Shelter Kerchief

As with most everyone else in the knitting world, I was very intrigued when Jared Flood brought out his line of wool – Shelter. Jared’s photography (and marketing) is excellent. Every picture that man takes makes me want to knit whatever is in the picture. Even if it is a giant log cabin blanket (shudder). A few weeks ago he started offering colour cards for Shelter, so I caved and bought one just to see what it was like.

Well, as soon as that arrived I ended up ordering a couple of skeins to try it out. The colours are really one of the best parts of this line for me. The price was a little high for my budget, so I just ordered two skeins so that I could make up a Romney Kerchief.

So….wow. This is one interesting wool. When it arrived I was a little worried because the package felt so light, but each ball seriously feels like marshmallow fluff. At 50g for 140 yards I am not imagining it (another similar gauge wool in my stash would weigh ~73g for the same length of yarn).

The colour did not disappoint; this one is called Faded Quilt which I thought was apropos. It is very much the colour of an old pair of jeans. As you knit it, you can really tell that it is lofty and could work at a number of different gauges. If you knit it tight, it thins out. If you knit it loose, it puffs up. Very different from anything else I have worked with.

Jared’s pattern was of course great, I was never in doubt on that one. I flew through the knitting, starting on Friday night and finishing Tuesday. There was only one problem with this yarn (and I am sure any of you who have read anything about it have already heard this). It was full of VM. Lots of straw, grass, guard hairs, etc. I wouldn’t say that I saw it as frequently as some have claimed, but it was definitely there. I know it is a rustic yarn, but I was expecting a little less based on the cost ($12.50 a ball plus shipping).

It was just enough of a problem that when I finished the shawl I thought, “Well, not sure I would work with that again”. Then I blocked it. Holy bananas. This yarn transformed with blocking. It is so light, so soft, so lofty. It is completely soft enough for around my neck, while still having all the rustic properties that I liked about it to start. Completely different.

Final verdict? The pattern I would make again in a heartbeat. Mindless but interesting at the same time. As for the yarn, yeah, I will work with it again as a treat. It is pricey, so it would take some saving to buy a sweater’s worth, so it might just be for small projects. I am glad I have that colour card down in my stash.

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