In my hectic breadwinner/mommy world, I’ve come to find great satisfaction in small projects.  They are manageable, produce near-instant gratification, and allow me an illusion of control in my utterly not-so universe.  They also let me “taste” yarns without major investment.  While I’m the first one to point out on these pages the idiot mistakes and experiments I make (and learn from) along the way, I’m pretty confident in my skills.  Even so, I’m honored when a professional asks me to knit for them.

Somehow, in the space of three weeks, I’ve managed to produce two samples for Spirit Trail Fiberworks.  Wanna see them for yourself?  Visit Building A-4 at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck.

Hawthorne from Twist Collective, Fall 2010 – 186 g of Lyra in Appalachia

Hawthorne in Lyra

Major modification: Lace section knitted on US 7 Addi Lace, garter short-rows on US 9 Addi Turbos.  Although I did swatch this, I found great disparity between the density of the lace section on the size needle that the pattern advised.

Lace section on US 7

The lace section was just too airy, even without blocking.  In a perfect world (one without so many WIPs occupying my too-many needles) , I would have used an Addi Turbo or even Inox for the lace section, but I didn’t have any available.  I am finding that the Lace version’s finish results in a somewhat tighter gauge than the slicker Turbo finish.  In any case, I wanted this yarn to open up to its glorious smooshy self in the garter portion, so I knitted the last row of the lace chart onto the US 9 and proceeded from there.

As a result, I wound up using one skein of Lyra instead of two.  If you’re a thrifty knitter, this is a good thing, but I advise strong caution, because if your gauge is different, it could turn out the other way.

Lyra - in Appalachia

My recommendation: get two skeins to be safe  and you’ll have ample left over for another project to use for this delicious yarn.  From a “project marriage” perspective, this is a match made in heaven.

Blocking note: In trying to match the schematic,  think I blocked this a little bit too aggressively.  It has beautiful drape, but if I were doing it again, I would concentrate on pinning the points.  It is, after all, a wrap – not a fitted garment.  We learn.

Wast Side Shawl by ShetlandTrader / Gudrun Johnston in Ixchel, 125 g (one skein), Blueberry Fields

Design detail - Wast Side Shawl

I committed no modifications to this pattern.  Knitted on Inox US 2.5 needles.  I love it when a designer puts a neat little feature into a pattern.  Through my own idiocy, I wound up knitting the border 1 1/2 times ~ by the time I was done, I was really done.

Ixchel in Blueberry Fields

My fault, not Gudrun’s.  Because of the unique pick-up that allows you to then have live stitches to build the rest of the shawl, you get this very pretty row of twisted stitches (running across the middle of the detail photo).  I love its delicacy and how it plays to the color.  The 100% alpaca will keep a neck nice and toasty, too.  Although Jen calls this yarn a DK/sport, for lace purposes, it really knitted up as a fingering weight.

For sake of a full-view photo ...

The last photo I post only for the sake of having a view of the full piece.  It was during the Owl-hours of the night and neither lighting nor color correction were my friend.

Unblocked dimensions: 36 in wide x 16 in deep

Blocked dimensions: 48 in x 19 in

If you can believe it, there are two more shawls waiting for blocking … but that will have to wait a few days.  For now, I’m calling this a wrap.


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4 Responses to “Wrapped”

  1. Debbie R. Says:

    Wow! You have certainly been a very busy owl. Lovely projects and congrats on blocking them so quickly. Another great review.

  2. Bullwinkle Says:

    Wow! (And how do you get everything done??)

    Both shawls are gorgeous. (I want to see that Ixchel in person!)

    p.s. You write very helpful posts. Good job!

  3. Lanea Says:

    The both turned out beautifully! They’ll be at the retreat, right?
    Oh, and a little birdie told me a little birdy rule is on its way to me. Woohoo!

  4. My own « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] was the case with my original Hawthorne.  The Spirit Trail Fiberworks Lyra knitted like butter and the project was over far too soon.  […]

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