Monday, 5 October 2015

Delayed but Done. . .

Hooray - got the mittens for my Mum finally done and sent off, and they only arrived one day late for her birthday. This project had languished for more than a year so it was great to finally finish them.  The alpaca supreme yarn from John Arbon makes these super soft and cozy, but oh, how I hate doing thumbs in colourwork.  So fiddly. 

With the cooler weather upon us, I was digging out my warm shawls to take one to Yarndale and came across my Byatt.  Which seemed the perfect shawl to take as I was hoping to meet Karie Westermann, the designer (I did - she's lovely).

Only problem - as I took it out and examined it again, it just didn't feel right. Honestly,  I've never struggled so much with getting the colours/tone right for any pattern, which has nothing to do with the pattern and everything to do with me wanting to do justice to such a lovely design.  I've started and frogged this shawl so many times, just never satisfied with the final result.  Here are just a few of the starts and stops.

Version #1: not enough contrast

Version #2:  Contrast fine, but felt the white was too stark.

Version #3:  I really thought this bright yellow would work, but it turned a rather sickly green against the blue.  Not flattering. 

Version #4:  And then there was this "finished" version.  I had even added beads and thoroughly blocked it.  But on closer examination (just two weeks ago),  the brown just seemed all wrong to me; a big block of rustic alpaca (with a bit of halo) among the glamour of intense, deep colour.  I knew I'd never wear it and what's the point of that?  

So I frogged it back, yet again, to the first part - that garter triangle of Rowan Fine Art variegated 4ply - and bought another skein of the same yarn in a purple colourway.  And this is the result:

Now here's the funny part.  All those colour experiments were a result of worrying about running out of the green yarn.  Karie had warned that it would use up almost every bit of the 400m skein.  I didn't want to risk it, and have to start again, so I thought the best way was to insert a third colour.  But I didn't even try knitting with the whole skein and as a result have knitted way more on this shawl than I ever would have if I'd not second guessed the skein. These are the days when you do think that knitting makes you a little nuts.  Especially since I then worked non-stop to finish the shawl in time for Yarndale.  I was binding off at 2am on the Friday night in my hotel room.  Yes, knitting can make you a little nuts.

I love it now though, and especially how all the colours in both skeins really complement each other in richness and tone.

I will get a lot of wear out of this shawl this autumn and I swear, I'm not tinkering with it anymore!

1 comment:

Lizscot said...

Hi Julia, i love the colours of your final choice. Just gorgeous.
i'll post a general query but thought you might advise. the growing edge is neat enough until i add the second colour. It then looks so messy and loopy at the edge. Horrible. Don't know what Im doing wrong as i'm following the pattern.
Any comments gratefully received.
I'm going to rip it out to the garter section.
Thanks, Liz