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Dear Ann,

Sometimes a comment can open up a whole new world, or deep rabbit hole, at your feet.

Last week when I was parading myself around in my finished Shakerag, Laura aka @scarletknitter left this comment:


For some reason, although I know that I can knit things in any color I like, I had thought of the Shakerag Top solely in the light, beachy shades shown in the Field Guide photos. The power of suggestion is strong. But now, thanks to Laura,  I keep thinking about making a second Shakerag Top, in a dark shade.

Shakerag After Dark. I am imagining it as an all-seasons layering piece that will work with my urban guerrilla wardrobe of dark neutrals. Taking me from day to night, and from summer to winter.

Looking through our palette of Sylph, these shades are my top contenders:

Shades of Brown.


Kick It Up a Notch

But are these earthy tones After Dark enough?  How about a little shiny shimmer? A little floaty fuzz? Some real transparency?

Yes, I’m thinking of Loft.

And, for me, there’s one perfect After Dark-worthy shade of Loft:


Will any of this fantasizing cross over into reality? Will I really get another Shakerag Top on my needles?

Who knows, but it’s fun to think about.

Before I leave you to ponder your own Shakerag Top II, have you seen Kelley Dew‘s finished Shakerag Top in Anzula Breeze? The one with the clever split-hem modification?  Here you go:

Straight from the shop floor at Nashville’s beautiful Haus of Yarn.

Thank you, Kelley! You are my make-it-your-own hero.




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  • Based on my current rate of WIPs and the swirling projects in my mind, I probably wouldn’t finish a Shakerag until fall/winter. I was already thinking about just wearing it over long sleeve button down tops, a la Carbeth. I am now swooning at all those colors. I saw the Sylph at LYS the other day and couldn’t stop petting it.

  • Pretty sure your picture is not of loft but something like silk cloud.

    • This isn’t Brooklyn Tweeds Loft, but a different one. Click the link. You’re right that it’s mohair and silk, and that color is so juicy and rich. I want Kay to knit it so I can see if it works before I invest in the yarn.

      • I might get to swatching but I’m not sure I’m in the Mohair Mood until the humidity drops a touch!

  • Yes! You + Shakerag + Shaw = Stunning

    • I love a dark or muddy red so it’s teally calling to me.

  • Thank you Kelly Dew! Adding the split makes most every top more flattering (my opinion!). I can now feel the desire growing stronger to make Shakerag. How about Shibui Silk Cloud in Fog?!!

  • I also think that this Other Laura’s suggestion of a dark blue Shakerag is excellent. I love the yarns in your shop, but if you’re allowed to think outside the inventory, Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool seems as if it could work in a Shakerag, and would be interesting held with Loft. If you’re thinking dark red, she has a lovely shade of that called Oxblood. And Ocean is a lovely dark blue, just saying.

    • I have loved Silky Wool since the days of the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket. It would be divine held double with Loft.

  • I just bought Anzula Breeze in rust to make a top. Will probably start it later in the year. Too many other things going.

  • Love the Shaw and love Kelly’s top. Since I’m reading this late, it’s actually the wee hours of May 25th, I could tell you that there is no humidity here. I do not have the air conditioning on and it is a slightly bit chilly. So Kay, the knitting is on? 😉

  • My question is really “how sheer is this?” I think Kay said she’d get a cami for underneath. I would think a dark color would have all the greater need for another layer?

    • I’ve been wearing my light-colored Shakerag Top without a cami (haven’t found one yet). I think that in Loft (a translucent yarn to begin with) it certainly needs another layer underneath, but I think I would be comfortable in the Sylph version without it.

  • Oooh, a Loft version would be really cool. A floaty dark cloud with subtle stripes.

    I just finished my Shakerag with a merino/tencel fingering weight yarn and a carry along of a Loft-like silk/mohair (Sincere Sheep’s Shimma) for the stripe. Waiting for it to dry so I can try it on again!

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