Wednesday, 27 June 2007


I mentioned in my first post that I was knitting i-cord to go around the neck of a sweater that I hadn't got right. I anticipated then that I would rapidly tire of this arrangement and unravel the neck so that I could do it again. Well, I did and it's a bit better, but I think I'm going to have a third go at it soon.

It's in Rowan's All Seasons Cotton, in a discontinued shade called Glad which looks like denim which has been faded and bleached. They've discontinued all of these printed shades which I think is a great pity as it's a look which really suits the yarn. On the other hand, it means that I can buy them up at reduced prices, so it's not all bad.

I continued the distressed appearance of the yarn by carefully knitting rips into the pattern, well, apparent rips. I borrowed the idea from Raspy in Rowan's Denim People book, although I did them a different way. In Raspy, you make a stitch and then drop it some rows later: I found this didn't look quite right in this yarn (Raspy is designed for Rowan Denim yarn, the one which shrinks on purpose), but I just knitted a column of one stitch in purl. It now occurs to me that I could have done wider rips, but I didn't think of that while I was knitting it. I knitted it in the round up to the sleeves, and I found it a very easy and fast knit. Knitting with 100% cotton makes my hands sore, but this has just the right amount of stretch and is very soft.

I think the rips look deliberate and that my witty idea has succeeded, but on the other hand maybe I just look like a crazy old woman in a ripped sweater: after all, who would tell me? But at least I look like a happy crazy old woman, because I love wearing it. It's very comfortable and provides a kiss of warmth but not a suffocating embrace. After washing and wearing, it has grown a little widthways, I think, but not lengthwise as a 100% cotton would. You might want to bear that in mind if you're subbing ASC for another cotton.

I used the pattern for Navigator in Rowan mag number 29, which is sort of unisex but has different neck treatments for men and women. The hems and cuffs are left to roll up, which is a look I really like, and I made little slits at the sides to give it a bit more ease. Since the women's sizes don't come up to my size but I didn't want the men's neck, I changed the neckline and that's why I keep having to re-knit it. The bizarre thing is that I don't mind.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Errol the Owl

Because my knitting life wasn't interesting enough with two scarves and a jacket on the needles, I knitted an Errol the Owl, from Charmed Knits, the book of projects for fans of Harry Potter.

He's meant to look sort of scruffy and battered, because he's a tired old owl who has flown into a lot of windows while delivering letters for his family, the Weasleys, but I hope I haven't overdone it. He's made from Debbie Bliss's Maya in an olivey greeny browny shade, with a Rowan's Scottish Tweed beak and All Seasons Cotton feet.

He's for my niece's sons, Ewan and Finlay. I knitted Harry Potter sweaters for them both, a long time ago, and we always go to see the films together as soon as they come out, but I thought they would especially like to have an Errol because their dad actually comes from the small town of Errol in Perthshire, which J.K. Rowling had in mind when she named the Weasleys' owl. Ewan and Finlay's grandparents still live there.

And the buttons I used for his eyes came from their great-granny's button tin, which I inherited when she died, so he's a very personal owl.