For the neck: December 2007 Archives

Feather and fan shawl

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My sister in law got married this summer, and I bought a new dress for this special occasion. It was a beautiful sleeveless blue and green silk dress with subtle Chinese embroideries. Of course, I needed an equally beautiful shawl to cover my shoulders. It was the perfect excuse to splurge on luxury yarn.

I spent at least one hour at Mouliné to decide which yarn would be the perfect one for this project. Finally, I elected Louisa Harding's Impression (84% nylon, 16% mohair, color #04) because it perfectly matches the green details of my dress. Plus, I thought the shimmering bright-colored nylon paired well with the hazy neutral-colored mohair. And it was so soft. In short, it was irresistible.

I wanted a lacy shawl, but with an easy pattern I could remember and knit everywhere on the go. There were two months left before the wedding and in the meanwhile I was going to Scotland, so I knew I would have lots of time to knit in airports, trains and buses. To stay in the ambiance of Scotland, I chose a beautiful traditional pattern from the Shetlands : Feather and Fan.

feather_and_fan1.jpgHere are the instruction for feather and fan stitch pattern:

For a multiple of 12 stitches (My shawl has a pattern of  36 sts):
Row 1 : Knit
Row 2 : Purl
Row 3 : * (k2tog) 3 times, (k1 and YO) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times*. Repeat between ** to the end of the row.
Row 4 : Knit
Repeat these 4 rows until you have reached the desired length of the shawl.

I added a 3-stitches garter stitch border on each side to keep the edges neat. This pattern doesn't tend to roll too much because it is well balanced, e.g. there are a similar number of knit and purl stitches on each side of the work.

feather_and_fan2.jpgAs you can see, row 1 and 2 make a stockinette pattern (which is on the "right" side). Row 3 is the lace row where all the magic occurs. Row 4 is quite interesting because it is knit on the "wrong" side, which makes a purl row on the "right" side. This makes a contrasting texture that emphasize the waves in the pattern and balance the fabric (keeps it from rolling). Isn't it wonderful?

I have good memories of knitting this shawl while drinking cider and listening to music in my small room in London. Nostalgia...

Stash enhancement : sari yarn

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I skipped a week of blogging because I was away for a conference, but now I am back with this gorgeous new acquisition :

sari_yarn.jpgIt is a colorful yarn made of recycled saris. I just love it. I found it at the Cultural Survival Fair in Cambridge (Mass, USA) Saturday and spent a lot of time browsing through their stash, examining every skein to appreciate its own colorway and texture. I finally chose four of them and wondered since what could I do with it.

Just to have a feel of it, I decided to make a very small and quick project. I didn't find any satisfying patterns on the net for sari yarn, so I improvised this necklace :

sari_necklace1.jpg I like how it turned out, and I had a compliment on it today, so I guess that it could be of interest for those who would like to pimp their look with an original necklace or make a last minute gift using that sari yarn hibernating in their stash! It is an easy crochet project that goes like this :

Row 1 : Using sari yarn and a 4 mm crochet hook (or other size you have on hand), chain (ch) enough to go around your neck, leaving a tail of about 10 cm.
Row 2 : Single crochet (sc) all the way. Ch 1 and turn
Row 3 : Ch 5 and sc in the 3rd stitch from the beginning of the row. Continue to * ch 5, skip 2 stitches, sc * to form a loopy pattern. At the end of this row, form a loop (by chaining 4 or 5 and sc in the same stitch) that will be the necklace closure. Cut yarn.
Row 4 : Make an additional four loops (centered) by sc in a loop, * ch 8, sc in the next loop * 4 times. Cut Yarn.
Row 5 : Make the last center loop by sc in a loop, ch 10, sc in the next loop. Cut yarn.
Finishing : Attach a wooden bead (with a circumference matching the closure loop you made) to the 10 cm tail you left at the beginning of the work. Weave in ends. Block (wet it with water, lay it flat on a towel, give it it's final form and let it dry overnight).

sari_necklace2.jpgWhen I first wear it, it felt scratchy on my skin, but an hour of so later, it was soft. I hesitate to commit myself to a time-consuming large piece of garment that may end up to be scratchy, so if you have any idea of what to do with this unusual and luxurious yarn, please tell me!

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This page is a archive of entries in the For the neck category from December 2007.

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