Sunday, 4 November 2012

Quite a lot

Time for a bit of catching up, I think.

Here is Ross, from Wintertide.

This is made from Rowan Fine Boucle, and I chose the Masham Stripe colourway.  The edgings are in the British Sheep Breed DK, I chose the Brown, this is the darkest shade available.

I do like the fabric,  It is pleasingly woolly, and the variegations of the striping are lovely, too.  I made no attempt to match the stripes at any point in the garment, and I am very pleased with the end result.

I never did get around to talking about Bianca.   I finished this ages ago, back in July, and it really is a lovely garment.

Again, the fabric is a delight.  This is Rowan All Seasons Cotton, worked in a reversible garter rib pattern.

However the garment as a whole does not work for me as well as I'd like.  The collar is very flattering, but is unfortunately not very practical.  The wide sleeves drape nicely, too, but the combination means that I cannot wear this under a jacket or gilet whilst out walking.  Also, this collar does not work well with a scarf.

It looks so good on the hanger, but sadly it just doesn't work in my wardrobe.  So, with regret, I shall be unravelling it, and re-using the yarn.

Finally, I have finished knitting a Color Affection shawl for a friend.  No picture, but I do have a few things to say about the pattern.

So far, more than 6500 people have knitted this shawl.  Skimming through the comments on Ravelry would lead one to several firm conclusions - firstly, that the edge is too tight, and that yarnovers need to be added and then dropped on subsequent rows; and secondly, that the choice of increase (M1) is badly chosen, and that kfb is better for this design.

I disagree on both counts.  The designer has it right!

The shawl is supposed to have a firm edge.  It is intended to be crescent-shaped, with gently spiralling ends - you can see this in the designer's pictures of the original shawl.    And M1 works quite beautifully.  It blends much better than kfb.  Yes, it takes a second longer to work - but in the context of the whole shawl, this is hardly a lot of extra work.

I ended up making this shawl exactly according to the pattern, with just one small change, which I do think is worthwhile.  The pattern says, quite simply, to cast on 5 stitches.  After that, the increases begin, and a two-stitch garter edging is established.  Instead, I began with a garter tab, which replaces the cast-on and the set-up row, as follows:

 - Cast on two stitches and work six rows in garter stitch, to give three garter ridges.  This is your garter tab.  After finishing the last row, don't turn the work around as you usually would.  Now, continuing to work in the same direction, just turn the corner and knit up three stitches along the side of the tab, one in each garter ridge, then turn the last corner and knit up two stitches from the cast-on edge.  There are now seven stitches on the needle, and you can continue with the pattern from Row 1.

Using a tab to begin (instead of a standard cast-on) means that the garter edging is continuous along the length of the shawl, and I do think this is an improvement.

Back to the knitting now - I have three things being actively worked on at the moment.  I am finishing some pairs of baby socks for my very pregnant neighbour, also there is the Apple Tree Blanket which I really must get finished.  And I have cast on Fastnet, for my husband.  I have Tarnish and Bute waiting in the wings - once I get the baby things out of the way, I don't think I'm going to be able to resist the lure of these two, and will probably cast on for them as well.

This has turned out to be quite a long post.  I have quite a lot more to talk about, but that can wait for another day.

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