Back in August, Bailey's Uncle Marc (because you break up with your partner, not with the kids, you know) sent me for my birthday a pair of beautiful Lantern Moon needles and a skein of Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb. Even at the time (a time during which I was not laughing much), this cracked me up, because I could imagine the dialogue at Hill Country Weavers
Marc: "Hi, I wanted to get a present for someone who knits, but I don't really know what I'm looking for."
HCW Sales Clerk, internally: "YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!"
HCW Sales Clerk, externally: "Well, we have some lovely items over in the, er, Luxury Corner. Don't you think she deserves something very, very special
And I do. And really, if you're going to spend the money, I must say that I have gotten enormous aesthetic pleasure--both visual and tactile--out of the ebony Lantern Moons, to the point that I am considering splurging on a set of DPNs, although I'm not sure they make 1s, which would be the most practical size for me to buy.
But the Lantern Moons? People, they are nothing compared to the Lion & Lamb. I'd let it marinate in stash for a while, because I wasn't sure what I wanted to make with it, and now I am sad, because I could have had this luxury all winter. I have never felt anything as soft as this, and I'm sure I've never knit with anything as beautiful. The silk...the silk. I fell asleep on the couch last night clinging to a little scrap of it, like it was the softest, most beautiful security blanket ever. This yarn--and I think this is the highest compliment I can give it, considering that I have no other inclinations in this directions--this yarn made me want to learn to spin.
Anyhoo, what I made. The simplest, most utilitarian thing, but the yarn elevates it into something else again. It's just a neck gaiter, a little wabi-sabi, since I was paying more attention to the yarn than to counting rows.
The buttons are the find of the century (and the work of a moment at Jo-Ann's); they pick up both the color and the luster of the Mineshaft exactly.
Yup, just a neck gaiter. But I like to think of it as the softest hug my neck ever got.Neck Hug Recipe:
Yarn: 1 skein Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb
Needles: Size 10
Notions: Buttons, needle that will fit through buttons.
Gauge: With yarn held doubled, 4 stitches and 6 rows per inch
With yarn held doubled, CO 25 stitches. Use a loose cast-on, as your CO row will be your buttonholes later. CO more or less depending on the length of your neck.
Slip first stitch at beginning of each row.
Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Row 3: K
Row 4: P
Row 5: P
Row 6: K
Pow 7: P
Pow 8: K
Repeat Rows 1-8 15 times, or as many times as your neck requires.
Switch to seed stitch:
Row 1 *K1, P1*, K1
Row 2 *P1 K1*, P1
Repeat rows 1 & 2 4 times, decreasing 1 stitch at end of every other row while maintaining pattern. (This will form a seed stitch flap that will lie flat and prevent drafts.)
Cast off. Weave in ends.
Find 3 or 4 appropriately-colored buttons that will fit through the stitches on your cast-on row. (My buttons are 3/4 inch.) Wrap gaiter around neck to determine button placement; gaiter should be snug, but not tight. Seed Stitch flap should be underneath cast-on edge. Mark location of overlap. Sew buttons securely. Button up and enjoy the luxury!
NB. You could certainly knit a version of this in the round with no fuss. I like the buttoned version a) for the aesthetics and b) because I'll be able to move the butons over if the gaiter gets stretched out, extending its useful life. You could also knit in buttonholes so that you don't have to use the CO stitches. I didn't do this a) because I am lazy and b) because I didn't have my buttons in advance. You, on the other hand, might be more industrious and more prepared than I am. In fact, it's highly likely that you're both.