For once (or at least, for the first time in a while) I'm going to try and post an FO within a reasonable amount of time since finishing it which, in this case, was this morning! I completed the knitting over the weekend and then blocked and photographed it this morning.
Hanami Stole by Melanie Gibbons
I saw the pattern for the Hanami Stole when I was first coming up with ideas for a knitted item for my mother, but it wasn't until I started thinking about using Sea Silk for it that the project came together. I also wanted to try the new Addi Lace needles, so I ordered some in US #3 along with my yarn and excitedly awaited their arrival.
The yarn was as gorgeous as I expected (and I've really had a thing for pink and green lately) but I really didn't think I ordered the 47" circulars. I thought I ordered the 32" but it didn't appear that way. The lengthy cord was a little unwields. Plus I didn't really quite get guage on the #3s either but I wanted to try the new needles but didn't want to buy another size that I already have in Addi Turbos, so #3 it was. The stole is supposed to be 19" x 70". Mine ended up being 15"-20" wide and 67" long but it only really got wide at the very end, and I lengthened the stole as much as I could.
Well, did I actually lengthen it? Let's see. I chose to do the "all cherry blossom" version, and after knitting the first half, I realized the stole was going to be a little short, so I added an extra 16 rows of chart G (for those of you following along at home). The first skein ran out just before binding off, a small detail I didn't remember until I went back at the very end to weave in the ends.
Going back to the provisional cast on, I added another 8 rows to put a gap between the first cherry blossoms on either side, but as I neared the end of the stole, I realized that no way was I going to have enough yarn. By that time I had knit 8 extra rows of chart G, and I ripped out 12, after doing some measuring and calculating that ended up being way off, so I had to rip out again, and rip out another 8 rows so let's see, 16+8+8-12-8=12. I added a net of 12 rows in the end! Nor did the stole end up being exactly symmetrical, obviously, but when I started knitting, I decided to try not to be too much of a perfectionist as it's supposed to be relaxing, not stressful! I was rather frustrated by the second ripping due to miscalculation but I put the needles down for the day, had a good night's sleep, and soldiered on.
All in all, it was a good knit, easier than it looked, and the resulting fabric is beautiful and cool (as in literally cool to the touch). It was my first time doing a provisional cast on, following this tutorial over at Knitty. I did swatch it a few times to try it out, and still it came out a little loose. I think it's better to use a needle 2 sizes larger than 2 needles doubled up.
Also, the Sea Silk was the straw that broke the camel's back as far as buying a ball winder and swift went, because I got into such a tangle towards the end of handwinding the first skein that my sweetheart of a husband took pity on me and ended up helping me in an untangling that took almost an hour!!! I decided, that's it, I'm getting a ball winder and swift, and it was definitely a great decision.
In progress shots:
Did I mention that I bought a digital scale too?
Couldn't resist trying it on myself...
By the way, the pattern does warn to get extra yarn if you do one of the alternate versions, and in the yarn specified, 2 skeins would have been 6 yards more. That doesn't seem like much until you are down to the last few rows and counting every inch!
Flickr set is here.