The ruana, now that it is finished, is officially a favorite. A favorite of mine, and a favorite of the person for whom it was knit.
Pattern Source: Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle (Interweave)
Yarns Used: Jo Sharp DK Aran, 3 colors (don't ask me which) - slightly less than 26 balls
Needles: Addi Turbo, US7, 24" circular
Gauge: 7 stitches/8 rows to the inch
Alterations: Made smaller than the model in the book using Cheryl Oberle's own formula, which worked perfectly. Used fewer colors than suggested, and only one weight of yarn. Fringes cut to six inches, and not tied (except for initial overhand knot used to connect new strand of yarn).
Notes: Thanks to Colorado Jon who alerted me to the pattern in the first place, and to Cheryl Oberle who pointed out that it was suited to alterations in size. Love ya.
The piece looked absolutely horrible until the final bit of finishing, at which point it became an object of lust and envy for every woman in my office (I trimmed the fringes on the large table in the dining room of the house I work in).
The collar shaping is the genius bit - it turns a garment that would otherwise be awkward to wear into something that fits like a glove, keeps the neck warm, and drapes like a dream.
And it's reversible.
A highly rewarding project. I would recommend, however, that it be approached as a long-term undertaking. Since there is no shaping until the collar, and it's all garter stitch, working on it for long stretches can be monotonous. And at a gauge of eight rows to the inch, knitting to a width of 46 inches feels a little like bailing out the Atlantic Ocean with a teacup.
But oh, when it's finished...