Thursday, 6 December 2007


I've really come up with a collection of original blog titles this week, haven't I? Well, put it down to gift sock overload.

I didn't really do much knitting at all yesterday as I was laid low with a headache which didn't want to go away. Finally it has lifted, life resumes, and so do the socks.

The blog very nearly didn't though - the power was on and off all night, mostly off. Supposedly the worst of this windy weather is still to come over the weekend, so that could be interesting. We've got a fair bit of driving to do as well, the beginning of the perennial round of pre-Christmas visits. We'll just have to go carefully, that's all.

With regard to gift socks - I'm now on the very last pair, and despite certain people (my husband) volunteering me to knit pairs for yet more people who admire them, I can tell you with absolute certainty that no matter how deserving anyone might be, it is just not going to happen. And next year, gift socks are going to happen in the course of the year if they happen at all, and there is going to be no last minute slog. It is not that I am pushed for time with them - it is just that there have been too many of them and I am fed up with socks.

The next socks to go onto the needles will be my Lenore socks from Blue Moon - but they won't be materialising just yet.

Instead, what is going to happen next is either Earnshaw or Benedikta, and I cannot decide which to make first. They are both gorgeous, both worked in Noro yarns, and they are very different indeed.

Earnshaw is a very straightforward shape, with garter stitch sleeves and yoke, and a hood. I love garter stitch, this might be just the thing. And the simplicity of the fabric and shape, with the wonderful yarn - really, a pleasure.

Here is the yarn for Earnshaw - Kochoran 31. It is soft and beautiful and thick, and I simply love the colours. Lovely dusty blues and greys, warms creams and beiges, and soft browns. I do like my neutrals, and this will be just so wearable. It ought to be a quick knit, too.

I'm not entirely happy about the sizing given for that pattern, though. Speaking as a person who automatically looks first at size M, it is a good thing that I did look in more detail here, otherwise I would have had something of a surprise. I usually choose to make the size 'to fit 36' although my actual measurement is rather more than that, and I rely on negative ease to see me through. If I make the size to fit my actual chest measurement, then it invariably ends up being way too wide across the shoulders, and with sleeves far too long as well.

But with this one I'm going to have to take a leap of faith, and there is going to be positive ease, not negative. Size M is intended to fit chest 40/42, which is definitely on the generous side - and the finished measurement is 52". This does seem a bit larger than necessary. But even the XS (to fit 32/34") measures 48". Maybe they do mean this. So on consideration I think I am going to go for the S, which could actually be a first for me. To fit size 36/38, finished measurement 50". That is still pretty big, but I do have things in my wardrobe that measure 48" round, and I expect it will be fine. Although I just bet that model in the picture has half a dozen bulldog clips holding the sweater in at the back so she doesn't look completely lost in it.

And I'll have to watch the sleeve length, though. But that is hardly a problem.

Benedikta, on the other hand, is very different.

This one is made in Silk Garden Lite which I almost hate on principle because of the name. Lite. Ugh. However it passes muster because - well, it is Noro, and it is beautiful. Five different shades of this yarn, and I've got the colours recommended in the pattern.

No sizing dilemmas here, it is one (generous) size only, and it will fit nicely because of the raglan shaping. Once again though, I think I will have to watch the sleeve length, but again, that isn't a problem.

This one has an interesting construction, as you can guess from looking at it. Two garter stitch bands for the front and back hems, with garter stitch points worked along the top. Then the sides are seamed, and stocking stitch blocks are worked separately one at a time, placed in between the points. The sleeves are worked separately in garter stitch, with some raglan shaping at the top, and seamed into place. Then stitches are picked up for the wide neckband, which is worked flat in garter stitch, and finally the neckband seam is joined.

This one would be fun. I love interesting construction, and I'd love to wear this. This one is an indoor sweater - the Earnshaw is more of an outdoor sweater to be worn over other layers, or maybe indoors on a chilly evening. I am really drawn to both of them, as different as they are.

So, Benedikta or Earnshaw?

And yes, I know I have a stack of WIPs. And I also know that I really should be knitting my husband's completely plain Yorkshire Tweed Aran slipover.

But I want some reward knitting, I really do. And I want a new pullover. But which one first?


Kai said...

Earnshaw, definitely.
Love the colours and love the simple construction. This is a quick and easy reward knit. Benedikta will take longer, even though it's beautiful, Earnshaw wins my vote.

pictish said...

Earnshaw really DOES come out huge Fiona!!! I think the smallest size will fit you - I started it and frogged as it was way too big for me :-( I am knitting the Wildfell coat in exactly that shade of Kochoran too. Jane Ellison's Noro patterns are lovely and relaxing to knit as they're such simple shapes.

Fiona said...

You know, I was looking at the Wildfell coat as well! And we obviously both have impeccable taste with regard to colour choice. ;) I believe the problem with Earnshaw is that I just cannot quite get my head round the idea of making anything sized XS. Which is, of course, completely daft of me. However I have found that I have a Boden hooded fleece top that measures 48" around the chest - and that is supposed to be a size 12-14. And with a thick soft fabric like this, I could easily go 2" larger, I am sure.

So I'm still really undecided here...

Twinkle Toes said...

Benedikta I reckon... SOmthing different to get your teeth into (you'll get bored with all the garter stitch on Earnshaw?) Also will you be disappointed if it does turn out huge as it suggests and fitting nothing like the nip an tucked version in the pic....

yup Benedikta has my vote!!!

Martelle said...

I'm with Twinkle Toes - the Benedikta gets my vote too. Much more interesting and possibly more likely to fit first time? It still has lots of garter stitch too, which you say that you like. I agree about the 'Lite' yarn though, had to buy something with such an awful name. lol.

Martelle said...

"I agree about the 'Lite' yarn though, hard to buy something with such an awful name. lol."

Helps if I type hard with an 'r' in it.....

PaulaRed said...

whichever you pick, I"m looking forward to seeing it on ravelry.

PaulaRed said...

I meant to add that I really like Earnshaw, but my post got away from me before I could add it....

Queen of the froggers said...

The noro yarn looks gorgeous! Knit that one first.