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Pattern: Hapi Wrap by Judy Ditmore, from Interlacements
Yarn: 8-ply Ray-Flax, a limited edition yarn from Interlacements, in a colorway I don't see on their site. Knit on US size 8 needles.
The yarn is billed as fingering-weight, but it feels heavier to me (possibly because I've spent a lot of time lately knitting with sock- and lace-weight yarn, and everything feels heavier to me). It's inelastic but very soft in the hand; the relaxed gauge of the feather-and-fan keeps it from being as difficult to work with as some inelastic yarns would be. It produces a fabric with much more drape than its weight would suggest. The 8-ply construction does make it fairly splitty, but the loose gauge helps with that, too.
The 15 percent flax (linen) content softens the rayon, which has a slight sheen. And while conventional wet-blocking would be a waste of time with this yarn, it takes very well to a hot steam iron.
The pattern: Simple feather-and-fan, knit as a rectangle until the back is as long as you want it (allow for drape!) and then divided and continued down the front. The faux sleeves are formed by simply folding the garment in half, width-wise, bringing the edges together and shape and then seaming up as far as you'd like.
Notes: F&F is practically mindless, as lace patterns go, and the sort of thing I can knit when I'm watching TV or carrying on a conversation.
Total time to knit: about three weeks, including a couple of four-hour-each-way train trips.
The pattern called for finishing the edges with a crocheted crab stitch, but I opted to use applied I-cord instead (in no small part because I 'd forgotten to pack crochet needles for the train trip. I like the way it turned out; among other things, the I cord provides sufficient substance around the neck to ease the strain on the stitches at the point where the rectangle is divided.
Bottom line: A loose, flowing and comfortable wrap that works well with my style (aging hippie chic) and is flattering (especially in profile) to an ample body-type. Besides working with my heavy-on-the-purple wardrobe, this particular colorway is low-contrast enough to keep from looking too much like I'm wearing my grandma's afghan. I imagine I'll get a lot of wear out of this in the fall and spring.
cross-posted to my own journal