Starting to prepare for winter

Wow! Thank you, everyone, for leaving such wonderful compliments about the finished Crown Prince Square Shawl! Last week I mailed the shawl to my grandmother using barebones First Class Mail, and buck-seventy-three later, it arrived safe and sound, just two days later. I don’t know if that makes me an idiot or just incredibly lucky.

Grandma was thrilled! Here are her comments: She loves the pattern and the color. She loves that the shawl is very thin and delicate – apparently that’s the sign of something exquisite. Most importantly, she said that CPSS is a “true shawl”, unlike Misty Morning. Hmmm???

Well, apparently in order for a shawl to count as such, it has to be a square! Triangles or elongated rectangles are not enough. And now that I think about it, the women in my family did not have any triangular shawls when I was growing up. Rectangles were only appropriate for simple silk or satin scarves, never knit stoles. Squares were king! (Even if they were usually folded in half, making a triangle, and tucked under coats.) Those of you with Ukrainian/Russian grandmothers, please take note :). I’m just glad that I was able to knit grandma something to her liking for her 80th birthday.

Anyway, with that monster out of the way, I’m excited to start some new projects. I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed because I accrued some awesome yarns during the spring, and I want to use them all! Right now and all at once! At the same time, I want to make good choices. Otherwise, I will cast on a gazillion things, and all will end up being ripped. You know how it goes…

First up: Silver Optima from Mocha’s Fiber Connection. See those white flecks? Those are not cat hairs. Correction: those are not all cat hairs :). Some are thin strands of silver! Shiny! The yarn is composed of 63% superwash merino, 20% silk, 15% nylon, and 2% silver (Raspberry Crème colorway, 420 yards, 3.5 oz). I picked it up at this year’s New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival.

In choosing a pattern for this fingering weight yarn, I knew that I wanted to knit it up into a scarf. I first considered something crocheted (as one does), maybe the Cassia Scarf or the Alpine Frost Scarf. But I think crochet uses yarn in more dimensions than knitting, and I was afraid that the beautiful variegations of the yarn would be lost if it was crocheted. Do you know what I mean? Knitting is pretty much left-right and flat, while crochet is left-right and up and down and wrapped from front to back. Instead of knitted V’s gradually transitioning from one color to the next, there would be the risk of the the dc’s (or whatever) coming out mottled.

Along the same lines, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some sections of plain stockinette in my scarf-to-be? You’d be able to see the colors of the yarn and admire the silvery twinkles.

A few more hours surfing Ravelry, admiring this pattern and that one, and I think I found the perfect thing: Flutter Scarf by Miriam Felton.

The yarn I’m using is heavier than the recommended laceweight, and I’m knitting it with thicker needles (INOX Express circs, US 4), all in hopes of making a scarf big enough for Boston winters :). Since the scarf is knit center-out in two separate steps, I of course weighed my yarn before starting – maximize length without running out, right?

The pattern is simple and beautiful and clearly written (so far), and I’m really quite happy with how it’s coming out.

As for knitting a wool scarf in July, just as the hot weather is finally here to stay?

July 25, 2009

If my local Lord & Taylor is readying for winter, why shouldn’t I? 🙂


19 thoughts on “Starting to prepare for winter

  1. Robin

    The flutter scarf is such a feminine pattern and that Silver Optima is dreamy. I’ve also been considering working this pattern up in a fingering weight. (One of my favorite things about you is seeing over and over again how you’re not afraid to do “the rip” when it’s just not right.)

  2. stariel

    I love how there are racks (and racks, and racks) of *all black* coats! That’s Boston for you!

    The shawl is lovely, and the scarf looks like it’s shaping up to be a fabulous project too!

  3. Jeanmarie

    As usual, you’ve chosen another perfect pattern for the yarn in question; although the two crocheted patterns are spectacular, too. Gets me thinking about New Jersey winters!

  4. sil

    Being a California girl, thanks for the photographic proof that coats are only available in black 🙂

    The Flutter Scarf is gorgeous, as are all of Miriam’s designs. Will wait to see how lovely yours will be.

  5. JennR

    Hah! Much is explained 🙂 My Nana was born and grew up in Ukraine, and I’ve never felt that a triangle shawl was really a shawl, despite Grammy’s (Mass. Irish) assertions otherwise. And now I know why. Nana wore babushkas all the time, Grammy rarely wore shawls or wraps of any shape.

    I’ve had Flutter in my wishing queue for a while. Looks lovely in that heavier weight. Now to find a non-wool yarn to knit it in….

  6. Sigrun

    Please don’t mention the “W” word yet. I’m so happy the lovely shawl arrived safely. I sent a new baby packet to Germany on June 6, and haven’t heard if it arrived yet. it would have cost almost $40 to send it in some trackable fashion, and it cost $15 to sendit barebones, cheapy style. i can just see the Canadian postal services blaming the German post and the German post claiming that it got lost in Canada.

  7. Maryse

    This yarn is gorgeous and I think you’ve chosen just the right project too! The little strands of silver are really adding a nice touch to it!

  8. Chris

    First Class mail is always a good option! Priority Mail is a scam and I’m glad to see you opted out of using it. I recently sent a customer three small items via Priority Mail and only two arrived (many days late) held to the PayPal invoice with 2 rubber bands (no sign of the original box)! Post office would do nothing except pay for the First Class postage for the replacement items I sent my customer. PO said only if I had paid EXTRA for insurance ON TOP of the Priority Mail cost of $4.95 could anything have actually be done. What a rip!

  9. Knittinchick

    Urgh to the winter coats. They haven’t appeared in Canadian department stores quite yet-we like to embrace denial at a deeper level!

    But the scarf is lovely! Must knit a beautiful fall scarf! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Shelda

    That’s a gorgeous scarf, and that yarn is just fabulous. I succumbed to that pattern too, although I haven’t yet found just the perfect yarn for it.

    Neat that your grandmother loved the shawl! (as well she should, of course)

  11. Seanna Lea

    Oooh, I love the yarn with all of the little silver flecks in it. It just has such a glam factor that touch of special that is necessary sometimes to get through the winter.

    (And I’m in Boston too and knitting a wool vest, so I say bah to those who say you can’t knit with wool right now.)

  12. aprilshowers

    That is a lot of black!! You’re going to need something that bright this year, apparently. Glad your grandmother loved the shawl so much!

  13. Van

    Beautiful yarn! And great choice on the pattern. I might become the one who wants to knit everything Kathy knits :).

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