One of the most rewarding parts about making it through the development process of SHELTER (which I will begin delving into more deeply tomorrow) was finally getting to knit and design with the wool when it arrived in its final state. On my original timeline, I had planned for the yarn to be design-ready by early May. Developing a yarn line, I soon found out, doesn’t always play by your rules, however. The actual delivery ended up being late June, which put a real crunch on the design period that I had been anticipating, but did remind me that flexibility is key when running a marathon.

I spent the summer working on a modest collection of designs to welcome Shelter onto the stage -- 5 of these patterns are available as PDF downloads today while the others will be released in intervals over the next few weeks. Sprinkled amongst my posts about SHELTER’s story, I’ll also be popping in to introduce you to the new patterns. I think they’ll help in showing some of Shelter’s unique qualities and a bit about my own discovery process while working with this new yarn (which already feels like a dear friend).

We’ll start with Terra, which was my inaugural project when the first few colors of Shelter arrived on my doorstep (what a day that was!). One thing you’ll notice about SHELTER when you pick it up is the lightness. The woolen-spun process allows the majority of the yarn to simply be air, which creates fabrics that are both warm and light. You’ll see in the Fall designs that I was very inspired by the fabrics that could be created and favored designs with simple shapes to focus on that special drape and loft. Terra is worked on a US 9 (5.5mm), which will generally produce a gauge around 4.25 stitches/inch at a relaxed fabric. After blocking the project with lace blocking wires and T-pins to stretch it to full capacity, the finished gauge resembles something closer to 3.5 stitches/inch.

The triangular shape begins at the top center of a small number of stitches and shaped outwards towards the edge by way of standard triangular shaping of 4-increases-every-other-row. The first third of the triangle is worked in a simple Garter Stitch Ridge pattern and flows directly into the textured lace edging -- an undulating cousin-stitch of Feather-and-Fan lace motifs. A stretchy bind-off is recommended to take advantage of the full dimensions of the fabric while blocking -- within the pattern I suggest a sewn bind-off (instructions for which are provided).

It’s a fluffy and cozy accessory for the neck or shoulders (very Fall), worked in the lovely Homemade Jam, with its rich red flecks popping from the burgundy heathered base color. You can find it here (BT) or here (Ravelry).


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