My favorite form of escapism over the past week has been to knit while listening to audiobooks–preferably British mysteries. I voted early–and not, be it clearly understood, for the Vicious Orange Troglodyte. Then I did a reasonably good job of keeping my head in the sand until the bitter end of election night, thanks to the hordes of Londoners and villagers who selflessly gave their lives to keep me amused. Were it not for Alan Bradley, Christopher Fowler and Robert Galbraith, I’d be gibbering in my closet and drooling in my shoes by now.
But I did finish a project.
Designed by Miriam Leth-Espensen, this cozy ruana is warm enough to serve as a winter coat where I live. I got it as a kit from Miriam’s Well in Santa Fe. (All of Miriam’s patterns are offered free with yarn purchase, and are not available on Ravelry or by themselves.) The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a 50-50, worsted-weight blend of wool and alpaca.
It’s one of Miriam’s multidirectional patterns, which are great fun to knit. You cast on at the side and begin knitting sideways, then cast on more stitches, which you work vertically while joining them up to the bit you’ve already done, then you pick up stitches along the edge and work sideways again, and so on, all the while changing colors and stitch patterns. By the end, it was humongous and afghan-like, so while the knitting wasn’t difficult, it quickly became too big to be a take-along social project.
This is what the back looks like. It’s finished simply, with an i-cord edging all the way around.
Or, if you are in a Clint Eastwood, Man-With-No-Name kind of mood, you can toss one end over your shoulder. The little fringy bits are made by twisting some of the loose ends together, using one of the twirly gizmos that weavers use to make the ends of their warp threads into fringe:
It’s lovely and cushy, and I may pull it over my head and hide in it for the next four years.