February 19, 2009
When we last saw Our Heroine, she was knitting on a cashmere ruffle with 900-plus stitches. To say that she was clinging to her sanity would be colorful. It would be dramatic. But it would imply that she was making an effort to stay sane, when in fact, she had surrendered completely. She would have continued adding 6 stitches every two rows until she had a shawl big enough for a family of four. She would have kept at it until hell serves Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum & Coke over ice. (Which actually sounds like something they would serve in hell, but whatever.)
But eventually, somewhere in the sky en route to a 5-day fambly va-cay for Presidents Day, she ran out of yarn.
What to do, what to do?
Take a picture of the thing, obviously.
Never Say Never
This shawl, inspired by Terhi’s brilliant tweak of the Wool Peddler Shawl(Ravelry link), has shaken me to my core. When it came to shawls, I used to be very anti-triangular. I spoke of the unfortunate “Jemima Puddleduck Effect”, and my feeling–my highly personal, prejudiced feeling–that shawls start out elegant, but too easily lose their way and take a girl straight to Dumpy Town. A momentary lapse in posture while wearing a shawl, and people start free-associating words like “hunchy” and “doddering.”
This shawl has changed all that. The long–overlong!–tails, which I made using Cheryl Oberle’s instructions for the base of the “Feather and Fan Triangle Shawl” in Folk Shawls, wrap all the way around the front of the body on both sides, and end up dangling down the back. This turns the shawl into swaddling clothes for an adult. In a good way! It narrows the torso and somehow looks very flattering–elongated like an Erte lady–and also cozy. And also a bit over the top. It helps that it’s cashmere. Toss on a pair of dark glasses and you start saying things like, “I vant to be alooooooone.” Danger! Next stop: turban!
Working the ruffle, I continued making an increase on each side of the center stitch, but instead of “yo, k1, yo”, I switched to “make 1 right, k1, make 1 left”.
There is one final fussy thing I want to do, involving the wrong side, and hiding where the color change occurs. Then I’ll try to get a victim to model it, and then it will make its way to its recipient.
Mason-Dixon Brown Shawl Knitting
What I did next is kind of troubling, even for a notorious multiple-knitter such as moi.
I cast on another brown shawl.
This may be one of the very few instances when knitting something in Koigu Pure Merino is a downgrade in materials. I’m knitting a very similar shawl, in a very similar color, in merino instead of cashmere. I think this shade of brown, with its slight striations, looks just like bark. (Which is why I amused Hubby by taking pictures of it in a tree.) I’m knitting the basic shape of Cheryl Oberle’s “Wool Peddler” shawl from Folk Shawls, but I included the 2 shaping rows at the shoulders from the “Feather and Fan Triangle Shawl”–a vestige, no doubt, of my Jemima Puddleduck Phobia. The recipient of this shawl is very petite, so I didn’t think the ultra long tails would be good for her, but I still wanted a generous fit across the top of the shoulders. I’m on Skein 4 of the bark brown. We’ll see if 4 skeins gets me to a good size, of if another one will be needed before Ruffle Initiation.
The ruffle will not be black. That would be repetitive.