Monday, 11 March 2013

Color Affection Finished!

Color Affection Finished!

It warrants an exclamation mark, because it took a lot of work.  I said here that I met someone in Portland wearing her own Color Affection shawl, and when I examined hers, I realised that I had misunderstood the instructions (my fault - they were clear enough)  and should have already started the border.  Apart from telling me that I was nearer to finishing than I had thought, that was also very liberating -  I remembered that after all it is my knitting and I can do whatever I like with it.

So when  I got home, I started the border, but didn't knit it according to the pattern.  The border, as written, is a 2 in./5 cm. strip of the second contrast colour, which in my case is the brown (Demerara).  It is the darkest of the 3 colours I was using and I thought that knitting the border according to the pattern would make it much too dominant.  (Also, having decided that I was nearly finished, I got impatient and really didn't want to knit too many more extremely long rows, taking about half an hour each.)  So my border is in the two contrast colours, Poinsettia (orangey-pink) and Demerara:  2 rows of Demerara, 2 of Poinsettia and then 4 of Demerara. And then I cast off.  The pattern says the bind-off should be very loose, and suggests using a larger needle, but I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off and it was absolutely fine.

As you can see from the photo, the finished shawl is very long, but it doesn't seem to be as deep as it looks in the illustrations to the pattern.  I'm not sure why.  I reduced the needle size to 3.5 mm (from the 4mm recommended) and wasn't very concerned about getting the gauge right - I chose a smaller needle because the fabric seemed too loose otherwise.   And I have used much less yarn than the pattern says you need: it specifies 352 m. of each of the 3 colours, in fingering weight yarn.  However, just from reading the pattern, it's clear that you need more of the main colour (M, grey in my case) than the first contrast colour (C1, Poinsettia) because whenever you have a stripe of C1 you also have a stripe of M, and then you also have the initial semicircle of M. In fact, I used about equal quantities of C1 and C2 (about 190m and 170m respectively) and about 50% more of M.

So, since I bought the amount specified in the pattern (two skeins of each colour), I have quite a lot left over - about a skein each of the two contrast colours and half a skein of grey.   It's lovely yarn (Artesano Alpaca), but I have more than enough yarn to knit already...

I really like the finished shawl - it's beautifully warm and soft, very light (see above).  And useful - it's snowing again today, so an extra layer of warm is very welcome.   I'm not very proud of my knitting though - I find garter stitch hard to knit evenly.  So I have to be careful not to look too closely, and just enjoy the overall effect. 

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