Since I figured out how to make shawls work in my normal wardrobe this year, I thought I'd tell you about the things I made this year that have gotten a lot of wear & why.
Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl
Yarn: 2 skeins of Noro Kuyeron Sock yarn
This shawl is hands down my most worn item. I guess it's no wonder that I accidentally chose yarn that goes with every single thing in my closet. It looks great with brown, any shade of green, aqua, pink, purple....yeah, about everything I wear except red or black. The pattern only calls for one ball but I did use two. My friend Dawn made one with one skein & I just didn't think it was big enough for me. I prefer for a shawl to actually cover parts of my arms, not just drape over my shoulders. This one fits the bill and I can either just let it drape, pin it with a shawl pin, or tie the ends to keep it on. Since it's wool it actually is warm - perfect for a little chill in the air or a breeze. I also wore it as a scarf over my outerwear & it worked well for that as well. Are you sold? You must make one right now.
Recently I was wearing mine and my 10 year old niece asked me if she could have it. I felt really bad about telling her no, but dude, it's 2 skeins of Noro & has to be hand washed. I did make her one of her very own though out of one big skein of James Brett Marble Chunky. She was especially happy that it matched her Christmas dress.
The other shawl that I have been using to death is my Clapotis.
I had been leaving it at work to throw on if my office was chilly, but I've carried it home a few times because it also matches a ton of stuff in my closet. The object itself is very versatile - it can turn into a shawl or scarf depending on what you are needing at that moment. I will admit the yarn choice is also key because these colors really work for me (Brooks Farms Solo). I don't think I'd get as much use out of the same shawl knit in orange, yellow, and puke green yarn. The unwritten rules of yarn buying pretty much eliminate this from happening as I'd never actually BUY orange, yellow, and puke green yarn. Naturally, no offense intended if that is your favorite color combination - I eliminated some buying competition for you.
My most used scarf so far this winter has been the Lace Ribbon Scarf. Again, the color choice made the difference on this one because I can put it on with literally anything I have on & that color is in this yarn. It's made from Misti Alpaca Handpainted Sock yarn in the colorway Bird of Paradise & that alpaca content makes it very warm. I also made it really long like the pattern calls for (which meant using 2 skeins of yarn), so I can wrap it as little or as much as I want. I love it!
I haven't gotten as much use out of my sweaters this year & I'm not sure why. I have a few that I really do like but I guess it's more about the weather. Either it hasn't been cold enough to need one or it's been so cold that I need more than just a cardigan. I hate having to pull a big coat over layers of clothes - it's just not the Texas (or Louisiana) way. My favorite sweaters are also admittedly not in the most neutral colors. My Central Park Hoodie is peacock / aqua & my Fylingdales is maroon colored. What I really need is a black, brown, or gray sweater since that is what I grab toward when I'm in a hurry.
What this post has taught me is that color / yarn choice really is key to a successful project. In the past I've knit objects out of curiosity and I've finally gotten to the point that I need to know it will be usefulness going in. I realize that sounds ridiculous, particularly to non-knitters, but it's true. As much as I like to knit interesting patterns that make the actual process of knitting more fun, in the end I'm more likely to use something that is boring to knit - particularly in the sweater arena. Sad, but true.
What is your most used knitted object?