Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Viva Ruana

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...


Megann said...

Oh my goodness.. the ruana is stunning! Your description of how it fits almost made me feel like I was wearing it.

Joanne said...

The ruana is drop-dead-gorgeous!! Your sister is one lucky lady.

Jon said...

Oustanding! Glamourous! It truly is wonderful!

Congrats on an amazing project well finished!

Beth said...

Holy crap! That's fantastic!

Kathleen said...

Holy crap, it's *gorgeous*. I so want one. (Can I be your sister, too? I'm part Lebanese... ;)

Way to go. Kudos to you for your colour choices - that is a pure classic. I sure hope you're proud!

Yvonne said...

Franklin, it is amazing. I have been dying to see pictures of it, and the finished product is more than what I had imagined. You are an extremely generous man!

Andrea Rusin said...

Oh my God! It's gorgeous!

Andrea Rusin said...

Oh my God! It's gorgeous!

Enjay said...

As much of a marathon as the knitting might have been, you have created a beautiful garment that suits your sister, fits wonderfully, and is greatly appreciated. All that and who needs a bag of chips mmm-Hmmm *snap*

Selma said...

Very elegant shaping. I think you'd love the Hanne Falkenberg designs -- similarly well engineered and interesting to knit. Lucky Sister.

Enjay said...

Sorry, didn't mean to channel RuPaul. I meant to say that I think you've achieved what every knitter strives for in a knitted just for you gift. And that is awesome :)

June said...

Brava! Look at her happy smile - worth every stitch, isn't it!

But 26 balls of garter stitch... Yo. That's a lot of garter. :)

Cheryl said...

That is absolutely FANTASTIC. Sue, I am sure adores it!!! Sue is a lucky woman to have a brother like you.

sep said...

wow! I had no idea you were whipping up such a masterpiece! now i'm going to have to add that book to my wishlist, damn you!

wonderful crafting and a beautiful gift :)

Carol said...

Gorgeous ruana and gorgeous model. The photographer ain't half-bad either.

Well done, sir!

Aidan said...

Let's get out the Snap Cup for Franklin! That was a super-human accomplishment!

What are you going to do next?

(Go to Disney World?)

goblinbox said...

I admire your stick-to-it-ive-ness!

Anonymous said...

that project in that book, which i had in my hand yesterday when i went in to exchange the Yarn Harlot for the newer Yarn Harlot, did not appeal to me at all based on the pix in the book , but now i may be hooked. yours is much more appealing than that worn by the books model! much...do you need another sister? ( i'm really small so it would be a short run project)

oh,,,i just read some of the comments; you are going to get lots of offers for new sisters

marie in texas

boobookittyfug said...

Oh, Franklin, it's gorgeous. I will think of it the next time I contemplate knitting a battleship cozy (Re: Relative Sizes). Sister Sue looks wonderful in it.

Bonne Marie said...

Glamour meets Gorgeous!

What a fabulous wrap! CHEERS on you for sticking with it to the spectacular finish!

CatBookMom said...

That's a beautiful garment and a real labor of love. Your sister is indeed fortunate to have you for a brother.

Jon said...

Let's see....26 balls of garter stitch and the balls each have 107 yards so that's 2782 yards of garter stitch.

2782 x 3 and you get 8346 feet which is 1.581 miles of garter stitch.

I think that's worse than a 1.5 in stockinette! {giggles maniacally}

And to Marie in Texas, the model in the book is the author herself! {more giggling}

Sorry, Frank-dear, for preempting your blog with math....{shudder}

Sean said...

stunning, absolutely stunning! Of course, now I have to make one...but for who? I love your color selections, everything. But I'm thinking of doing it in Jamieson's DK. LOL.

A woman who comes to our store made it out of the Sari Silk (recycled sari "yarn") and it was completely amazing.

Good work, my friend. You're an inspiriation.

Why can't men wear things like this? I'm so jealous!

Stephanie said...


Cathy said...

I agree that the b/w photo of the ruana in the book does not do justice to your finished ruana. I think you must be your sister's favorite brother.

dragon knitter said...

definitely worth chasing yarn down the platform for!

Calvin said...

Great work, Franklin. I know that Susan is going to enjoy wearing it. The colors are outstanding and goes wonderfully with her dark hair.

S.Kate said...

Magna est vis consuetudinis.

Magnum opus!

Marilyn said...

I must say, that's a fine ruana. Sistah Sue looks very fetching in it--the colors are perfect. I like the neck shaping. Makes it so much more than a rectangle schmatteh.

But I'd have to be highly medicated before I would commit to that amount of garter stitch.

stephanie said...

It's really the phrase "26 balls of yarn" that speaks to love and fabulousness, isn't it?

Chuck H said...

so. awesome.

I would want to put it on and then swoop around the room like a big gay pterodactyl.

Wanda said...

Oh, but when it's finished, it is beateous! I love it. It does seem like an undertaking, but one I might have to make room for. I really love it!

birdfarm said...

it's gorgeous and so is Sue!

Loopy (SEP) went out and bought that book today. I bet she's not the only one. You should get a percentage. ;-)

Nicholas said...

Wow. I can't process how amazing that is.

Sahara said...

I'ma be honest. I disliked ruanas until I saw that one. Damn! The coloration is fantastic and suits your sister perfectly. And the collar shaping is what change my mind to the whole thing.

The women in your office must be seriously hating on you. How many of their brothers even get their gift right, to begin with, let alone to think of a ruana, then KNIT IT.

As for the monotony, this is where that fabu audio-book is helpful. Your mind is transported away from the rote activity of your hands; your knitting will unconsciously speed up!

I'm going to add this pattern to my repitoire.

cheyne923 said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been mulling pattern as I want to embark on a ruana. Now I just have to raid my stash for the perfect yet fun match. And thanks to google, I've found your site....sometimes tech does work...

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous! I have no one to make one for me so I have purchased one from a department store made from 100% acrylic. I do love it, but am wondering how warm it will be. Also, how do you carry a shoulder bag wearing one of these?
Thanks. Gail

knitting dragonfly said...

Very Lovely, never thought of knitting one, and now another thing on the end of my list!!
Love your blog.

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marijka said...

Now THIS is an heirloom project! I can see this being handed down and treasured for generations, and it will fit everyone - unlike a cashmere sweater. In these days of disposable garments, you've inspired me to plan something I can pass on later. Thanks for the mind-shift.

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