I have been a bad girl. As if I do not have 3 other shawls on the needles. I started a new one. This time, I got talked into it by a wonderful group of women who are part of a handicraft club I belong to. The question that started it all was something innocent, something like how would one wear a circular shawl. Not a difficult question, one would think. Until you start trying to find pictures on the internet. The only set of pictures that I found were not exactly complete, and the lady modeling a pretty, circular, white, lace shawl was also wearing a long, as in ankle length, skirt. I have nothing against ankle length skirts, I have one myself that I love to wear, and I am fully intending on making another one, when I get the chance. But one of the ladies taking part of this discussion was saying that it looked like the modeling lady was wearing a table cloth wrapped around her shoulders. She thought this might be because the lady was wearing that skirt. So I suggested imagining that she was wearing a pair of jeans. One thing brought forth another, and I found myself saying that I would have no problem modeling a circular shawl, with a pair of jeans underneath, with the caveat that I did not have a circular shawl. If they could be patient, I would have to knit one, and this could take a long time, because we all know how much spare time I have….
So, earlier this month, I cast on Hippo Gnu Deer, a circular semi-pi shawl designed by Mmario, with some Filatura Di Crosa Centolavaggi Chine in a very nice Camel coloring. I believe I have mentioned Mmario before, I really like the shawls he designs, and he actually provides them for free via the yahoo group. Most of the finished (as in tested and proofed) patterns are also available on Ravelry, just do a search for Mmario on the patterns tab. He is quite prolific, and there are many, many patterns on the yahoo group. Most of which are untested, and have never been knit. Hippo Gnu Deer is one of those untested patterns.
The Centolavaggi Chine is not a fingering weight, as I see it. It comes in 100 gram skeins which measure 1531 yards. This would in my book be a lace weight. When I had knit to row 17, which is just over 10% of the total number of rows, it was barely measuring 5 inches across the entire piece. This would extrapolate to a 50 inch shawl, barely over 4 feet. Not what I had in mind. So I ripped it all out, and have put the Centolavaggi Chine away for another project. I love the feel of that yarn.
Instead, I ordered some Palette yarn, in a gorgeous silver color.
At 462 yards per 100 grams (though it comes in 50 gram balls) this would be more along the lines of what I call fingering. This finally arrived last weekend (I am nothing, if not impatient, it did not even take a week for me to receive it). It is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, which feels quite soft in the skein. I find it a little less soft once knitted up, but I will see what happens after a nice soak, when I am finished. And I would still be quite thrilled to have a shawl feeling the way it feels knitted up right now. I decided to use the Palette, because I had been curious about the Peruvian Highland wool. I figured this would be a good project to try it out on.
I have not been able to stretch it complete, and get a good measurement, due to it being on double point needles at that time, but I think it will larger then it would have been with the Centolavaggi Chine, hopefully large enough to please me. I believe those are 8 inch long needles. Of course you can’t see the points, but I am guessing this took up about 6 inches. Oh, I have slowly upgraded my needles from a US size 4, (3.75mm) to a US size 8 (5mm). I started with the smaller needles, because it was easier to hold on the the beginning stitches that way. And the best circular center start I have found is Emily Ocker’s circular cast on. This is the website I used. I had to pull the loop tight in stages, by tightening the yarn, going through the first round of stitches, in between the stitches, since my yarn is pretty grabby, and would not just slide through. But I have done this with cotton as well, and that time it slipped right trough until the opening was basically not there. Definitely a recommended approach to a circular cast on. Let me know if the website is not clear enough, and I will attempt to clarify, maybe do my own series of pictures.