Wednesday, 4 November 2009

getting it right the 2nd time

some time back I received a special present: several bags of pre-drafted spinning material (like a very narrow sliver; this is usually used by spinning mills). the fibres are half silk and half alpaca and the resulting blend is a very soft grey tone, warm and cozy. at first I thought I might spin it and make a 2ply - but after a few samples this seemed to be too chunky for myself. after a few more tests I decided to spin a single out of it and ply it with several very fine commercial yarns. one is a white cashmere yarn, the other a very light rosy mohair and I added 2 very fine threads of schappe silk - so essentially this is a 5ply:)) in knitter's I saw a pattern I liked and in this they added a finer extra yarn every 3rd and 4th row, so I plied more of the commercial yarns together, but without the grey blend and the pink mohair.
I then set out to knit a longer cardigan for myself out of this - the top part knitted from wrist to wrist, the lower part vertically downwards. but when I finished this, it turned out to be a long, very heavy coat - which grew even longer and wider when wearing it for a few minutes. this was useless - and I ripped it all apart again, because I'd never have worn this and the yarn was just too precious for a "fly about in the corner" project! I thought about it for a while, but when I saw a new pattern in the "twist collective" that I really liked I started to do it all over again. at first I had planned to use the fine extra yarn for the snowflakes - but then I decided that I didn't want the snowflakes after all. I didn't want the hood either, wanted a longer jacket, and chose a different cable pattern anyway - so essentially I emulated the bent cable edge and not much else:)) this is the result:
again nearly a coat, but far lighter, without buttons, set-in sleeves and the edge is an attached i-cord all around. it's very nice to huddle up inside, warm but soft and so luxurious! I used the fine extra yarn for the inside parts of the pocket, to reduce bulk and here:
instead of the snowflakes I added a celtic spiral pattern. for this I used a "template", printed on paper. I followed this pattern with my i-cord, fixed the crossing points with needles and lifted everything onto the back of the coat to sew it on. it was a bit fiddly at first, but eventually I got the hang of it (I didn't want the i-cord to flatten too much and neither did I want the stitches to be visible from the inside....).
the coat weighs about 1.5 kg and was knitted on needles 4.5 mm; the i-cord on 3 mm.
so now - time for a new larger project. will it be a lace shawl? or another cardigan (not for myself) - or something else altogether? I don't know yet - I am going to hunt through the materials later today:))


Delighted Hands said...

You have made an amazingly beautiful sweater! Wow. I love the changes you made to the original and made it perfectly you.
The celtic knot on the back is just frosting on the cake!

Leigh said...

It looks wonderfully soft and cuddly. I really like the idea of plying a heavier single with finer threads, good idea. I love Celtic knotwork and think that makes the cardi absolutely perfect.

Dorothy said...

I am overcome with envy and totally awe-struck by your skill and this lovely garment. Wow. I hope you are enjoying wearing it!

Woolly Bits said...

thank you, thank you - and thank you:)) yes, it's soft and warm and just right to wrap around me on cold days! the knitting was actually very easy, most of the "work" was in putting together the odd parts such as the pocket edges. they were knitted straight - the roundish shape was formed with the i-cord edge and so on. now onwards to new and exciting projects:)