Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Finally a project for this yarn...

Once upon a time, many years ago, when D and I got married, we went on our Honeymoon to America, hired a Harley, and drove all over New England.  We had a magical time, staying in little B&Bs and on farmsteads in the middle of nowhere, and visiting Portland, and Plymouth, and Boston. 

We also visited a whole lot of yarn shops. 

Before we went off, I had asked on my blog (which, at the time, was a whole lot more busy because I was posting almost daily), if readers living in New England could recommend their favourite yarn shops to me, and we had a fantastic time visiting all those little shops. I learned spinning with a drop spindle on that holiday, and I still cherish the little spindle I took home with me. I couldn't buy nearly as much as I wanted, fleece or yarn, because although the Harley is a large bike, it doesn't allow for too much luggage, but I still managed to come home with a few little treasures.

One of those treasures was a batch of 7 balls of Schachenmayr nomotta Two In One. I quite liked the loopy texture of the yarn, although I was not sure what I was going to use it for.

When we came home, the 7 balls of Schachenmayr got stashed in one of my yarn bins and that's where they remained, for over a decade. Every so often I pulled a ball out to fondle it, or to check the yardage, wondering what I could do with it. At times I was tempted to pass the yarn on, since no project came to mind, but it does have sentimental value, so I could never quite bring myself to do it. The problem remained, though; either the yarn was the wrong weight, or the wrong texture, I didn't fancy a scarf or hat, and for most larger projects such as cardigans or sweaters 7 balls was just not enough.

At the end of last year I decided to give it one more try. I've gradually been de-stashing these past few years, because my yarn stash is really rather out of control, and I was fed up with seeing it there, gathering dust. I was going through the pattern library on Ravelry and thought I rather fancied a cowl. I found one I particularly liked, a DROPS design, and thought I might be able to make it work if I modified the pattern a bit. 

There would be no sleeves of course - there was no way my 7 balls of yarn were going to stretch to full-length sleeves. The pattern was also a little odd in places - I didn't fancy the directions to increase rather than decrease knitting up from the hem towards the waist - and my gauge was also a little bit off. Never mind I thought, I'll figure it out as I go along.

And I did! There were hick-ups of course - I had to correct the width of the jumper by decreasing by a whole lot of stitches past the first few rows because my gauge was far worse than I'd thought for example - but the yarn, although not a joy to knit with (all those loops...), turned out to be quite forgiving of such mistakes. Instead of increasing towards the waist, I went with the traditional decrease then increase towards the bust. I skipped the sleeves and instead just went with little capped sleeves, and I guesstimated the increases in the cowl (again, the yarn is forgiving), but I suppose I followed the pattern roughly. 

I had to shape and pin the folds in the cowl, because the way it fell naturally it looked like a deflated donut around my neck, but you know? I absolutely love this cowl. I wear it with a long-sleeved top underneath, and it's comfy and stylish and I seem to wear it all the time!