Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Knitting Trials and Errors. . .

I suppose the more confident you get as a knitter, the more picky you are. And -  luckily - also a lot more patient.  This year I really want to challenge myself as a knitter, try some new techniques, spend a little more time on the fit of garments and while using up stash, try to be a little more canny and adventurous with my colours.    Alas, sometimes that means re-evaluating your yarn choices.

This is the first bit of my Uncia knitted up in a lovely, Orkney Texel wool.  I've seen this beautiful shawl mostly made with a yarn that gives more drape; something usually with silk in it.  However, I though I'd emphasize the cables instead, hence my choice of a more rustic, crisp wool.  Turns out, I really want softness and drape for this pattern. So - it will be frogged for another day.   I will use this wool for a different project and search in my stash for some Fyberspates or MadTosh instead.

Then there is Fox Paws.  I thought that using my five colours of St. Kilda lace weight would be perfect for this scarf, especially since I didn't want it to be as big as the original.  However, trying to do a k5tog with lace weight involves a lot of squinting and cursing.  And there are a lot of k5togs in this pattern!  After spending about ten hours to knit only a centimeter, I have decided that I love the pattern, have got the hang of all the increase and decrease techniques  and definitely want to make itb someday. But in 4ply.  So - another rip. Back to stash and picking out colours.  This will be on hold for a bit. 

My next attempt at trying to get a project going for the BlackerPodKAL - you have to use all Blacker yarns and finish your knit by March 4th - was Kate Davies' gorgeous Carraig Fhada vest.  Trouble is, I only have four balls of the main colour (the purple).  The pattern calls for five, so I used the mustard yellow for the ribbing instead to compensate.  I think I'm still going to run out. And I may have knitted it a bit too big.  Not entirely ready to rip this out yet, but it's been put in the naughty knitting corner to chill while I re-evaluate. 

As you can imagine, all of this was getting me a little frustrated.  The only solution was to whip up something quick and satisfying.  So I turned Kate's Singing Sands scarf pattern into a cowl and used the cheeriest colours of Buachaille to knit it.  It is so warm and snug and perfect for walks.  I did a two colour i-cord bind-off which gives it a nice edge.  Love it.

Then along came her gorgeous Kildalton cabled cardigan.  I had already ordered enough Buachaille in her new, deliciously deep blue colourway for Finlaggan, but decided to cast this on instead.

There is something so satisfying about creating a lovely textured fabric. This is slow knitting at its best (although I'd love to finish it by the Edinburgh Yarn Festival). 

And finally, I have a project for the BlackerPodKAL that is working.  I scrounged around in my stash and pulled out various skeins of Blacker yarns to cast on the Lang Ayre hap, designed by Gudrun Johnston.  There is some Tamar, some classic 4ply, Cornish Tin II,  pure breed Manx Loagtan and some of the St. Kilda laceweight from the abandoned Fox Paws, held double.  I have just started the last triangle and am loving the colour combinations. 

The ups and downs of a knitter that wants to knit ALL THE THINGS.  But some of it is working. . . 

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