Sunday, November 7, 2010

FO: Terra

I'm in love. Thank goodness I have an understanding husband because I just can't get enough of this new wrap from Jared Flood. Here are the specs and then I'll go back to gushing.

Pattern: Terra by Jared Flood
Yarn: 4.25 (ish) skeins of Shelter in colorway Wool Socks
Needles: size 8 32" Addi Lace circular
Mods: none. absolutely none.

At first I was a bit worried about how (if) I was going to wear this piece since I often find large lace shawls a bit awkward and difficult to wear. But this is just a big cozy wrap. Adding in a pair of mittens, Terra provided all the warmth I needed while modeling outside yesterday (and I don't normally think of a long sleeved shirt as enough in 40-degree weather). I don't think I took Terra off all afternoon.

Shelter is an absolutely gorgeous yarn. It's pricey, so I won't be knitting all of my sweaters out of it (not that I wouldn't happily do that in a heartbeat) but it is well worth the price. The yarn has a bit of lanolin still in it, which you can feel while knitting - the yarn is soft but not super-soft. Boy, does that change after a bit of a bath. I soaked Terra in lukewarm water with a bit of Eucalan for 20 minutes and the transformation was amazing. The yarn bloomed a bit - not enough to really change gauge (but, to be perfectly honest, I didn't think about gauge at all on this project) - and became incredibly soft. It's absolutely stunning.

One thing you should be aware of with this yarn, however, is that there is a fair amount of vegetable matter. If that bothers you, don't buy it. But don't worry, it's pretty easy to deal with. I wound each skein by hand - no ball winder, just a swift and my fingers. After untwisting each skein, I'd pick off all of the pieces of VM that I could see. Then I put the skein on the swift and piked off other pieces of VM as I came to them while winding the ball. I still had to pick an occasional piece out here and there while knitting but it didn't interrupt me much at all. Just be careful when picking out the VM. Because this is a woolen spun yarn, the fibers and VM can get very tangled together and you run the risk of breaking the yarn if you're not careful when removing pieces of VM. 

One other nice thing about this yarn: it spit splices very well. I only had two ends to weave in: the cast on and the bind off tails.

And, before I forget, here are two things you should know about this pattern. First, you need 5 skeins, not 4 as the pattern calls for. I'd seen this mentioned a few times on ravelry before I bought the yarn and I'm really happy I followed this advice. Second, the sewn bind-off takes forever. It's not just you, this technique really does take ages. Far longer than you would think. But it's a great bind-off and I wouldn't use any other one for this project. It's incredibly elastic and blends in well with the garter stitch edge.

I wonder if I should make another one in green . . . 


Gale said...

That shawl is beautiful and looks so cozy.
My stash of shelter arrived for Peter's Saddle Shoulder Aran the other day and I am so with you. So much so I am considering ordering a whack of that yarn for a sweater for my mother-in-law.

Jonah said...

When we first saw Shelter in the store, I was unimpressed. While you were working on it (and gushing about it), I continued to find it pretty uninteresting - the color was nice, it was kind of scratchy, but I didn't really see anything else special about it.
Then you washed it - I'm a convert! After washing, this yarn is just great and I can't stop petting.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Such a great post, so informative! I knit a Habitat out of Shelter and am strongly drawn to Terra now, thanks to you...

Jacey said...

Gorgeous! And yes, I do think you might need one in green as well. :)
The shawl is lovely, and I'm glad to hear it brings you warmth.

elizabeth said...

It's beautiful! (I think that's my standard comment on your blog). I remember when I used to look at Noro and turn my nose up at the bits of chaff. Now that I'm a spinner, it's nothing!

Anonymous said...

okay, clearly - after looking through your posts - I've been off your blog too long. I kept thinking, "she looks pregant. I should say congratulations. What if she isn't pregnant? That would be bad. But clearly she's pregnant, but..." So, since I see now you've said something about it, you look beautiful. And that shawl really is gorgeous. That may be going into the queue (but with cheaper yarn).
I would try ravelry for the baby size stuff. I've gone on their for baby booty stuff and a few women have made rough attempts to get measurements for actual babies.

Rachel said...

It's beautiful...oh how much I love that color! But yeah, a green one would be really pretty as well.

Thanks for so much detail regarding the yarn...I'm sure I would be wondering about the VM, the lanolin, and the scratchiness when I started knitting with I know for sure it will all be okay after a wash (but should definitely swatch I take it!).