Howling at the…sun

Finished the Huntress Shawl last week. It was such a super quick knit…and so satisfying!

It really teaches you the differences in SSK and K2tog if you are a new  knitter, and helps you to understand what they look like in other projects. Also how YOs work with them to shape patterns. Definitely a useful learning knit!

I have to admit to struggling a bit at first with the YOs on the sides.  For some reason I just couldn’t count and kept screwing up the eyelet placement.

I put it aside for a week and then started again. The break seemed to help. I managed to get both sides finished in a couple days. This seems to be a normal part of the process for me in more complex patterns. It seems to take me a bunch of repeats with mistakes before I figure out how it all fits together. Frustrating. But then I suppose satisfying when I crack it.

I used a buttery organic merino for it and in hindsight feel this pattern needs something with a bit of drape. The merino actually feels a little too ‘stodgy’ and dense for this as it doesn’t relax enough into the neck when using as a scarf.  If you are in the process of research to start this pattern – you want something that will schlump down…something with a little silk, alpaca or cashmere like the recommended yarn so it hugs your neck more than this yarn.

It is funny…I had planned to do this in the organic silk/merino I ordered at the same time for my dye experiments, and I don’t know what made me switch. I think I was just tired when I started dyeing the yellow, and wasn’t thinking.

Also I was a little mislead, as the yarn was much softer before dyeing and I now understand, first hand, how dyes can change the quality of the yarn. I had always sort of noted it in cashmere sweaters – how the greys or browns were always softer than the coloured jumpers. Now I know it is because the dye changes the feel. Though I wonder if it is heating the yarn that does it. Must experiment.

I ended up dyeing it twice, as well. I am super fussy when it comes to colour and decided it just wasn’t right when I finished. Here it is pre-block (though bits of it got blocked along the way. You can see how curly the ends of the sides are, as they haven’t felt the steam yet. I love seeing how the pattern is coming along, so block as I go to marvel at the wonder of it all!).

Just a touch too green/yellow and not ‘mustard’ enough.

So it went back into the pot.

When it finally dried, it was PERFECT. Still vibrant but warmer and a little more autumn-earthy. Here it is with my Miriam:

I have been wearing all week and it hasn’t pilled in the slightest, just bloomed a bit more and gained a bit of a soft halo.

What a gorgeous yarn…and spun by a small UK mill, so supporting the local industry. It doesn’t have the slightest prickles and isn’t crunchy but doesn’t have that typical merino limpness I am getting so tired of. It is more of a proper ‘wool’ without any of the negatives that sometimes come with a more robust fleece.

I will definitely be getting more of this and doing a large cardi in it. Can see it working up beautifully doubled up in cables! Yummy. I will finally be able to make a beautiful, wooly, white cabled sweater that I can WEAR. I have wanted one forever, but they are always either too itchy or uber-expensive.

Anyway, back to my newest darling.

This is how I generally wear it, with my little pup perched on my neck like a lazy dog in the sun. Love.



2 thoughts on “Howling at the…sun

  1. Oh wow, you really know your stuff when it comes to fibres! :O Very impressive 🙂
    This turned out really well! The colour looked so much better after you dyed it again 🙂

    • Thank you! I am glad it was noticeable in the photo. It was a lot more obvious (to me…maybe not my partner!) in real life. I try not to be a mental about such things, but am really sensitive to colour! Sounds dorky, but it’s true.

      I have read both of Clara Parks books on wool, which are very, very interesting and help to chose yarns for specifics projects – once you understand their properties. As a dork (see above) I really get into this stuff. heh.

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