We got something like eight inches of snow this week, and the wind has been howling late into the night. I decided that this was a good time to start knitting something cozy.
I have five skeins of Knit Picks' new silk/mohair blend, Aloft. It seems pretty much identical with Kid Silk Haze for a little under half the price, and comes in some of my favourite rich jewel colours. I've been having such a hard time putting it down that I am a bit over a third of the way through knitting a big stole, and the yarn only got here on Monday.
Nothing in the picture reveals the size of the thing: after blocking it'll be three feet wide, and its finished length will be six feet or slightly longer.
This project is not especially Russian, in design or material or inspiration—I was thinking about walled gardens, labyrinths and enclosed things—but when I was figuring out how big it should be, I had in mind the grey shawl that has been my near-constant companion since the fall. Aloft is unlike that Orenburg lace yarn in many respects, but it does come with a fabulous halo, and I imagine that someone could wear it wrapped around their torso underneath a wool coat to stay warm even in January.
I like this very simple allover pattern. The repeat is rather big (18 sts by 34 rows), but it is easy to memorize and fast to knit, as most of the wrong-side rows are knitted plain with no patterning at all. The big eyelets are "peas" (borrowed from Gossamer Webs) and the circular things are the same motifs as in Mrs. Montague's pattern, arranged very close together. I think the alternating diamonds set into a diamond grid will end up being pretty striking, although it's all very undefined and soft-looking right now, before blocking.