Sunday, 23 March 2014

Modified Vite Cowl Finished

Following my issues with the looseness of the Supa-Dupa extra chunky knit on 15mm needles, I bought myself some 10mm and 12mm needles to fill the gap in my 'toolkit' and to test for use for my modified Vite Cowl.

I decided to go straight onto the 12mm, as the 9mm had produced quite a stiff knit fabric and 10mm probably wouldn't make much difference to that.  Having knitted a few rows I wondered if I could find a size between 12mm and 15mm, but decided to go with the 12mm, and try to remember not to keep the tension tight.

I made a further modification to the cowl pattern, dropping the outermost purl stitch and changing the other purl stitch to a knit, so that the right side is all knit and the wrong side all purl stitches, and the pattern appears to be all leaf, without a different edge on one side.  This helped my flow even more, and I knitted it in two sessions of about an hour an a half each.

The first session was in the lounge at the garage, where I ended up spending another £250 or so getting my car through its MOT.  In the two months since its major service, the car developed a problem with the suspension, probably due to the state of the roads here. There are holes and cracks all over the place where the road surface has been affected by the heavy rain we've had for the past couple of months. West Wales is lovely, but the roads are not!

I decided to go back to the provisional cast on, using my waste yarn double to give myself a more robust starting point. It was a bit of a problem that my first row had 16 stitches, but only 15 when I finished after a wrong side row. I fixed that during the kitchener grafting by creating a pass-slipped-stitch-over style decrease where the decrease stitches start to outline the leaf. Fiddly, but feasible.

One ball of the Supa -Dupa (52m) did 2 rows short of two and a half pattern repeats (5 leaves).  I'd been confused about the 'half' pattern repeat before, but basically, the 24 row pattern produces 2 leaves.  Half the pattern, 12 rows, creates one leaf, but you get the top of the leaf on the lower right, then the bottom of the leaf on the upper left, and this single leaf is a bit short for anything, even in the Supa-Dupa! Having knit one ball, I wondered about stopping there and joining, because it would have made a lovely cowl just like that.  In the end, I decided for a longer loop which I could leave long or wrap twice, so did four and a half pattern repeats (9 leaves, approx 64 inches). There is a small ball of 32g of yarn left. I love the lustre on this yarn. It glows!

I finished the cowl a few weeks ago, bit it really needed blocking because the increases on each leaf 'vein' caused a sort of 'hump'. I decided to wet it to see if the yarn was colour fast.  There was only a little bit of colour in the water.  More notable was how heavy it became when wet! The yarn is only 25% wool, but seems to absorb several times its own weight in water.  Note to self, do not wear this out in heavy rain! Even with rolling and pressing the cowl in towels to squeeze out as much water as possible, and then blocking it on a folded towel, it was still damp three days later. In the end, I laid it out on a cool radiator to dry fully. It held its shape up to the point when I lifted it up and put in on, when the weight of it stretched it caused all the edges to curl again. Thankfully, it doesn't feel heavy to wear.

We seem to have missed the snow this year, but it's still chilly in the evenings, so this cowl and my sparkly green mittens keep the cold at bay when I go out to teach or put the hens away.

No comments: