Friday, June 06, 2008

FO: The Scurvy Shawl


About time, too.

This yarn was the result of a couple of pints, a boxing day sale, and a cold, dark winter.

It's Malabrigo Lace, in a colourway that no-one has ever seen anywhere else, and can't be found on their website. You wouldn't be out of line to suggest that it was an unfortunate mistake in the dyeing vats.

However, it in the depths of winter, it reminded me of nothing more than a shot of lively citrus fruits.

And so inspired, I sought out a semi-circular design, something that would take actually work with the citrusy nature of the colourway.

And I found a "cocoon" stitch that on the wrong side, looks entirely like the flesh of a citrus fruit.

You can see it in this picture -- click to embiggen.


And so was born the Scurvy Shawl - a knitted slice of orange. To combat scurvy, you see.

I've been working it on and off since January, and decided a few weeks ago to focus to actually get it done. The problem with semicircular (and triangular) shawls is that as they get closer to being done, the rows get longer, and therefore take longer to do. As its biggest, I was working over 400 stitches per row. Takes a while. The last 20 or so rows took me well over 8 hours.

I took it with me on vacation, and worked on it during our train journey from Cannes to London. Great scenery, a big bag of food we'd bought the morning of our departure at the local market in Cannes, some good music, and a knitting project I was desperate to finish -- it was a great day. I wasn't quite done by the time we hit London, but a couple of pub evenings and a trip or two on the underground and I was just about complete. I started the cast-off a couple of times... my usual "Russian lace bind off" (which I'll explain later) didn't look good in the context of the garter edging. And not having any larger needles with me, a standard cast-off was simply too tight. So I reluctantly packed it up and brought it home unfinished.

The final cast off, which a 5.5mm needle (compared to the 3.5mm on which I worked the shawl) looked good against the garter edging, and had enough stretch to accommodate the blocking.

I finished it up Monday, blocked it Tuesday (blocking wires, clothespins and my laundry rack... much quicker than pinning it to the floor)


and was wearing it by Wednesday.

It's a single skein of the Malabrigo Lace -- I did buy two, and I might have to see if I the shop that sold it to me is willing to take the extra back. I'm not sure I see how I need anything else in this colourway in my wardrobe right now...

It's modestly sized, but just perfect for a soft, warm little scarf with a light coat. And my god, it's soft and warm.

Very pleased with it, in the end. I'm just sorry the weather's suddenly got too hot for wearing wool scarves...

A visitor to my blog recently commented that she loves travel knitting, as the finished object will always carry with it the associations with the places it was worked. A train in the south of France in early seems like an entirely appropriate place to associate with this project...

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

It seems entirely appropriate to take something to combat scurvy on an Atlantic crossing, too.

I was recently given two skeins of sock wool (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, multicoloured) and just today finished my first-ever sock. I might be hooked!