The mohair sea shrug all started when Kat gave me a HUGE bag of wool back in May, containing this beautiful turquoise/lavender mohair mix amongst others. Big up Kat. Full of gratitude and thanks, I am.
HOURS of hunting on interwebs, ravelry ‘n all for a pattern fancy enough to show off the colours and fluffiness of this lovely mohair/wool/nylon blend, but not TOO complicated – found it in Stephanie Japel’s pattern for a textured circle shrug.
So I got cracking knitting, on a plane, no less – smuggled my circular knitting needles through security in my hand luggage, cleverly (fiendish, eh?) hidden amongst a handful of pens. The wool, I carried in plain sight. I mean, who’d suspect me of overpowering a plane’s crew by tickling them with fluffy wool? Then, trapped on the beach for a week, I knitted and knitted, then knitted some more. How fab is it that the sea in Lampedusa is the same colour as the wool I brought with me?
It’s a great pattern – an unfolding trip through ‘what next?’. I got horribly confused more than once and had to unravel inches of knitting – the heat frazzled my fragile maths ability to a crisp. No matter how much I read the pattern in advance, it was only as I knit it that it made sense.
I’ve never worked with mohair before so was unprepared for how the fibres float through the air and get up your nose or stuck in the back of your throat. And, had an odd little experience when I left the wool in a ziplock bag in the baking sun – the sweat from my hands got into the wool, then condensed in the bag, dripped back onto the knitted fabric and felted it solid. Why does this seem kinda gross?
Just as it says in the pattern title, it is indeed a beautifully textured pattern – a mix of seed (moss) stitch and ribbing. The reverse stocking stitch ridges in the sleeve have a pleasing sort of Sonia Rykiel/Hazel O’Connor feel to them and the whole garment, when you flap it about, is a surprisingly organic shape – not unlike the jellyfish (brilliantly called ‘medusa’ in Italian) that rudely wanted to muscle in on our snorkelling fun. Sting-y buggers.
Finished at home in London with some glass buttons, and photographed at dusk by my ever-helpful hubby. Thanks to everyone who made this shrug possible, including Buddy (above), who helped with the flattening out/unravelling balls of wool processes on more than one occasion.