Shakerag Top, and the Little Scarf That Could

By Kay Gardiner
April 30, 2018
Knitting in the field is more fun with a Field Guide.

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  • I’m going to try using a cone of Valley Yarns Colrain Lace (Merino/Tencel 50/50) for mine in natural. It is a heavy laceweight or light fingering weight. I like the drape and it has a light sheen from the tencel and I have used this yarn for a Hitofude with great success. The only thing is I will have to wind off half of it to make two balls. Anyone have any suggestions, I’m wary of affecting the twist in some way using my ball winder and letting the yarn come vertically off the top of the cone. I loved the long tail cast on tip and will try it here as well.

    • When I knit off a cone I put the cone on a paper towel holder so the yarn comes off the side without twisting. It should work for winding as well. (If the holder has a second rod on the side you can unscrew it from the bottom.) One of those paper holders for the big rolls of kids drawing paper also works. You can get those at Ikea.

      • Thanks I’ll definitely try that idea!

  • Are you wearing Alabama Chanin slacks?

    • Nope, good old Eileen Fisher.

  • love this story! thanks for sharing the tips.

  • Just returned reluctantly from the wuuuuuunderful rabbit hole of links to posts ‘re Sylph, Jet stream, Honeycomb cowls and long tail cast ons.
    Thank you. 🙂

  • I’m curious how the Jet Stream pattern was modified to make the mini version. Did she just eliminate one of the 4 sections? Or make each section shorter? And if so, how exactly did she do that? I have ordered 2 skeins of Sylph, which ads up to 619 yards as opposed to the 790 yards required in the pattern.

    • Hi Williesmom – I did the same thing – I bought 2 skeins and am working on the Jetstream – I contacted Ina about the yarn shortage issue and here is what she said to do (this is my understanding of what she said and she confirmed I had it correct):

      I was worried about not having enough yarn given what the pattern calls for and if the Jet Stream shape would look ok…
      But I think I understand what you are saying below
      Knit sections 1-3
      Knit the eyelet repeats in Section 4 – weigh the remaining yarn before I start and then after the 12 row repeat to get how much yarn is required for a repeat and make sure I have that amount for final repeat?

      I hope this helps! I am still working on section 1 right now – I knit slow lol
      feel free to contact me on revelry (SheriB)

      • Hi Sheri – Thanks! That makes sense. In the picture of the mini you can see that there are fewer sets of eyelet repeats in section 4 than on the original pattern. Another question – what size needles are you using? I can’t wait to receive my yarn and start!

        • Hi! So sorry for the delay – I couldn’t find this thread to reply to you and I just realized I don’t have the needle size for you lol! I have noted the thread and will check the needle size when I get home after work today!

        • Hi WilliesMom – I am using a size 5 needle for my JetStream

    • Hi … one day late to the party … thank you Kay for enlightening all of the fabulosity once again of what is SYLPH … yes yes yes … it works just fine for the JETSTREAM … let go of the handlebars of the bicycle and coast … it isn’t always about all of the yardage … but making the most of what you have!!! Sheri explained it just right. Knit on my darlings … knit on … the only successful project is a completed project that you are happy with!

      • THANK YOU Ina for your post and advice!

  • Thanks for the alternating tip, brilliant and I’m sure I would never have thought of it!

    After much vacillating and hand-wringing over color, I picked Rustle and ordered it before I got out of bed yesterday! I’m looking forward to casting on. 🙂

  • The two tail long tail cast on is genius! Thanks so much for sharing.

  • I LOVE Churchmouse Yarns &N Tea, and just returned to NOLA from there, within the week. I bought some Rowan Kidsilk Haze to do their Polka Dot Scarf pattern.
    Long live MDK and Bainbridge Island!!!!

  • Any thoughts about knitting an extra small version of the Shakerag Top? I am knitting it for my petite daughter.

  • Ha! Please say hi to Melanie for me…..Her dad (Howie, or Mr.Falick), and my dad (Charlie or Mr.Grun), once made spice racks together for Dean and Deluca!

  • I’m very interested in this linen-cashmere thing, as I have (finally!) reached the point of having to make a decision about whether to blend my homegrown cashmere at the mill OR have it spun as a single-fiber yarn. Have been pondering various wooly options; had not even considered linen.
    Also, please tell me about your coat. It looks very much like my coat. The one that I do not yet own. Thank you.

    • Ha! …the one that I do not yet own.

    • This coat is fine for citified me, but it does not have big enough pockets for you. The search must continue…

      • Was gonna ask the same thing … lovely coat … I think @statethelabel there’s something like it … or one could make the Haremere from @merchant&mills … juss’ sayin’ … we all have so much time on our hands … #memademay!!!

      • I was fooled by the appearance of large pockets!! Sigh. Onward!

  • I’m so glad that you made it to our little cool, rain-soaked corner of the world! (OK, so it’s a big corner. Bainbridge Island being a 6 hour drive from my home in South Beach, OR) I’m also glad that the “knitting is strong” and that you had a good time. Finally, your current story of the before and after properties of Sylph almost has me convinced to try it, despite a recent long overdue craft room reorganization, which revealed that I have much more yarn than I thought. I found that I not only have Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy for my lifetime, but maybe a few other knitters as well! I foresee blankets in my future…

  • Can’t read the post due to annoying”subscribe now” popup. I am a subscriber! Last time I complained about this, I was reminded gently to just enter my email. Have done so, popup tells me that my email is already subscribed, but continues to popup, and block me from reading the column. Can’t scroll away, can’t close the popup.

    • Try zooming out to 90% or even 80%. That way you can see the entire pop-up and find the X to close it. I have this problem sometimes because these days my eyes need a bigger font so my default is set to 110%. My quick way to zoom (out or in) is using the scroll wheel on my mouse while pressing Ctrl.

  • My friend Anne from St Paul was there with you. I can hardly wait to hear the tales.

    • What happens at IslandWood stays at IslandWood.

  • Madame … that was so ultimately sneaky to bring along the JETSTREAM … made me so happy as I read along on the post … almost a bit like having come along without even knowing it! Yup … gotta show the peoples the worthiness of SYLPH and making things that are useful and worth the time put into them and the longlasting thereafter. Do kiss sweet little Olive on the nose for me!

    • I’ve worn it so much and it still looks like new! Definitely saving my Sylph leftovers to make another one.

  • I recently learned another cool thing about the two-tail cast-on: If you cast on with two colors of yarn, and drape the contrast color over your thumb, you get a neat line of trim on the edge of your garment. I now want to do this on everything. h/t Lilia Hat pattern.

  • I want to make the Jet Stream scarf with Sylph. I am having a hard time determining the color I want. On the order page I can see the large beautiful pictures of the color choices but that doesn’t tell me the name of the color. And it’s hard to figure the color in the small order squares. For the colors in the picture of the grouping of grays and turquoise I’d like to know the 3 bottom colors in the photo. I want Swirl color and two gray shades with that. What would you suggest?

  • So glad you had fun in the PacNW….its my mossy home, and I love it!