I am so incredibly excited about my FO this week: the Lory Shawl by Bristol Ivy, which is a pattern from the Fall 2014 issue of Knitscene. It calls for Bijou Basin Ranch's Himalayan Trail yarn, and I knit mine in one of their new Outlandish colorways, Geillis.
"Shawl" is a bit of a misnomer in this pattern, as I'd really consider it to be more of a scarf - at least, that is how I intend to wear it this winter! It's 80 inches long but not terribly wide (at least by shawl standards), so that qualifies it as a scarf, at least in my book.
It will be great for wrapping around my neck this winter, and I love the bright green color. Yak fiber is known for being incredibly warm (after all, they are native to the harsh, rugged regions of Tibet and Mongolia). In particular, the Himalayan Trail yarn is a 50/50 blend of both yak and merino fibers, and it feels cashmere-soft. It's the kind of yarn I can only knit slowly, because I keep stopping what I'm doing so that I can pet the resulting fabric.
I soaked it in a sample of a new fiber wash from Bijou Basin Ranch called Allure; it's a no-rinse, all-natural wash that's developed by one of the owners of the company, Eileen, who has a background in chemistry. The sample I had was in the Woodland Mist scent, which was a fresh, clean scent that wasn't too overpowering.
Blocking the scarf was a breeze with my new Knit Blockers from Knitter's Pride (click here to see them in action with another recent project). Just for funsies, I timed myself while pinning it out on my blocking mats. I was done in exactly four minutes. FOUR! I'm certain I would have spent at least twenty minutes blocking this with T pins, and the straight edges probably wouldn't look as nice.
The welt technique was easy to learn (and the magazine includes a full tutorial articles), and I like the way they look on the fabric of the scarf. They were a bit slow, but it was a nice way to break up the monotony of the stockinette stitch. The final step was an i-cord bindoff which was never-ending, but it does provide a nice, polished edge that was well worth the effort.
I am really excited to add this super-warm scarf to my winter wardrobe this season!