded of the virtues of gloves, hats, scarves and other indispensible accessories. Good thing I had anticipated this and started working on yet another wrap last month.
I grabbed 6 colors of Rowan Kidsilk Haze from my most treasured stash drawer and played around to see what would work best. I also did an extensive search on Ravelry to see what other knitters had come up with in their own combinations of KSH colors. Again and again, I was drawn to Kaffe Fassett's stunning Earth Stripe Wrap. But, as beautiful as the pattern is, there is no way I could rationalize adding to my collection of yarns in order to duplicate the original, when I have quite a few skeins on my hands already, albeit not in all those colors.
The Earth Stripe Wrap is knitted with multiple combinations of 2 strands, allowing for the most subtle transitions between hues. Originally, I thought to duplicate that effect. Then, looking at these two clever projects which are variations of the double-stranding idea, I swatched several colors of KSH together with one strand of laceweight Zephyr yarn in a beige colorway. The feel of the swatch turned out great, slightly more substantial that KSH alone, but the color was too light. It gave the swatch too much of a tweedy effect and didn't allow the candy-like, translucent colors of Rowan's Kid mohair to shine as they deserve to. (You'll see what I mean if you click on the photo for a better look.)
To the left, swatch with one strand of Zephyr. To the right, Kidsilk Haze by itself.
Back to more swatching, I eventually came up with simple stripes in a Fibonacci sequence; since I narrowed my selection to 6 colorways, I chose a repeat of 5 stripes, in the following width: 1 row, 1 row, 2 rows, 3 rows, 5 rows. I used a circular needle in order to do the 1-row repeats always on the knit side. Since there isn't a lot of purling in this pattern, the knitting has gone pretty fast.
That bottom yarn is a deep purple, and the blue yarn on the right is a vivid turquoise. In spite of the length of the wrap, I did not succeed in decreasing my stash by much. So far, the wrap has used less than one skein of each color. I still have a second skein of each, which will come in handy for the edging.
And now my striping is done, and I am looking at hours of finishing: first a zillion ends to weave in, then a long stretch of applied i-cord all over. Wish me luck!