Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jack Frost

Friends, thank you for being so willing to undertake the finishing of my half-blanket for me.  Honestly, that thing, so deceptively innocent there in the workbasket, was weighing on me.  It has been adopted by the lovely Arianne, who I hope won't be put off knitting permanently when she sees the full extent of the ends situation, and it will be on its way to her as soon as I can get to the post office.  The plow truck just thundered ominously past the house again.  I see some of you out there with your daffodils and your garden trowels and I am a little bit overcome with envy, because in New York, we are still in a Deep Freeze.  It's hard to imagine green grass when it's like this for so long, but soon, though.  We will get our turn in the sun.  I mean that's just science, right?  Meanwhile, I finished something, and I want to share it with you.
This is my Jack Frost Wrap, and oh my goodness.  The extreme coziness.  The yarn I used is Woolfolk Far, in Color 02/Lightest Gray.  Far is a worsted weight merino that is so soft it cannot be believed.  It really boggles the mind that something this incredibly soft can be the hair of an animal that lives on a farm somewhere and sleeps in straw and does all the muddy things sheep normally get up to.  Truly, I am gobsmacked.  Now, Woolfolk is not an every day yarn, at least it isn't for me.  It costs a lot, and while I think it is worth every penny, it is not something I can indulge in for every project, so this wrap had to last me awhile, and it had to be worth it in the end.  I tried a couple patterns (okay, I tried SIX patterns...) and they were pretty, but they just weren't worthy enough of this yarn for me, so I made up my own.  
Want to make one too?  Here's the pattern for you:  Using worsted weight yarn and US 8 needles, cast on 81 (or any multiple of 14 + 1 + 10).  Knit two rows.  Next row (RS): K5, pm, work first row of chart, pm, K5.  Next row (WS): K5, sl m, work across second row of chart to marker, sl m, k5.  Keeping first and last 5 sts in garter st, work 20 rows of chart 20 times, or until your yarn runs out, or until the wrap is as long as you want it.  End with chart row 3.  Next 2 rows:  Knit across.  BO Knitwise.  Here's the chart:
Block it when you're done.  Promise me!  This stitch pattern looks like an egg carton until you block it.  Just soak it in the sink for a couple minutes, then roll it in a towel to squeeze out some of the water, and fling it out on the floor.  I didn't pin it out very hard, and I don't have blocking wires, so I just pinned it at the corners and shimmied the sides into an approximation of straightness, which is fine with me.  
This project was such a comfort as I worked on it, so lovely these past few turbulent weeks.  I really loved it.  If Woolfolk Far is out of reach for you (and it is for me, now, too) you can use any soft worsted yarn you like.  I used 6 skeins of Far, which is about 850 yards, and after 20 repeats of the chart, I had only a tiny bit left.  My finished wrap is 78" x 18", which is quite long and fairly wide, and it wraps hugely around me like a squooshy soft hug.  I like a big wrap.  If you want something smaller, you could cast on 67 (wide-ish scarf) or 53 (skinny-ish scarf).  
I hope you'll make one.  There's still plenty of winter left.