Monday, July 27, 2009

'Round and 'round and 'round she goes....

I've been going around in circles lately.

First I made the Hemlock Ring Shawl. I think his photos are what did me in--I'd want to knit a toilet paper cozy if he photographed it.

My pictures aren't nearly so lovely, but I hope you get the idea. It's knit in this absolutely yummy alpaca that we'd bought in Santa Fe, originally intended for a sweater for Rob. Until we realized that he'd die of heat exhaustion if he were to wear it. Instead he became concerned that I was going to start knitting doilies, not an entirely unfounded concern since this is a doily pattern just knit in heavier yarn.

Hemlock Ring ended up being very small, but I loved knitting in circles. So I started on Shipwreck.

This is also out of alpaca that I'd gotten at Maryland Sheep and Wool a couple years ago for something else entirely. This went very, very quickly and is a lot bigger.

It's big enough and airy enough that I could double it and wear it as a shawl, albeit a shawl that will shed white fibers all over everything.

Shipwreck is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi shawl from Knitter's Almanac. Being somewhat obsessed at this point, and having a gift certificate to my LYS courtesy of my brother (thanks, DB!), I went and got the book. It's a very cool pattern that you can modify in countless ways, but I kept it simple. I used Churro wool that I bought at Tierra Wools the first time I went to New Mexico in 1998. Rob and I drove our rented Seabring over the mountains through a snow storm to the miniscule town of Los Ojos to go to this hand weaving store that I'd read about on the internet. I'm quite certain he thought I was insane. We picked out this yarn with the intention of it becoming a blanket some day. It only took 11 years. But I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it.

It's really wide--about 5 feet. And wow, is it warm!

Can I just go on a minute about how I've become a complete convert to blocking? Washing the wool and stretching it out just makes such a difference in how the blanket looks and feels. Particularly this last one. It's now so drapy and soft, and the pattern pops out so much more than it did unblocked.

The morals of the story:
1. Knitting in circles is a lot of fun--no purling! I'm working on another top secret one now.
2. Go ahead and buy that yarn--you'll use it eventually.
3. Blocking rocks!


kdh said...

Dude those are really really pretty. And huge! and pretty! Wowza! I can't imagine how much knitting that represents -- does it get heavy to carry around as you're knitting?

I've looked and looked and I can't decide which one I like best. I think its the multicolored blanket -- gorgeous!

Patti said...

Stunning!!I don't use this word often, but there is no other word to describe how beautiful those are!Amy and I stared at them for a long time last night and we can't even imagine how you knit in a circle.

Erica said...

Thanks, all! It's so nice to hear, since I had such fun working on them.

The Churro one got heavy to carry around. Though when these get bigger, they turn into a "bag" where I throw the ball of yarn.

It's just like knitting a hat from the top down. Instead of turning into a bowl like a hat, you increase more so that it goes flat. Getting started is a little tricky because of the small number of stitches on DPNs, but once you get going it's super easy. And no purling!

amy said...

Stop saying it's easy. i just don't believe you. you are a knitting goddess.

erica said...

You made me laugh, Amy! I'll stop.

kdh said...

I just had to come back and look at these again -- they're so pretty and amazing. It would have been a groovy post to see ONE -- let alone THREE?! E, Amy is right -- you are a knitting goddess!

abi's mom said...

My goodness, I think my head's beginning to swell! Thanks for all the sweet comments, everyone!

patti said...

No Lie! I look at them every day and I know they are even more gorgeous in real life.