Pattern: Mara by Madelinetosh (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Two skeins of Beaverslide Dry Goods Worsted in Clearwater; 1/2 skein of natural, local Kid Mohair/Border Leicester blend
Needles: US 7? I forgot to check before putting them away. Oops.
Mods: Stripes! I did a stripe of the contrast every fourth garter bump, knitted the first 1×1 border section in the contrast color (and did the increases for the ruffle on the wrong side in the contrast color), then did the last right side row and the bind-off in the contrast color as well. Stripes are fun.
Began: September 30, 2010; Completed: October 22, 2010 (Raveled here.)
Notes: I had been working away on another project that just wasn’t coming together, and I knew I wanted something simple and soothing. When I get in that place, the best thing for me is some garter stitch and nice, woolly yarn. I’d noticed the Mara pattern before (and some lovely FOs) and thought it could be really cute, but I wanted to make it nice and big, and the two skeins of Beaverslide I had in my stash weren’t enough. Just before casting on, I thought of the idea of stripes, and I just went for it. I am incredibly pleased with the result.
The yarns were both lovely to work with, but very different despite their similarity in fiber. Beaverslide is absolutely fantastic to knit with: the yarn is soft and lofty, but it still feels rather strong, and their color saturation is unreal. These two skeins were a prized Christmas gift from J a few years ago, and I’m so glad I used them in a shawl that I never want to stop wearing. It has officially moved to the top of the list of my favorite yarns. The local wool was also lovely, but very different: it’s loosely plied, and so it sheds a lot, but it’s got a lovely halo. Something about the natural color and the mohair actually give it a lovely depth and sheen, which contrasts in a fantastic way with the solid, saturated Beaverslide.
To say that I’m “incredibly pleased” with this shawl doesn’t really cut it. I love this shawl. Love. I wore it yesterday to lunch, and I actually felt very chic and put-together, which is something I never really thought a shawl could do for my rather frumpy wardrobe. It is warm and soft, I love the bright color, and the stripes make me very happy. This project did exactly what I wanted it to do: it restored my knitting mojo, and it gave me an accessory that I’ll wear all fall and winter long.