This is my latest finished piece. I was feeling blue one day so I stopped by my LYS, http://www.tucsonyarn.com/ and looked around for "comfort knitting". I don't remember how it all got started, but I tried on this shawl knit out of a mohair and loved how it draped. But the mohair was out of stock so I began looking around for a worthy substitute. I embraced the fluffy Lafayette by Bristol Yarn Gallery, which is a blend of 96% Suri Alpaca and 4% nylon in the lovely soft green, color 1042. But we (the wonderful shop gals and I) agreed that it needed a second yarn to get up to bulky weight called for in the pattern. I decided not to add merino in the same color way, as I thought it would be too pastel for a year round shawl, so Syd suggested Berroco's Softwist. It is a wonderful mix of 41% wool and 59% Rayon in a deeper blue green, color 9416. This yarn has a definite shimmer to it. We were all so excited about the combination, Ava wound both for me, even going the extra mile and winding the two together. I sat down and cast on a swatch with borrowed 13's and determined the fabric was perfect, so ripped out the swatch and began the shawl.
The pattern for the shawl is Oat Couture's English Garden. It starts at one narrow edge rather that the top or bottom. In garter stitch this was a breeze to knit, in fact I finished it in just 6 days. When I went back to the shop to report my progress ( and get more of the Lafayette, I had run just 20 rows short) there were 2 finished shawls and one on the needles from our brainstorming together! I have a request for one in multi colors from a friend and I want to knit several more to have on hand for gifts or "prayer shawls".
I will say though, that all those rows of garter stitch on big needles, had me looking longingly at my lace knitting and socks! I now have gone back to finish the second Mrs. Beeton's ruffled wristwarmer by Brenda Dayne of http://www.cast-on.com/, which is on http://www.knitty.com/issuewinter05/PATTmrsbeeton.html I will have a picture soon. Having begun my first one with beads as the pattern suggests, and then deciding it wasn't what I wanted, I can tell you that the first row With Out Beads is much easier to knit and nearly as charming. Also, before you knit the two ruffles together, make sure that your bottom one is showing as much as you like. that was the problem with my first attempt, so on the second go round I added a few more rows at the top of the underside before knitting the two ruffles together.
Also, on the work front, I am off hiatus and back selling at the master planned community Rancho Sahaurita, south of Tucson. It is lovely there and I am enjoying myself. Take care all, I am off to get my second cup of coffee! KC P.S. the dog in the picture is our Molly:)