Monday, 28 February 2011

FO: The Shaker Chic Shaelyn Shawl

It seems like "Prairie Chic" fashions were all the rage on the runway lately. I've decided to take this one step further and introduce "Shaker Chic".

The Shakers were a fascinating bunch. A peaceful, hard-working devout sect. They have been progressively preaching equality of the sexes and races since the late 18th century. Unfortunately, they also thought the best way to express their devotion is celibacy. This is probably why there is only one operational Shaker Village with three rather geriatric members. Three! They do have a museum and they sell furniture and crafts in the gift store. It's worth checking out- if your are every in the Portland, Maine area Sabbathday Lake is a quick trip. They give tours of the perfect and beautiful village every couple hours.

Anyway. The Shakers are known for their woodwork, not their fashion sense. Example:

Which is exactly the look I feel like I ended up with when I made the Shaelyn shawl.

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Sexy, right?

I know that my good friend over at KnithoundBrooklyn made one last year and it came out fabulous. She added the right amount of color to make it pop. I think I doomed myself by using all white.

I used two skeins of Bijou Basin ranch "Himalaya Trails", which is a 75% Yak 25% Merino blend.

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It was quite interesting to work with. It had some springiness and this very light, almost cottony texture. It felt very soft on the skein, but once I have the shawl wrapped around my neck I do detect a bit of a prickle.

Bry went to Nepal and took lots of pictures of Yaks. Yaks everywhere!





They are the main draft and pack animal in that area, along with being a good source of protein from meat and milk, and also fiber. It's freakin' freezing in those high mountains so they grow a downy warm undercoat that is suitable for clothing.

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I'm happy with the shawl aside from the Frump Factor. It was an easy, well-written pattern. It took me just a hair over a week to complete.

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I'm not beyond throwing this in a dye bath next time I get the dye pot out. A vampy red, perhaps?

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