Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Phat Ulmus

Phat Ulmus
Originally uploaded by Project Pictures
There comes a time when you look in your drawer full of those lovely samples of fiber you JUST COULDN'T RESIST and wonder... what the heck do I do with all this yarn? There's not enough of any one thing to make something out of unless you're into knit jewelry or ear-warmers. But there is enough, combined, to make something lovely if you put your mind to it.

Enter the Ulmus (Ravelry link). Ulmus is a lovely little shawl pattern originally written for two skeins of sock yarn, knit in alternating rows. It is somewhat reminiscent of the ubiquitous Noro Striped Scarf or at least I thought it could be. If managed right, my samples would provide the slow march of color that Noro would normally perform, and work out wonderfully in this shawlette. Ulmus also sports a beautifully subtle pattern of slipped stitches, which I hoped would blend the color changes a bit more.

Phat Ulmus
Happily it worked! I had originally thought to try and make a shawl with a more subtle color progression from one end to the other, but I don't know what sparked the idea of striping. It was serendipity that let one color or another run out early, so the transitions between one type of sample to the next were concealed in the stripes of the other color which remained constant.

Of course, I couldn't just wing it and let it go. I knit most of the way to the end and looked over my work and just did not like the way the colors stripped through the leaf-lace border at all! I very carefully frogged back 15 or 20 rows (I lost count) -- and at the end of a shawl, let me tell you, even five rows is nothing to scoff at ripping back. And I re-arranged the order of the final samples so they blended gently into each other.

I am so very pleased with the final product! Not only was it a joy to knit with my handspun, but I was able to revisit each sample and enjoy again the process of making them and the beauty that each individual Phattie (as the contributors are called) provided! This has become my go-to garment to keep off the encroaching chill. It's wonderful to toss around my neck no matter what else I'm wearing. And with so many colors it is sure to coordinate somehow.

I can't wait to figure out what to do with some of my other bits and pieces!


Araignee said...

Oh my goodness. That is spectacular! And what an inspiration. I've got to dust off my boxes and start spinning again.

Geek Knitter said...

Wow, that surely finished up gorgeously, didn't it?

Well done!

Saffron said...


whorlwindweaver said...

Lovely! what a great idea!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

The photo doesn't do its justice. The spinning, the gradation, the stitches, and design are striking and stunning. Perfect pairing match of fiber and design. Hope you WIN the contest, Laura. It was really fun to hang out with you and other knitters on Wednesday. See you at my next visit. Please add me to the e-list: nwdivot555 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

A triumph! This shawl is just delightful. I am so impressed.