Let’s start with the wrap.
We will begin some flowers during week 3, so please set aside some of the wrap color yarn in order to make flowers – shoot for 10 yds (9m) per flower. To make the pictured wrap, that works out to about 80 yds (73m). If you are working in a larger gauge yarn, or doubling a lace weight yarn, you will need to set aside more yarn.
- Size 1 (2.25mm) straight or other needles
- Size 13 (9mm) straight or other needles
- 2 skeins Shibui Silk Cloud. This yarn is lace weight silk mohair. There are a number of alternatives out there with similar content, but I tried most of them when I was making this wrap and I found that the Silk Cloud was the softest, most delicious of the options.
As you may be finding out, if you are on the hunt for the colors called for in the book, Blossom, the light color I used for the Fuchsia interior petals, has been discontinued . . . There are other brands of lace-weight silk mohair that have a similar color, so feel free to substitute. . . I have a single skein in my studio, so I have enough to make several kits. Contact me if you are still on the hunt for this color. There is still time for me to get it to you before we begin the flowers.
There are some lovely new colors in the Silk Cloud; I am currently making a wrap in Mulberry, a lovely deep plum color, with “Blush” inner petals. The green is still “Wasabi” though it has recently been re-named “Apple.” Here is a picture of this color combination – it is truly delicious.
- Size 1 (2.25mm double pointed needles (set of 5)
- 1 skein each of Shibui Silk Cloud in the wrap color, a lighter color for the inner petals of the Fuchsia, and a green for the stem color.
While 2 skeins of the yarn will make a wrap that will float beautifully around your shoulders, I have created kits for the wrap that include 3 skeins – enough for flowers and enough to make a longer wrap because I think many people, myself included, may want a wrap that drapes over your arms (rather than sliding off your shoulders) if you let it fall from your shoulders. I also like the idea of wearing it with a suit more as a conventional scarf with the flowers falling down the back.
I have some ideas for how to use most if not all of the skeins for the lighter color and the green. . . so you might be wishing you had gotten full skeins instead of mini-skeins. I know some have been concerned about left-over yarn. I have these same concerns, so part of the objective of this KAL is to inspire you with ideas that help you use all the yardage you have.
Playing with Gauge: bigger flowers, more substantial wrap . . .
Perhaps the thought of casting on to size 1 needles really has no appeal for you, or you don’t want such a light and airy wrap. By all means, please experiment with other yarns and gauges. If you want to keep the same look but want a bit more substance to the wrap and greater ease of working, consider doubling the yarn and working on a size 3 or 4 for the narrow, small gauge bits and going up to a 15 or 17 needle for the airier, larger gauge sections. You may need an extra skein of the Silk Cloud, in this case, bringing your total to 4 skeins.
Or consider working in Cashmere, or a delicious silk blend – you will want something rather light and with some loft in order for the wrap and flowers themselves to have a lightness and delicacy. Swatch to see what will work best if you have several options at hand.
Your homework for this week is to settle on your yarn, cast on, and get to work on the wrap. I used a conventional long-tail cast on for the wrap pictured. . . I’d like to see you work at least 8 – 18 inches of the wrap by next Monday. The wrap knitting is quite simple and I would rather you swatch a bit and even start your wrap a bit late in order to put all that work into something you will love.
When I was working on the wrap, I did the knitting in fits and starts. I found that when I worked on the smaller gauge bits I had to pay attention to every single stitch. I couldn’t watch a soccer game my son was in or even pay attention to the nature program on TV. I could talk on the phone or visit a friend who understands about visiting and knitting. . . Larger gauge bits I would work without looking and they were done quickly.
As you can see from your homework assignment above, I do not have the expectation that all of you will finish the wrap knitting this week! I do not expect myself to! Please take your time and enjoy the process. In Maryland, Spring is in full force: the Azaleas are in bloom, Rhododendrons coming along, later bearded Iris are still blooming, tiny Dianthus are sweet with fragrance. In other words, the garden is tempting. I plan to sit there today and soak it in after an exciting (but exhausting) weekend at Maryland Sheep & Wool (more about the show and our great weekend in another blog posting–the show explains my Facebook silence. We were literally working from 5 am until 11pm from Friday until yesterday!)
But I digress!
I will discuss the length of the wrap next week, offering ideas for how to finish wraps/scarves of different lengths.
I have the idea that this Gossamer Wrap, as with the Ella Coat, can have many different looks, can be many projects, and inspire yet more. I invite you to explore some of the variety this basic pattern can yield. Enjoy the process of discovering that variety! And take time this week to knit in the garden. Here is where I am going right now. . .