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