Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Insert 'Terra' pun here: _____________.

 Shelter: Homemade Jam, Button Jar and Hayloft
As you might know, I never do anything by half-measures, especially when it comes to participating in land-rush style buying of new brands of yarn. I have a tendency to go, oh what is the expression....whole hog. So yes, a month or so ago, back before the Vikings hadn't thoroughly ripped out my heart and put it through the ritual wood chipper known as tanking on national television, I got a skein or two more of the Shelter than I initially let on. Like, at least four-more-colors-in-multiple-skeins more. See photo above.

Terra in Shelter 'Almanac'
After making Habitat, which I recently gave to my favorite Norwegian bachelor farmer, I knew that I was destined to have a long, protracted relationship with this yarn. I wanted to make something more substantial than a hat but not as commitment heavy and pocketbook unfriendly as a sweater, so I set about Ravelry to see what others in my situation had come up with. Several keystrokes later I had my answer: Terra!

Terra in Shelter 'Almanac'
The Specs
Pattern: Terra by Jared Flood
Yarn: 4 skeins of Shelter in the color 'Almanac'.
Needles: Size 9
Mods: see below

Terra in Shelter 'Almanac'
The main body of this shawl is done in a garter ridge pattern which is easy enough. You make a lot of progress in a short period of time and can easily do other things while knitting, like watch the team you've loved since your childhood implode before your very eyes on national television. Once you get to the lace portion, it's also smooth sailing, because it's easy and quite intuitive. It's only after you really get into it that you realize wow, one row is taking for-ev-er. Sadly once you realize this, you are then immediately obsessed with the fact that it's taking for-ev-er and can't shake the feeling that you're indeed not sitting on the couch watching your QB get a head injury on national television, instead you are in the Knitting Bermuda Triangle, a place where the normal laws of time and space are suspended, as several hours of knitting only seems to leave you back where you were when you started...

Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up...
Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up...

I credit the above-described sensation as the reason for my early retreat from the full experience of Terra. Many intrepid knitters on Ravelry had indicated that they only dipped into the fifth skein of Shelter for the last few rows, and since I personally hate the idea of that, I decided to forego the final chart, thereby leaving off the final repeat. The FO is no worse for it as far as I can tell as it's a rather large shawl.

Terra in Shelter 'Almanac'
For this pattern I got to try a new technique. I know, another one! The directions would have you finishing the shawl by kitchener stitching the first 12 sts of the provisional cast-on, which for the life of me I couldn't figure out. To me, kitchener stitching had always been a way of joining two edges, so the idea of using the technique to join stitches in a row was about as crazy as a 40+ year old QB who hadn't practiced with his team for 2+ weeks starting a game in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Instead I consulted my Tweeps and the Hungry Knitter herself suggested that I do a sewn bind-off instead, which is actually the bind-off recommended for the main edge of the shawl. One excruciatingly boring Youtube video later and I was in business!

Terra in Shelter 'Almanac'
Shelter in 'Almanac'

I must say that Shelter has other similar yarns beat, not just in regards to the twee names (Button Jar? Embers? Hayloft? Yes please...) but on the basis of the colors. 'Almanac' has got to be the most gorgeous shade of blue-that-is-almost-black I've ever seen, and I'm not even a blue person at all.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've never commented before, but I have to say that the shawl is gorgeous. The color, the pattern...I haven't knit a shawl before because I wasn't sure that I would actually wear one, but you've tempted me.
Also, sorry about the Vikings. Love hurts, some seasons more than others.

margaux said...

gorgeous shawl lady!! do you think buying shelter will help the hole that was created when an alleged professional NFL kicker punted to most dangerous punt receiver in said NFL? I think it's gonna take the whole freakin collection.

ohgivemeagnome said...

I love big shawls like that. What a beautiful job!

Susie said...

I've been looking for a larger shawl to make for myself and this just may fit the bill. Gorgeous color, gorgeous yarn and gorgeous pattern.

Guinifer said...

The Vikes are the team of my heart as well, and I remember when Fran lost the Superbowl, and other football games in the snow as well. They've broken my heart before this year! Luckily you have some lovely yarn to fall back on.

Laura said...

The shawl is gorgeous, and I've really been wanting to try Shelter myself. Might be a nice January treat, now that I think of it...
Sorry about your Vikings. That was really pretty silly to start Favre, and your post here definitely made me laugh.

Rose said...

Gorgeous shawl! I have two skeins of Shelter, one in green and one in blue and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them besides pet them for awhile. They are so pretty. Happy Christmas to you and yours!

Lynn said...

Gorgeous!!! I love the color of the yarn too.

Andi said...

The shawl turned out gorgeous!
Sorry about the Vikings but thank you for the laughs. My Denve Broncos ripped my heart out as well this year so I can empathize.
Better luck for us both next year. :)
Happy Holidays.

peaknits said...

What a beautiful shawl - I love it. and I love the Shelter - it is so much softer than you'd think when you look at the rough little skein. And Almanac...swoon - I like Sap too:)

nicole said...

Try being a fan of the Ottawa Senators. 18 years of heartbreak.

And I officially hate you, because no. 1, blue-that-is-almost-black is one of my favourite colours, no. 2 Shelter is not available in any Canadian store (thanks a lot Jared), and no.3 I made a stupid promise that I would "stop-buying-stuff-on-the-internet-because-we-have-a-mortgage-to-pay-and-even-though-it-is-warm-and-pretty-and-called-shelter-you-really-cannot-live-inside-yarn-in-minus-thirty-weather".

I think I need a very stiff eggnog.

Nice shawl.

Kathy said...

Beautiful shawl. I'm intrigued by the yarn but nothing has called to me. Maybe it will be at Stitches West and I can get a proper look at it. I have some rustic yarn I got in Australia... I wonder if terra might just be the perfect pattern for it...

whitknits said...

Oh, how I love Shelter, even though I have yet to do anything besides swatch with it. That Almanac color is so fabulous.

Beautiful shawl! I love a good sewn bind-off :)

LEO said...

o hai just saw this! I'm way behind on blogs. :/ That shawl looks just like the sort of thing I'd like to cuddle up with today.