October 2011 Archives

Flaming Herbivore

Project: Herbivore from WestKnits
Yarn: Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in "Flaming Flamingo"
Needles: US Size 6 (4 mm) KnitPicks Harmony

After  I finished up Pogona for my mother earlier this year, I've wanted a similar shaped scarf for myself.  I didn't want to make another Pogona right away so I looked through the rest of Stephen West's catalog to see if I could find a shawl with a different design, but similar shaping -- and not too complicated for distracted knitting,  Herbivore seemed like an obvious choice.

I love silk blend yarns, and I've had a skein of Sundara Fingering Silky Merino that has been considered and tried out for several previous ideas, none of which really seemed like a perfect match.  If there's anything I like about Ravelry, it's the opportunity to see what results other knitters have gotten from yarns similar to those in my stash.  The FSM seemed like a nice pairing for Herbivore -- lots of drape and sheen and enough extra yardage to make it a little bigger than the standard pattern (I think the pattern calls for the middle motif to be 12" from the starting point, and I was able to knit to at least 14" -- it gets larger after blocking). 

As a sidelight: I really enjoyed knitting with the FSM.  It's got great hand and minimal pooling and the stitch definition is beautiful. 

As with Pogona, I think the best way to wear this scarf/shawl is with the center motif in the front and the wings wrapped around and secured with a shawl pin.  Honestly, I have never been able to figure out shawls where the most beautiful part of the garment is on the back where only people walking behind you get to see it.  With the extra inches I got into the pattern, this shawl wraps over my shoulders, giving me an extra layer of light weight warmth (silk is a great insulator) that isn't bulky.  And the shaping of the shawl means it stays put -- even without the shawl pin in place.

As with Pogona, this pattern is another easy to follow, easy to knit design -- and it doesn't take very long to knit up a very pleasant fall warmer.  I think this scarf is likely to get a lot of air time over turtlenecks this winter. 

I'd like to give a little shout out to Ysolda Teague's Farinelli gauntlets.  I wear these all the time.  They don't entirely go with the scarf, but they are so perfect in the fall and winter when you don't want mittens or gloves but do want some extra warmth.  If you're looking for another quick to knit treat for you or someone else, they really are perfect -- and the Dream In Color Smooshy has really held up well to a lot of wear -- much better than I expected from a 100% merino yarn.

So Called Scarf

I'd been feeling a little guilty about not making anything for Ms. Z.  So on a recent errand running excursion, I told her if she was good,  we could go to the yarn store and she could pick out yarn for a scarf. 

After some consideration, I guided her to the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted (because it is washable, and thus child friendly).  She selected a skein in "Somerset" -- which does a wonderful job of being both sophisticated and including the favorite colors of every little girl I have ever known:  pink and purple.

20111030_LLSomersetSoCalled.jpgIt took me a little while to identify a good pattern.  I've had my fill of ribbed scarves, but still wanted something with an interesting texture.  I opted for he must do scarf of 2008: My So Called Scarf  minus the fringe (I like fringe, but it seemed like one more thing to get caught in a zipper, leading to frustration for both me and the kid).

It's not quite scarf weather yet, but Ms. Z helped me out with an indoor Sunday morning photo shoot.

20111030_LLSomersetSoCallZ.jpgI cast on the suggested number of stitches and knit through the entire skein -- and the scarf length and width were on target for a small person.

This pattern is a quick knit -- definitely one of those to remember for the "last minute hand knitted gift" file given it's unique texture and compatibility with hand-painted yarn.  It's designed with worsted weight in mind, but would be just as great in Aran or bulky weight. 


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