Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's cold, so let's talk about knitting.

The finished cowl at Sea Meadow Gift Shop.
I'm having a hard time determining when to give up my lighter fall coat for my heavier winter coat, especially since the temperature seems to rise quite a bit during my lunchtime walk.  And it seems like closing a chapter on warmer weather when you break out the winter coat full time.  Probably within a week or so, it'll be big green coat times.

Today, though, let's talk about a knit piece I made for Shana, since I feel like my knitting helps give my lighter coat a few extra days of wear since it keeps my head/neck/hands warm.  She had been asking me for a bit to make her a big cowl that she could wrap around her neck once, and could wear at work.  Knowing Shana well, though, I knew that she also would probably wearing this outdoors or on a boat, so I needed something sturdy and warm, too.  Her requests were for the following details:

--an olive green color
Modeling it wrapped around my neck twice.

--some sort of lace pattern that maybe had a zig zag quality
--can be wrapped around her neck twice so it can be worn both long and short

I found a pattern for a lace scarf that I was able to modify, which worked out perfectly.  It was a pattern inspired by ferns called Fern Lace Scarf.   The designer has it in a lace weight yarn, but I decided to do less repeats to make up for the larger yarn and needle size and added 3 stitches of garter stitch on either side for a finishing effect.  I had garter at the beginning and end of the project (which I kind of liked that effect that you could see it met in the middle) and grafted it together.  I felt quite clever.

The yarn is Malabrigo, which is perhaps my one true love when it comes to knitting.  I found a color named Olive, which screamed Shana.  It has a nice look when knit up, and it's also incredibly warm and easy to knit with, but also won't fall apart.  I've used this yarn on a lot of different gift projects.

I think I'd be more pleased with my efforts if I had accounted for one thing.  I only bought one skein of yarn... ROOKIE MISTAKE.  I should have bought 2 skeins so that they'd be the same dye lot.  Gahhhh.  I (of course) ran out of yarn and had to buy a new skein months later.  It was similar in color, and to the untrained eye you can't tell they're two different colors, but I can definitely see the differences in color.  Note to self:  always buy two skeins if it's a scarf.  Always.

Shana, however, couldn't tell.  Or she's too kind.  But she loved it.  I'm glad she liked it!  What inspired me to post this project is that she texted me that she's been wearing her cowl a lot, and it's been keeping her warm at work/has gotten some compliments.  So that's good.

I posted some photos of me modeling the finished product before giving it to Shana.  I'd definitely make another big cowl out of Malabrigo again... just make sure I buy two skeins for the project.  The photo of me with the cowl long to the left, you can see the two colors.  This is because of the flash, I think, since in person it's a little less jarring in contrast.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself in my head.

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