Whoo-hoo, the Beartooth Wrap pattern is finally out and available for purchase!
|The wrap was inspired by the rows and rows of mountain ranges forming the Rocky Mountains|
It seems like I nearly got lost on the many switchbacks of the ~68 mile (~110 km) long Beartooth Highway (U.S. 212), a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, that traverses the Beartooth Mountain range along the Montana and Wyoming state border to meet up with the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, which forms the northeast gateway to the Yellowstone National Park… or perhaps the thinner air atop the Beartooth Pass (10,947 ft/3’337 m) slowed me down… 🙂
|Approaching Beartooth Pass (photo: Phil Armitage)|
But, finally the wrap has been finished, the pattern written, photos shot and all has been put together as a pattern.
It’s not like I’ve forgotten this wrap. I’ve actually been enjoying its warmth during our wonderful Fall weather here in Colorado that consists of nearly constant sunny weather, blue skies and an occasional surprise winter weather with short-lived snow in the foothills. It has been unseasonably warm so far (lots of warm Chinook winds blowing) and we are enjoying day temperatures that allow you to go outside in jeans and a light sweater (~60F/16C) at the end of November! I wonder if we will have white Christmas this year…?
Since I’ve been using my own wrap (I like designing things that I like to wear or be seen in), I can say that it has just the right warmth and feels nice an light. With mohair you always have to be careful because it can be very warm. So I came up with a fun zigzag design that not only uses a smart distribution of “mohair warmth” but it also allows the mohair to become the focal point by highlighting its contrasting airy texture to the surrounding solid wool stripes.
I also love the tactile nature of this wrap catching myself “petting” the mohair repeatedly… 🙂
The funny thing is that the two yarns I’ve used for this wrap have been lingering in my stash for a couple of years and have been purchased independently from each other! And I only made the connection after re-organizing my stash a bit and them accidentally ending up close to each other. That’s when it hit me that they were a great color match. Yes, I was able to actually use yarn from my stash!
But as so often with mohair, the wonderful brushed mohair by Plymouth Yarn called Outback Mohair has been discontinued since I bought it so that I went on a little substitute yarn hunt. I was looking for a brushed mohair and not the lacy type.
|The brushed mohair on the right is what you want, NOT the lace type on the left.|
As my first stop, I visited my own website, LocalFibers.com, to see if I could find some US mohair that could fit the bill. And yes, indeed, there is a company called Mountain Colors Yarns that produces a brushed mohair called “Mohair“, available in just gorgeous colors. You can choose from hand-painted colorways and solitary colors so that you should have no problems matching it up with your wool yarn for this wrap.
After a quick email exchange with Mountain Colors I received a small Mohair yarn sample in the mail to double check if it would work as a substitute – and it’s a perfect replacement for the Outback Mohair by Plymouth Yarn. Yippee!
BTW, their other yarns are a real find too and the colors are just amazing…
And on top of this great yarn find, it turns out that the Mountain Colors company is located in the state of Montana which happens to be the home of the Beartooth Mountain range that I chose to name my wrap for! Can it get any better? This really came together so smoothly that you know it just had to be this way, right?
The other neat thing about this pattern is that it is a quick and easy introductory project to the Intarsia color knitting technique. Actually, I think you will be more occupied staying on top of your seed stitch border pattern than worrying about managing your few balls of yarn. And since they are generous sweeping color sections, you will have a minimal number of yarn tails to weave in at the end. Love it! 🙂
To make the pattern more knitter friendly, the pattern instructions come in written out format as well as a charted design. Pick the method that works for you best and let me see your great mohair/wool wraps.
I will head out now and enjoy the mild late Fall days with my wrap as a companion and dream up some more nature inspired designs…
Happy Knitting, Daniela