Saturday afternoon, I completed my last short row on Cocoon, knit a full row, and finally bound off. That's two finished projects for 2016. As I handle not having a current WIP poorly, no one will be surprised that I cast on my next project that very evening.
Strathcona is a V-shaped scarf from Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook's book Island. It's like a shawl without the shawl, making it easy to wear. Its lacy, open mesh stitch is worked up in a linen yarn, making it the perfect spring and summer accessory. It's all style, no warmth, which is a necessity for Southern summers. I knew I was going to make it as soon as I saw it, and I knew which yarn I was going to use too–Classic Elite's Bella Lino. The model in the book sports a solid grey Strathcona, but I was positive a self-striping would make for an exquisite version with beachy vibe.
So far, I have not been disappointed. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I have a few stitches while knitting past my bedtime or in the midst of a conversation, but the stitch pattern is easy to rip out and catch up. The yarn is wonderful as well, with a myriad of color and textures in each skein.
I'm about half done with it; just into the left-slanting portion. I love how it looks. Bella Lino gives the scarf beautiful striations of different colors, textures, and weights. I can't wait to wrap it around my shoulders.
After I finally bound off Whakamarie, I dove back into Cocoon. I won the kit (Berroco Northstar) yarn and pattern booklet from Berroco last summer at TNNA, and cast on for this cloudlike coat in December to make myself a comfy, simple coat I could throw on over anything when Atlanta has a freak flash of cold weather.
My first impressions of the pattern were positive, and still are. It's a simple stockinette coat knit in one piece until the armholes, and there's a bit of short rowing. I'm still intimidated by short rowing even though I've done it before, so this project will help me get closer to perfecting my short rowing. If it's not perfect, the yarn's forgiving (read: fuzzy) enough to hide my mistakes.
My first impressions of the yarn weren't so positive; the yarn sticks to my needles. I'm knitting this on my nickel-plated Knitpicks, which are pretty slippery, and the stitches wouldn't move up and down my needles freely. Over time, I've gotten more adept at handling them, and I'm making faster progress on this project with every stitch. The needle tips are pretty pointy, so I haven't had much issue with splicing the yarn. If the tips were less sharp, I probably would.
Still, it's all worth it. The resulting fabric is a dream. It's a lightweight yet warm cloud that is so cozy and soft.
I'm about an inch from separating for the armholes, and I can't wait until I can grab this coat when I'm feeling chilly. It's a perfect neutral that will pair well with everything, and the alpaca/nylon blend doesn't itch a bit.
Pattern: Cocoon by Emily Nora O'Neil from #362 Berroco North Star
Yarn: Berroco North Star in 3002 Caribou
Ravelry: Riesquared's Cocoon