Friday, 14 October 2016

Lies Knitters Tell Themselves

A little over a year ago, Blacker Yarns, a small wool producer with their own mill known for championing wool from British breeds of sheep, put out their limited edition 10th anniversary wool, Cornish Tin. It's a blend of their favourite things, and to say it went like hot cakes is to vastly overinflate the popularity of hot cakes. I was lucky enough to get two skeins of the DK, one in a beautiful rich blue and  the other in the undyed silver-grey in the hopes of knitting a stranded colourwork hat, Pleiades by Ann Kingstone. I knew that the yarn she used was a "light" DK - which is to say more of a sport weight except the UK is only just starting to acknowledge a sportweight category - but I was okay with having a large beret. Unfortunately, what I knew I would have a different stitch gauge, I hadn't thought through the implications of the different row gauges and my beautiful beret came out as a pixi hat. It was, ah, unfortunate. 

So I frogged it and put it back in my stash while I looked for just the right project for my two very special skeins of Cornish Tin. Two-colour, two-skein projects for fingering weight, the other weight Cornish Tin came in, are a dime a dozen but DK projects are a bit thinner on the ground. Then, just about a month ago (around the same time Blacker yarns announced their 11th anniversary blend, Tin II and this time I bought a sweater quantity in a soft teal), Ann Kingstone released another stranded colourwork collection featuring sheep, and I pounced on the Dewlap cowl pattern with a not-too-dissimilar meterage/weight ratio. Yeah. My stitch gauge is not too far off, but my row gauge...well, instead of being 24"x9.5", my cowl is more like 25"x24". That's a, um, slight difference. I can use it as a cowl if I don't mind either smooshing it up so no-one can see the sheepies or having it stretched out proudly and completely cover my head. Neither option is ideal.


So I've changed my search criteria and I'm going to think of my Cornish Tin as being a light worsted rather than a heavy DK (there's no standard for categories and it's more an art than a science) and I think I found The Pattern this time - third time lucky, right? It's a split-brim beanie with a snowflake design and pompom and while beanies and pompoms aren't my usual cup of tea, Wooly Wormhead's MKAL last year, Skelter, turned out to be a split-brim beanie with a pompom and I will admit that I spent most of last winter borrowing it every time I was going out and he wasn't. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

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