A bit of luxury

Two birthdays ago I splurged and bought myself some Colinette Tao in a stunning colour called Ginger Cinnabar. It was pretty expensive and a treat and at first, I thought I’d make a hat with it.

Nearly two years later and I still haven’t made that hat. But it sits in a dish on my coffee table and I think about it often. This weekend, I knew the time had come to finally address what to do with those two small skeins of pure silk.

The colour is a sun soaked concentration of orange. Look at that sheen! It feels as soft and wonderful as it looks.


Orange was never  colour I was overly fond of so buying this silk was quite an experiment. I was wanting to test it so buying something small and luxurious that might make a striking accessory seemed better than launching into say a bright orange cardigan.

But for nearly two years I just wasn’t sure. I’d looked at Ravelry to see what others made out of it and it seemed everyone made pretty plain scarves. Yawn. I felt uninspired. And when I sat down to consider starting a beret  yesterday, I discussed with my Brains Trust the virtues of silk as a hat that would need to keep its shape. All in all, it seemed risky. A silk blend would be better – something with some merino to give it that capacity to bounce and not sag or flop.

The yardage with this stuff isn’t huge. I needed something small, pretty and interesting – that is, not a scarf. I found and started a little triangular shawl pattern called 198yds. of heaven. I’ve got 252yds so maybe I can go a bit over. We’ll see. I don’t want to waste a skerrick of silk!


It’s full of pretty leaves. Who doesn’t love a leaf motif in lace? And I’ve knit the first 22 rows twice because I made a foolish error last night and began it over breakfast again this morning. Voila! I imagine this will be incredibly fast.

The silk is beautiful to work with. It was so humid here last night and it ran through my fingers like cool water. Bliss.


Lest anyone should think I’m going through a bout of randomly starting new stuff and not finishing anything, my Kei Mei socks are done but can’t be revealed until they are given to the intended recipient. Finishing them yesterday, I knew I was going to permit myself to start something new, small and thrilling using something beautiful from the stash, rather than buying something new.

This shawl fits the bill. It’ll give me nearly instant gratification in so many ways.

Are you sitting on some luxurious yarn you’re saving for ‘one day’? I dare you – go ahead and make something with it today!



29 thoughts on “A bit of luxury

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I spent a happy weekend making one of these in a very self indulgent skein of Juno Pearl (alpaca, merino and silk) in a lovely crushed raspberry colour called Velvet. It needs blocking but I’ll put a picture up on the blog v soon.

  2. God that’s gorgeous Bells! It’s going to be like heaven to wear. And I’ve seen the pattern around, but I really can’t wait to see yours in that magnificent silk.

  3. It’s such a pretty color and so shiny. It will look terrific with your dark hair and when you’re feeling blah in the winter, you can put on this bit of sunshine and it will make you happy.

  4. That yarn looks yummy. Can’t wait to see it as a shawlette! Luxurious silk yarn is a bit like decadent dark chocolate!

    I’ve been sitting on some lovely orange Madelinetosh Vintage that I’ve been eying for a shawl. I may take a page from your book!

  5. ooh I’m liking this project. I love Tao, love that pattern and love the ginger colour. I don’t know how it happened but just recently I’ve been loving ginger-rust-terracotta kind of colours. Weird – it isn’t my usual thing at all!

  6. I have knitted a 198 yds. Of heaven. It is a fun knit and looks great when completed. Enjoy your knitting.

    I am spinning some silk right now that I hope will be a “special yarn” once completed.

  7. I decided to knit from what I have and not buy more until done.Then I turn around and have more in my bag.This must be how it is to drink and want to stop.
    Well a new day and now I will knit from all I have .

  8. That pattern was my first (and only, thus far) lace knitting and my first chart knitting. I wear my little wool shawlette often but silk might be less picky on my neck. Hmmm, what silk do I have in stash? (I’m determined that the majority of 2011 knitting will be stash-based.) Pretty pretty pretty orange!

  9. I may take you up on your challenge! I got a skein of Wollmeise recently which isn’t silk granted but it is expensive. Now I just have to figure out what to make!

  10. I think this was a good move. The idea of a silk hat is kind of tempting, but id be taking it off to rub on my cheek all the time anyway, so a shawl makes sense! Can’t wait to see what this colour looks like on you.

  11. that yarn is so lovely – i think the orange will suit you with your dark hair, and it will look great with your dark blue/teal knitwear. i never used to like orange, but it was my son’s favourite colour and now i appreciate it too. that shawlette is a great pattern, so quick and great result for seemingly little effort. i don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  12. I have scads of yarn I’ve accumulated in the last couple of years, to the point where adding to my stash makes me a little queasy, so I’m declaring this year a year to revel in the bounty and roll in my stash for yarn to MAKE things with.

  13. Gorgeous – ever since a tarot reader told me I should embrace orange, I have! I am not sitting on any luxurious yarn but a luxurious decision – I can’t crochet. If the psychological knots I got myself into trying to learn were real crochet, your chickens and my chickens would be swinging in crochet hammocks. But I can knit, so I am back with some simple cotton happily going back and forth in a very simple way. One day, if it takes your fancy, I would love to hear you muse on the difference between crochet and knitting as you experience them.

    But you really wanted us to talk about luxurious yarn didn’t you? Oops 🙂

  14. It looks divine Bells. I’ve finished the body of another baby vest (interrupting my cochille shawl) and instead of leaving it plain, have pulled out all my bobbin ends from the Victorian Tapestry workshop (my little bags of colour inspirations) and will pool some colours to create a glorious crocheted edge …

  15. That’s very pretty and I have bookmarked it. HAven’t seen it on ravelry but haven’t been there much lately with buying, legal, etc matters on my mind. I’m saving up little projects for when I do move and want a few minutes away from boxes.

  16. I agree, pure silk, not so much for a hat. The Harlot made mittens out of silk recently, though. Warm! I don’t think I have any luxury fibers floating around, but I’m actually going to break out a skein of Wollmeise soon. I just finished a sweater so I’m due for something new. 🙂

  17. Oh, it’s so lovely! Both in the skein and knitted up!
    Now I really want to be knitting silk! I have a bunch in my stash, some earmarked for particular projects, some not…I really should get into it sooner rather than later!

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