Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Behold, the last brown thing I'll ever knit

This colour is supposed to be chocolate, honest. It's a dark brown, I don't know where the purple came from, but it's the best I can do with my camera phone.

To be honest, I do like having a camera phone - it makes the act of taking pictures so much more casual than an ordinary camera. For an ordinary camera, you have to remember to carry it with you, to take pictures, etc and it's all a palaver. But with a camera phone, you carry the phone with you anyways, so to just slide the lens cover back and start clicking is expected. And it's fun.
I guess you want specs on the pattern, huh?

Pattern: Blithe, by Kim Hargreaves.
Yarn: Paton's 4ply diploma gold in a true dark brown. You know how some other yarn companies tend to make their browns rather bitter, with a chalky undertone to them that's nasty? Or the other browns that tend to be more ochre than brown? Well, this is a pure brown. The colour of a good organic chocolate sort of a brown. The yarn is 'wool' rich - 55% wool, 25% acrylic 25% percent nylon. It feels smooth and firm in the skien, but when knitted up, you do feel the plastic, especially if you're like me, and accustomed to knitting with 100 merino wool.
Needles: 2.25mm and2.75mm - Actually, I had to cast on with 2.5mm needles, since they don't seem to sell 2.25mm needles nowadays, due to reasons beyond my ken. Knitting with needles this size creates a firm, shaped fabric. It's something that the French designers seem to do as well - they go down a needle size to get this fabric. I assume that it will keep its shape more and pill less.
Pattern size: !'m doing a 34" bust. Because that's what I am, you know? It will be stretchy enough to wear tops underneath, because it's supposed to be a vest.
Pattern ease: I'd say it's for an advanced beginner. You have to know knit stitches, purl stitches and do basic shaping. Haven't had to rip back, yet. Good times.
Enjoyment of Pattern: Great. What I like about Kim Hargreaves is that she's all about the stitch work- whereas other designers like colour work, or the fusiness of yarns as a design slight of hand, Hargreaves uses stitch work to create a neat top. I'll wax poetic about madam Hargreaves in a future post (and ask y'all to write to her and ask why she doesn't put out a book of patterns). I also like working in 4ply than heavier yarns (but guess who bought 9mm and 10mm knitpicks options needles from get knitted? I need a keeper).
What I've learnt: That stitch markers go on the needle, not on the stitches. Who knew? No wonder I was having problems keeping stitch count and formation! :(

While I do like the colour of this blithe, I think this will be the last time I'll knit something in brown. Depending on the pattern, I might knit this again, either in a pale yellow (the yarn that I got) or a nice pink- it's a bit too flirtatious for brown, I feel. But it will make a nice work vest for the winter, oh yes.

This post will have to hold both of us for a time. The partner is itching to go away and camp - I'll be going too, and carrying my knitting to boot, here's hoping that I'll get loads of stuff done while I'm away.



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JayJay said...

Blithe is coming along nicely! I just wanted to post again and say that the Cashsoft is machine washable, on the wool cycle with minimal agitation (according the label). Glad to hear that you are enjoying the pattern. I can't wait to seehow it fits!

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bronwyn said...

i can't wait to see your blithe once it's done. did you have to pay any extra fees or taxes once the kit arrived in the USA?