Pattern: Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style
Yarn: Silk Garden, 232; 9 skeins
Needles: Addis Sz 10
Dates: Fall 2007 - January 2008
Notes: What to say that hasn't been said? Entrelac was a pleasure to learn. The yarn's color shifting was perfect. I was entranced by the way the colors would interact as the squares built on the row below. It definitely gets you the "wow" factor with very little struggle and although we say we aren't going for the "wow's," we know we are.
The colorway is perhaps a little bright to put this into daily rotation. I think with a dark, monochromatic outfit, I could pull it off tossed over the shoulder but for now, it's getting lots of wear as I sit at the computer and write in my jammies. I'll definitely give it a debut at an upcoming Guild meeting and then we'll see about wearing it with non-knitters. I love the rustic look of the Silk Garden, but do wish it was a little softer and cuddlier. I've seen some stunning versions with more subtle yarns and would easily put this project back in rotation were the right yarn to come my way at the right moment.
I really enjoyed the freedom that came with working with a "rustic" yarn on a project that has an element of the rustic to it. I didn't worry so much about being perfect with the way I picked up the stitches or obsessing over gauge. I tried to be as neat and consistent as possible, but it was nice to do a "low stakes" project that gave room for the homemade factor and even celebrated the quirks that would happen with the work. I've been thinking about this freedom from perfection lately and want to write more about it when I introduce my next project tomorrow.
I tried to learn to knit backwards to replace the flipping back and forth but found that it was more tiresome than the flipping. The project was comfortable in my lap and never grew so cumbersome that the flipping was difficult or problematic. Definitely use circular needles to save your arms and if possible, I'd suggest using a fairly long needle to give you more "wiggle room." The blunt Addis worked well with the yarn. I could see having problems using a pointy needle that might split it or a sticky bamboo or wood needle that might give too much grip. Finally, this may be obvious to everyone else, but when you do the fringe, hold both strands in your hand and do the overhand knot over both at the same time. I kept trying to tie them together like shoelaces and that was extremely fiddly and made for a few loose knots at the beginning.
And oh, the fringe... the fringe. I really think the dramatic finish makes the project. It's not quite so dramatic as lace blocking, but definitely transformative in the same way. I love watching how those final touches really make or break a project, especially when they make it!
N.B.: I ended up with four extra skeins of the Silk Garden. I believe it's a discontinued colorway. It's quite pretty and would make nice striped scarves a la Brooklyntweed. I'm going to list it on Ravelry but if anyone is interested, let me know. I'm not going to push hard to sell it as it could always be useful but at this point, I'd prefer to reduce the stash a bit.