Design Inspiration: F.O.

In knitting-speak an F.O. is a Finished Object and especially if it has been a long time in the works we tend to crow about them. Here’s my F.O. of the week: my Torqued Blocks Wrap. You saw its humble beginnings when I played around with the old Tilting Blocks pattern in a previous post so I thought I’d finish up the story today.

After working out my stitch pattern I was good to start the actual project. I chose to use 3 colors of Malabrigo Mechita yarn which is a singly ply 100% merino yarn in fingering weight. The single ply renders this yarn unsuitable for socks but wonderful for cuddling up to on your neck. After some rummaging in my stash, I came up with 3 harmonious colors: a greeny-blue called Indiecita, a pink called English Rose and a purple-blue called Musas. I grabbed some size 2 needles (hey, its fingering, right?) and cast on. My idea was to alternate larger and smaller blocks/stripes of the 3 colors. Here’s my first iteration:

After a good 20 inches of knitting…..I was not excited. About the color distribution or the pattern somehow. It was a whole bunch of ho-hum. So…time for some trouble-shooting: what did I not like? Colors were too far apart–the large color block thing was not visually appealing here. Ok, I can fix that–stripes it is. One repeat of the pattern per color should work.

What else did I not like? The pattern was fine; I’d spent an entire day working that out. But I found my self repeatedly stretching out the pattern a lot to show friends and family what it would look like after blocking because it just didn’t look too prepossessing on the needles at all. Hmmm, the pattern was trying to tell me something, eh? So I decided to size up to size 5 needles and let it really expand and breathe.

Much better! Here’s a photo of the wrap in the works making all of these changes (with help from a friend who was stretching it out with both hands outside of the photo area). The alternating stripes really show off the lovely zig-zags and the colors are able to interplay with each other as they are all in close proximity now.

Yay! Now to finish. Knit, knit, knit..including on a trip to visit my folks in Atlanta, and: Voila! Finished wrap. A couple of days of some vigorous blocking and I had an F.O.

The larger needle size and the blocking yielded a very soft and drapey fabric to this wrap. Nothing stiff or hard to manage here.

Here is the W.S. (left) next to the R.S. (right); pretty dang close to reversible! Note how I made sure to block the naturally occurring points in on the edges.

The final stage of the process was writing the pattern up. Kind of an unseen process that is not a small amount of effort at all. But a few days working on it off and on and it was completed and is now available in Ravelry shop; look for the Torqued Blocks Wrap (or just click the link.) It uses a total of about 200 g of yarn and results in a wrap that is 18″ by 74″ after blocking (you can make it smaller or larger to suit your needs, of course). That’s just the equivalent of 2 skeins of 100 g fingering weight yarn. Don’t think you have to make this in the 3 colors I used! Two colors would work well also as long as they are solids or slight tonals. One color would be lovely and more subtle. Self-striping or strongly variegated yarns will definitely not work, however, stick to the solids or almost solids. Another idea would be to do some real stash busting and make every stripe a different color because who doesn’t have bunches of little leftover yarn amounts? Just make sure the colors are harmonious and you should be good!

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