Monday, May 05, 2008

Stuck on Short Rows

Since my last post spring has come to Wisconsin. Typical spring, that is. Some days with temperatures in the 60's and sunshine. Some days with temperatures in the 40's with grey skies and rain. All in all, still weather for comfy shawls.

The Easy Pie Wedge Shawl that I made last month has been very popular with knitters and non-knitters who see me wearing it. The photos of the shawl that I posted were not very good, so here is the famous model, Ms. Rachel Rocking Chair, sporting the shawl in a jaunty fashion!
Rachel here wears the shawl in devil-may-care fashion without any pin to hold the end on the shoulder. I, on the contrary, like to secure the shawl end with an understated blue stitch holder, on the shoulder, to keep myself together!! (Pattern was free on the band for Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace, but $4.50 here.)

For some reason, the rhythm of the short rows simply mesmerized me. Ordinarily, I'm not very entranced with garter stitch. However, the short rows were easy but seductive. So, I set out to use some mohair that has been in my stash for at least 8 years.

[I was in high school in the 60's, when v-neck cabled mohair sweaters were all the rage. I didn't have enough money to purchase one of those sweaters, so I've been compensating for my deprivation ever since. I have an entire of mohair! One hank has been calling to me but I never had the right pattern for it. Ellen's Half Pint Farms Brushed Mohair (one pound) in Northern Lights colorway. I once saw the Northern Lights while camping in Ontario, while floating in a river at night. thus, the blues, purples and greens were like a Siren song. ]

The pattern was another short row half-circle from Fiber Trends, Marvelous Mohair shawls and blankets. Each wedge of this mohair "pie" uses short rows going up to the maximum number of stitches and then going down, making a full pie slice. The previous shawl only made half of a slice, so to speak.

Ms. Rachel R. C. has again volunteered to model.

Rachel didn't like the flash of this photo.
So, here's a photo without flash. A little better. The shawl will be worn with my black winter coat, which is a wrap coat, unlined and uninsulated. Here in Wisconsin we need warmer winter wear, but I love the very simple black coat. So, I figured, rather than a scarf, I would wear a shawl over the coat. To make sure that the shawl would wrap sufficiently in front to keep out the very cold Arctic winds here in Wisconsin, I made five wedges, rather than the called-for four. This, I have 5/8 of the pie, rather than half!
Each pie wedge is set off by a yarn over inset that used Colinette's Jitterbug sockyarn, in a very deep plum color. I thought this would set up the glorious colors of the mohair, just as black sets off the glorious colors of traditional Amish quilts.

Here's the back.

I'm still not over the short rows. I'm making another Easy Pie Wedge Shawl using Lorna's Laces shepherd sock yarn in Pine green and some Claudia's Hand Paint (or is it Fleece Artist??) for the insert. Yes, I bought the Lorna's Laces yarn when the Guild's Knitting Safari visited the company in Chicago.

Meanwhile, back at Borders, the Yarn Harlot herself came to entertain us and sell her books. Believe it or not, she is funnier in person than in her blog and in her books! Her story about walking 14 km in the snow and cold of remote Ontario was even funnier when she told it--and I had already laughed out loud when reading her blog about it.
See her if she comes your way. The woman is very, very good and very very devoted to her fans. She sign books and is entertaining even when she should be in bed sleeping!

Thank you Stephanie!!


kate said...

Your shawls are making me drool!!!

Cindy G said...

The colors of the mohair will look stunning with a black coat, and it should be really cozy. (How you got through this last winter with an unlined coat boggles my mind!)