It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it

I’m happy to have a finished project to show you.

Not only is this shawl bright and beautiful, it is really, really long. Long enough to trip over if one is not careful. Long enough to flip about in a wide ark.

Long enough to wrap multiple times around your neck with room to spare.

This is the Gresham Wrap, designed by Michael Vloedman. It’s knitted in Blue Sky Fibers Woolstock Worsted. I was given this as a kit for my birthday last year by Doug and the girls.

The pattern gives the finished dimensions as 78×14 inches (198×36 cm). Mine measures 101×15 inches (256×38 cm). That 101″ measurement is along the long side of the parallelogram. If measured from tip to tip, it is 116″ (295 cm) long. I think that the before blocking length was around 88″ (224 cm) so it grew quite a bit.

The white parts of this shawl are knitted in half linen stitch and are very thick and cosy. Each colour stripe is knitted in a distinct knit-purl patterns stitch. I changed the texture stitch for the dark blue stripe (in the original pattern it is the only bit knitted in stockinette, so it came out looking and feeling flat). I wish I had changed the texture patterns for the two orange stripes; I’m sure with a little searching through a stitch dictionary or two I would have found something I liked better.

If you plan to knit this, you might think about changing up a needle size for the white parts: the linen stitch pulls the knitting in quite a bit, so that the width of the coloured stripes is quite a bit wider than the white middle section. I blocked it width-wise rather aggressively through the middle to try to counteract that, but changing needles would have worked better, I think.

In retrospect, I should have used one less skein of the white so that this was not quite so long. On the other hand, the fact that it is so long, makes it very dramatic and sort of fun to wear. I only have to take care not to end up like Isadora Duncan.

The yarn is really lovely and soft. I was worried about colour bleeding, especially from the red, but didn’t have any troubles. I did pour a cup of white vinegar in the soak when I washed it just in case.

I had hoped to take some more photos of it while wearing a different outfit – maybe against black or white. But it is raining and the time changed today, which makes the window for photographs even shorter. You will have to use your imagination.

I can’t help but notice that it is Halloween this weekend, so I will leave you with this shot:

By the way, you can thank Doug for the title of this post!

9 thoughts on “It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it

  1. Would make a very beautiful throw for a sofa or the like.. Feel it is just too big and cumbersome to wear comfortably

  2. Thanks, Doug, for that saucy title!

    Kelly, you wear that beautifully – you’ve definitely got the grand sweep under control. For myself, despite my love of the dramatic look of a swashbuckling cape or scarf, I know my limits: at 5’2″ (158cm), I’d look like a footstool with a blanket thrown over it.

  3. It looks fabulous, but as someone who has knitted something that wraps round me a few times and never gets worn, I can see why you’d reduce the white if you made it again. I’ve thought about cutting mine and grafting it together to make it shorter. Do you think you will leave it this long. The ends looks great.

  4. I recently discovered your blog after a co-worker convinced me to take up knitting. I am making my first scarf (It is…not perfect but I am proud of it anyway) and I have ordered yarn for a shawl and for a pair of socks. Your knitting is inspirational. Maybe if I knit for 20 years or so I can make something half so gorgeous!

    I also enjoy your posts about England. I have visited there a number of times and have spent years dreaming of living there. Also, I love to read (my blog mainly focuses on books) so I enjoy the book connections of some of your knitting.

  5. Well the title of the post certainly caught my attention 🙂 Thank you Doug!
    Kelly- that came out beautiful! You could also lay it across the bottom of your bed. I’ve seen some knit examples recently. They have a name that I can’t think of right now.
    Hope all is well.

  6. Your Gresham wrap is beautiful! It looks cozy and also very stylish. Love the colors and the way the different textures in the stripes look. Also, glad to see you looking like you feel better 🙂

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