Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Don't Mind the Ice

Ignore that frost over there in the corner. It's just hell freezing over. Do you know why?

I've got a finished object.

With pictures.

How often does that happen?

I started this super-basic shrug about 2-3 weeks ago at the Ravelry/Pride meetup, and finished it up this afternoon. It was such a lovely, sunny day that I took my mannequin outside for the photoshoot.

The yarn I used is a mystery yarn that I picked up in Italy a few years ago. The ball band is long gone, but I remember that it was 100% linen. To date, this is still the only linen yarn I've ever worked with, but I love it. I bought two or three balls of it (I think it was something like 2-3 euro each; a steal) and used the first one to make a Turkish rib scarf for my mom while I was away. Somehow, it never got entered into Ravelry. :/ I feel like this is a gaping hole, somehow.

At any rate, I do know that it was purchased here, and if I remember correctly, it was the house brand. If you happen to be in Firenze, though, don't go expecting to find this exact yarn--it was on clearance and I grabbed the last two balls, so it's probably discontinued. Do check out some of their other yarns, though. This one was great to work with and I swear each ball has about a billion yards in it. The scarf I made for my mom was rather massive, and a single ball made this shrug--with some leftover.

Oh, did I mention? That yarn shop will also let you buy bulk yarns by weight. I did not take advantage of that when I was there (that would be a dangerous rabbit hole for me) but if I ever go back to Florence, I will.

The shrug itself is extremely easy: yok2tog all the way around the first round, then knit the second round. Repeat those two rows for about an inch, then split and work flat (substituting a purl row for the knit round) and work for 18". Rejoin in the round, and continue for another inch before binding off. For a finishing touch, I picked up stitches to add the ribbing. If I'd had a little more yarn left over, I would have added ribbing around the shoulder/neck/hem area, but I was about two rounds short of what I needed. Missed it by that much.

The conclusion of this project means that I'll be buckling down in earnest to make samples for the book soon--as soon as I nail down the final yarns and relay them to my publisher. At the moment I'm using some of my samples to swatch a couple of patterns that may or may not make their way into CENSORED. Right now the big challenge is that all of my yarn support yarns are much thinner than all of the yarns I worked with originally--by about half, if not more. Writing the patterns with the yarn held double would, I think, make most projects prohibitively expensive for the average knitter (at $32 a pop, who wants to buy eight skeins for a scarf? I feel bad enough asking for four...). At minimum, this means going back and reworking all of my charts and the thus-far-completed patterns...for a third time.

But, considering that last night the cat and I were fighting over who got to use the sample skeins as a teddy bear...I don't mind too much. Hey, when it's THAT soft, who can complain?

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