Monday, June 16, 2008

what exactly IS a phiaro?

A seriously rainy weekend and some major thunderstorms have meant some pretty "dark" photo ops...but I was too impatient to wait for a nice day to take pictures of my latest knit. (Those of you who read this space with any regularity are probably thinking to yourselves "hmmmm, impatience, eh? I'm sensing a theme..."). It is true. I do not deny that patience is not one of those virtues that I possess. (Do you like the way I slipped another "eh?" in there? --boo yeah!, and there's another.)

So I present to you:

pattern: Phiaro scarf by Katie Himmelberg from Knitscene Winter 08/Spring 07
yarn: Eden Madil 100% bamboo (colourway #630)
needles: 5mm

(Little bit of a boob-showcase in that shot oopsy. Damn this shelf of mine!)

First of all, this yarn is really nice. It's my first time knitting with bamboo, and it it is silky soft buttah. The stitches even dropped like buttah (which was a pain if you "accidentally" dropped one, but heaven for a pattern like this). Next Clapotis I make will definitely be made in this. When I think back to how I had to sometimes "pick" dropped stitches apart on the other two I made...this yarn would definitely render that particular problem null and void. That said I would highly recommend it to anyone knitting a clapotis (would I recommend it for this pattern though? not sure...likely to recommend something with a tad less drape). It's got MAJOR drape (which feels amazing on...), and after it was blocked, just that much silkier. Though to be fair...what makes this yarn nice is also what at times made it a pain in the NEVER stayed balled up, and it was kinda splitty sometimes too.

If I made it again I would likely cast on about half as many stitches. It is H-U-G-E. I know it's supposed to double as a shawl (and I *was* kind of thinking about it for a wedding in September...), and is meant to be big, but really, it is a giant. No, I did not check my gauge. It's a scarf! And, I like my scarves big. The bigger the better in fact. But uh....still too big I think for a saner person than I.

All of the magic with this project happens at the VERY end. Here's what it looked like when I finished knitting it:

SNORE. It's just a big ol' giant tube. And then, you drop a TERRIFYING number of stitches (particularly in light of all that endless stockinette).

And I do mean terrifying:

(image deleted)

Once you're done dropping all those stitches (a task that begs the question "SURELY there is another way?!) you then have to CUT through it in order to de-tube and make it a scarf. Also terrifying.

By far the most tedious task though was the braiding of the fringe.

(image deleted)

This literally took me TWO full evenings, and in the end I wound up chopping them in half further because the scarf was so long already. I should have measured has to be at least nine feet (unstretched) I'd say. And the whole thing was so curly after all that knitting that not blocking it wasn't an option.

So there you have it. As I was knitting it I was thinking "what have I gotten myself into? it will never be done!", a prospect made all the more real by how boring of a knit it was. But the reality is, I was only knitting it at work...the odd lunch hour here or there and I was still done it in about three weeks. Given that I plan on knitting the next one about half as big, and have been quite pleased with the results, I'm now thinking that this is actually a quick and easy knit. I for sure would recommend it with some tweaking, and probably hit up ravelry for some other hints on this.

Or I guess I could just make another clapotis.


Anonymous said...

That's a crazy construction! It's lovely.

I used Eden Madil for my Picovoli and I loved working with it but I also found it super splitty.

Julia said...

Aha! I SO didn't get the tube/scarf thing - thanks for clearing that up! Love the colour and it looks very slinky and drapey - gotta love bamboo!

Sarahfish said...

Oh NOW I get it! Cool! How much yarn did you use in the end? I have a few balls of bamboo languishing in the stash...

Reckless Glue said...

I think I used five...I'm sure you could get away with three!

The Happy College Knitter said...

Oh my gosh that's hilarious. Your face is priceless in that one shot of you behind the yarn! The finished product looks fantastic and well worth the hassle of going through that entire process! I want one!

Lolly said...

okay, this is awesome. i love the yellow!

Charisse said...

I just love how this turned out! Well worth the endless stockinette :)

Sarah said...

What a crazy construction, would not have worked that out in a million years

Love the colourway and think it makes a great shawl/mega scarf

aleksandra said...

oh i love love love this! it's got the simplicity of a clapotis, but is even more open. the idea of dropping stitches appeals to me a lot.

well, maybe one day it will be my turn. :D for now i'm in a sock hype.

Reckless Glue said...

thanks everyone for your great comments!

Wendy said...

I LOVE the way this came out! I'm putting it in my queue! i love working iwth bamboo and I've adored each project I've made with it. I can only imagine how wonderful it would feel to be wrapped up in this lovely drap.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to knit this on a Magic Loop - I am using a size seven 40 inch round needle and making one loop in the middle. So far it's working but is aggravating......