Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mirabilis - Amazing, Wondrous, Remarkable

So much going on around the world!! Sometimes it feels like I'm living/watching a hurricane. Or, as they are known on the other side of the world, a cyclone. Which got me thinking about the most recent project to come off the needles. Because it's a true spiral and it reminds me of some of the weather photos cropping up.

Mirabilis 12

But really, I am getting ahead of myself. This is really a story about how to use up a yarn that was sitting in my stash, and how it was quickly diverted from its original purpose to fulfill another. And how the power of swatching will often dictate a project's outcome.

Here, the swatch, made while commuting to the recent Vogue Knitting Live a couple of weeks ago. A subject for another post! Soon! Maybe.

Mirabilis swatch

Zegna Baruffa, Settembre Tweed, a super wash yarn from Italy, purchased when Joan Vass shut down her business in summer 2008. I couldn't find any finished projects using this yarn, meaning a swatch was absolutely necessary. And it revealed lots to me. Like no way would this end up as a garment; I hate color pooling and a bit too busy for my taste. Too bad, because I've had it in mind for an Ingenue for so long I was a bit disappointed.

But once the yarn came out of the bin, I was hell bent to find a use for it. Kind of a self imposed rule I have. One way to set up some boundaries and then see how it turns out. Not that I am militant about self imposed boundaries, but it is interesting to see how creating a rule set defines a project's evolution. In this case, I had a couple of notions contributing to the outcome:

1. It's super wash yarn. Which translates to baby worthy in my book.
2. It's a busy yarn, so maybe something non-garment would work?
3. I have 10 skeins at 132 yards per skein. 1,320 yards! What is the best way to USE.IT.UP? (especially since it wasn't exactly showing its best side to me in swatch form).
4. Lately I've had blankets on my mind and in my lap. Let's face it - this is one brutal winter we're having. So blankets seem especially relevant right now.

Mirabilis 05

Which is how I ended up finding Mirabilis by Daniel Yuhas, a pattern that really intrigued me. Confession - I have a queue of projects so large I have them organized by category! Yes, obsessive, I know. So what. Anyway, the blanket category only has 9 or 10 projects and one of them is actually a round blanket using a pinwheel shape. But for some reason, this spiral one eluded the queue. How could that be? I mean, Daniel is my friend! I remember when he designed this thing a few summers ago. Anyway, no matter. I decided to jump the queue and get this project on the needles.

Mirabilis 04

What fun! What a clever, innovative pattern! From the unusual cast on, to the genius of moving around and around, by shifting stitch markers, to the very clever way the border is knit on, the whole thing was a pleasure to watch as it grew and then unfolded. Literally. I wish I'd taken the time to photograph this thing while it was still on the needles because it looked like a gigantic Rastafarian hat until I was about halfway through the border at which point it started to open up, like a flower opening for all the world to see. It was pretty amazing, actually, and I really got a kick out the whole thing start to finish.

Mirabilis 13

I thought I was making a baby blanket. But I also knew it would be on the large side. As you can see, it is kinda big, almost the width of my dining room table. That might be too big for a baby, what do you think? I have no idea, not having any babies nearby. Maybe it's more like a lap blanket for an adult? Anyway it is nice and warm. A good thing for a blanket to be, baby or adult sized. You see, I doubled the yarn which served two purposes - using it up (all but approx. 65 yards!) while creating a squishy, bouncy, cozy blanket.

Mirabilis 17

And if it doesn't get gifted as a baby blanket, I have another 10 balls of the same yarn, in a nice yellow that would work equally well and I have a bit of a blanket fever happening. It's entirely conceivable there will be another blanket to share in about a week. If you want to learn more about this blanket in the meantime, here's my Ravelry link.

Hey, Daniel - nice work! The genius of this pattern - the construction and the design reminded me of Norah's designs. Remember that poncho?


Gale said...

Absolutely delicious. Sure it's the right size for a baby. Those little things tend to grow fast!

barefootrooster said...

GORGEOUS. Lisa, this is absolutely stunning.

Rose said...

That is gorgeous and amazing. I'm in awe. LOVE it.

Sydney said...

You make me want to knit this right away - I'm so intrigued by your description of how it unfolds.

t does wool said...

wow...what an impressive knit.
very lovely...
(and yes,quince&co it ..)

Oiyi said...

It's beautiful! Perfect as a baby present.

Susie said...

I love love love when a yarn so perfectly suits a pattern! Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

what a winning combination! anyone would love to receive that blanket, whether they had a baby or not. great work.

Anonymous said...


Jean said...

Love that pattern. So unique. Very pretty.

Katie M. said...

It's beautiful! The yarn looks gorgeous in a spiral.

Erin Wallace said...

This is gorgeous!

April said...

It looks so warm and comfy. I'd be very tempted to keep it for myself.

Daniel Yuhas said...

You are so sweet! Everything looks better when it comes off your needles.

Anonymous said...

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