Thursday, 2 September 2010

Halcyon

I finished this a few days ago, but then had to wash it. It's a Rowan pattern, but I used Drops Safran yarn. Safran is lovely to work with, though the dye wasn't completely fast and came off on my fingers after a couple of hours of knitting. Still it worked well for this pattern and looks lovely.

It's an interesting construction - you start at the waist, do the ribbing and then knit downwards for the frill (you do the same on the sleeves). This means you do the pattern upside down for a bit, which was unusual but very clever. Then you cast off, rejoin at the waist and work upwards.


The neck is quite wide on me; I have narrow, sloping shoulders and the sleeves are a bit longer than I expected as a result. They always use models with wide, square shoulders, not the average woman! But it looks lovely - better than it looks in the photo above.
My only gripe is the pattern/chart. I hate charts, with a passion. I just can't work with them, and in this case, the pattern chart is tiny, I mean really tiny, with little coloured lines showing where you start according to which size, whether you're doing the back/front, the cuffs or upper sleeves (yes, three different places to start for one garment). They do blow up the main pattern, but you can't use that for where to start/finish. So I sat there and peered at it for a while, writing it out. Of course, I made a couple of mistakes as a result, but worked those out fairly quickly.

The other problem was where the pattern changes over at the 13th row - I offset it by one stitch first time out as I followed the chart exactly (I thought). Studying the pictures made me realise my mistake. The picture above shows the pattern how it should be - it would have been easier if the pattern writers had included a similar one.

I've never knit a whole garment in a complicated pattern like this, so it was satisfying. In fact, once I got used to it, the pattern wasn't too difficult, but with all lace knitting you have the problem of forgetting the occasional yarn overs. It's actually quite a substantial garment, will be cosy for the chilly evenings to come.

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