Saturday, March 31, 2007

Possible solution for a problem spot in the stash!

Last fall, I bought about 1400 yards of Lily Chin Manhattan, which is a cotton/bamboo yarn with a nubby texture. It was one of the Yarn of the Month featured yarns, so I had a chance to test-swatch it, and I decided that I really liked it. I even went so far as to take the swatch for a road test-- I carried it around in my handbag for a little over a week (where it promptly gravitated to the bottom and got knocked around a lot) and, unlike most cotton yarns, the stitches actually stayed in place, which I attribute to the bamboo.
Anyway, after ordering all the yarn, I realized that I had no idea what to do with it. I am more of a stitch-pattern-oriented knitter than a colorwork-oriented knitter, and I soon realized that 1400 yards of a single color of nubby-textured yarn meant that I was going to be fairly constrained-- interesting stitch patterns, cables, etc. are pretty much lost on a yarn that already has its own thing going on with texture.
So, the big bag of Manhattan has been sitting in a cedar chest for about seven months now, and I haven't had a clue what to do with it. Finally, while browsing my favorite LYS after work yesterday (I am trying to make myself ONLY browse for a while, with the exception of a few books and tools, because I have to start making a dent in my enormous stash of yarns and UFOs) I noticed that one of the sample garments in the store might be just the thing. It's a shrug, basically a long rectangle which is doubled over and stitched into armholes at the top edges, after which you go around the perimeter and pick up a ribbed border, but the great thing about it is that I can tell it will be easy to modify the construction to fit my size and to lengthen the overall garment into kind of a cutaway, circular cardigan/jacket (I, like pretty much all plus-size, busty gals, look ridiculous in shrugs.)
Anyway, I am very excited about this project now. I finally found a project for the Manhattan that is casual enough to work with the character of the yarn, but won't be boring to make. Once I (finally) get a digital camera, which probably won't take too long to save for if I save up what I normally spend on yarn for a couple of months, I think I may have to make this project one that I document in this blog. It'll be my first official project where I use the pattern only as a suggestion and make the garment my own.