Shortly after returning from vacation, I completed work on this simple handspun triangle. Since I was shooting to use up every last bit of this special yarn, I waited until I was home again and armed with my trusty kitchen scale to aid in calculations so that every last yard could be enjoyed, stress-free.
It's probably no surprise to anyone, but a simple shape of fabric with a good wool and suitable texture is a recipe for success every single time in my book. Simple knitting allows for the enjoyment of the special characteristics of our materials and I think this might just be one of the things that keeps me devoted to my knitting. One of the many things.
This piece was worked in the standard method, starting with just 10 stitches at center-top and increased regular along both edges as well as the center 'spine' to create a simple triangle. I love working from the top down (from the top 'out' seems more appropriate in this case) when you know you have limited yardage and want to stay in control of your process. By working with with a scale and measuring the remaining grams of unworked yarn remaining, you have good solid numbers telling you when you need to start thinking about binding off. This scenario is almost always better to me than spending the last 20% of the project wondering if there will be enough yarn to get me across the finish line.
The simple stitch pattern is a subtle variation of garter stitch -- knitting, knitting, knitting, and purling every 6th row (or every 3rd RS row) to create a 'valley' in place of every third Garter Stitch Ridge. I think this stitch pattern is beautiful in its simplicity and highlights the diagonal directional fabric in a sweet way. I kept the first and last 3 stitches of each row (the stitches running along the top, flat edge of the triangle) in pure Garter Stitch and ended with 3 consecutive ridges to give a touch of weight to the outer edge of the shape.
I estimate that I used approximately 275 yards of a very light, handspun 2-ply yarn, the weight of which danced around between a DK-weight and a light-worsted weight, as handspun yarns tend to do. I loved the lightness of this yarn and wanted to play that up by knitting it at a looser-than-average gauge and block the finished piece as for lace. The result is a feather-light fabric that is toasty-warm and wooly-soft. Surprisingly soft for a Romney, but that has a lot to do with the amount of air that is trapped in the finished yarn.
The finished dimensions of the piece came out to about 43 inches across the top, flat length of the triangle, and a 21 inch depth at the center 'spine'. Perfect size for a wool-lovers alternative to a bandana, no?
I don't know if I'll ever stop singing the praises of blocking wires -- their precision in making perfectly symmetrical shapes while blocking brings me an unlimited amount of satisfaction. They really play to my inner Geometer. To maximize the blocking potential, I worked a sewn bind-off for as much added elasticity as possible. Traditional bind-offs, when worked along the perimeter of larger pieces that will be blocked severely is a recipe for disaster. The sewn bind off, while taking a bit longer to execute is so absolutely worth the fuss.
Wool-wearing weather is beginning to slowly retreat, but at least this little triangle will provide a graceful (desperate) transition before the official hibernation of my cold-weather wardrobe.