Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eye-grabbing green shawl and such

Freshly blocked knits look good, even in a prosaic bathroom pic. It's too bad this beret will go straight into the drawer. It is too warm for a double-thick ribbed brim hat. However, the shawl might get some wear.

The beret was a lingering winter project that I put aside when I couldn't work out the transition between the ribbing and the lace. I had bought the possum and merino blend yarn for this hat when the pattern came out in the Fall 2009 Vogue Knitting. After I knit the brim (reversing the instructions for this top-down beret), I decided I didn't like the plain eyelet-lace crown. I was quick to jump to another pattern in the same issue--same weight yarn, same number of cast-on stitches. It was the jump from the ribbing to the lace that stumped me.

The second pattern had and inch and a half of 1x1 ribbing in the brim, not eight inches of 2x2 ribbing, doubled. It was just enough difference to make me misjudge the alignment of the increases. The length of the crown was easily fixed by starting one-third of the way into the lace pattern. The flow of the knit stitches was a tougher problem. The necessary but painful ripping back and realignment delayed the finish.

This will be a welcome knit next winter. Maybe by then there will be a shawl to go with it.
There is that freshly blocked shawl, but, as is obvious in the first photo, it doesn't belong anywhere near the hat. It is definitely for Spring.

This more-than-ample Whippoorwill Shawl worried me plenty when I unpinned it from blocking. Although the wool was soft and comfortable, it looked like it had been starched. It was enough to make me abandon further wool shawl projects. After a day of rest, it relaxed enough to drape. It must have been the hard blocking I gave it to smooth out all those increases that made it stiff.
The less-than-satisfactory blocking experience adds to my dissatisfaction with the wool yarns I selected for the my next project. The problem started when a merino sock yarn curled into a circle as I knit the beginning of a shawl. As the dark colors blended into a camouflage-like mess, I decided to put away the green yarn.

I've switched to orange and cream but am postponing the choice of a third color for my Color Affection. If you haven't wandered away among those lovely shawl patterns, here's some additional links:

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