A few months ago, I wrote this post about shawls and how I finally "get it" about why everyone is so crazy about them. Well, here's my next confession: I am obsessed with shawls now. I honestly can't figure out how I ever survived and thrived without them. AND I finally knitted one with some of that stash yarn I was talking about in my last post.
Araucania Atacama- now discontinued
I was worried about trying to knit one because as I've said before I am a s l o w knitter. Also, most of the patterns I see getting ooohed and ahhhhed over are lace knit shawls and despite the undeniable beauty of the lace knitting. I am just not there yet and don't know if I ever will be. Aside from the mind-numbing complicatedness of the lace stitch patterns, I'm just not a lacey shawl kind of gal so I'm not motivated to figure out how to do something that's, strictly speaking, not even really my style. But I found this pattern for the Mara shawl and I thought it was perfect. Exactly the kind of thing I might actually wear and easy as pie to knit. Now this shawl consists of a whole lotta garter stitch, so if that's not your thing, then you probably wont like this pattern, but while knitting this one I discovered that I really love the garter stitch, especially with a yummy dk variegated yarn. For the first time in a long time I found myself enjoying a knitting project so much that I really didn't want it to end. And of course, I finished this one amazingly quickly because I was enjoying it so much.
Here's a close up of the color and the stripes I added to make the shawl bigger. It's still not as big as I wanted it to be, but I really used up every scrap of that yarn that I had and it's now discontinued, so that's that. A word about this yarn: Yummy!
This is 100% alpaca, which is a very warm fiber. In the garter stitch it is so squishy and delicious. I put this shawl on my shoulders any time I'm feeling chilled and in no time at all I am toasty warm.
(I had no idea that just putting a little something warm on your shoulders could make you feel so warm! I am so in awe of that new discovery.)
Alpace, like wool, can be a little itchy, but so far I'm persevering because I love the warmth so much.
Another confession: I already bought some more yarn because I want to make another one of these, but next time in a solid color and much bigger.
And just to ease my troubled conscience about the abandoned ripple blanket, I also finished a sweater that I started last year and that was languishing in my UFO pile.
Yarn: Caron Country
I actually kind of forgot I had started this one. I think I got discouraged because I knew I wouldn't quite have enough yarn to make the sleeves for this sweater long and at the time I really wanted it to be long sleeved, but after pulling it back out I decided that short sleeves would be just fine and in fact I really actually love the short sleeves. I think for a long time I thought short-sleeved sweaters were kind of silly. Like those open-toed boots that were all the rage last fall/winter? I thought, "What's the point? If it's cold enough to wear boots/a sweater, then wouldn't you need to cover your toes/arms?" But living in Houston, I'm now understanding how it can be chilly enough to want a sweater, but not cold enough to need a long sleeved sweater. And if it gets colder I can always wear a long sleeved shirt underneath and really that's about as cold as it ever gets in Houston. (Still don't really get those open-toed boots, though.)
And that's about all I can tell you about this sweater. I have no idea what pattern I used or if I just made it up as I was going along. All I know is that it's a top-down raglan knit in the round and that the yarn is super soft and lovely and machine washable and if it holds up well I'll definitely use it again.
Perhaps on another shawl?