The yarn came first. I found some chunky Icelandic yarn in a charity shop. I knitted with similar yarn some years ago, and I think it is lovely, so I bought it. Then I found more similar single ply chunky yarn to complement it.
I came across the pattern on the Knit Picks website last year. The thing I like about it is the stripes, that you can vary the widths and it still looks good. And that's why it is suitable for using up different kinds and colours of yarn. There are two versions of the pattern, the Geo Modern Throw and the Retro Throw. The main difference between the two is that the Geo Modern has two stitches between the decreases and the Retro one. I liked the sculptural effect of two stitches, so mine is a Geo Modern Throw. The pattern also uses chunky yarn - it gives a choice of several - so the tension will be similar to mine. (Knit Picks have changed the site since I printed off the patterns. They are both called Retro Throws now. My pattern is the purple green one.)
But tension doesn't matter. You cast on stitches working in the round from the outside, decreasing until you run out of stitches - or get to about ten - when it should meet in the middle. I went for large blocks of about 40 cm, and cast on the number of stitches I thought would achieve this. The blocks curl up around the edges, so it is impossible to say if they will now.
The other yarns that I included are:
The Annabel Fox Chunky Donegal. I found eight 100 gr hanks of this eight years ago, and I have finally found a use for it. It is thicker, more solid than the chunky yarns you find now, and it is thicker than the other yarns used , so it is a shame that I included it. I like the brown tweedy colour. Annabel Fox designed for Rowan at the end of the eighties and she published at least one book of patterns and obviously went on to do her own brand of yarns.
Two Patons yarn: Husky and Moorland. The shetland type Moorlandhas a note to say that it is distributed by Susan Bates in the USA, so at some stage it has made the journey back to the UK. I think both yarns originate from the 1970s.
Some Icelandic yarn spun in Great Britain. This is slightly thinner than the real Icelandic yarn.
I enjoy knitting this and it is so easy. The only tricky part is making sure that the stitches aren't twisted when you join the cast on row. The pattern does not specify how to cast on. I didn't want to use my usual method, long tail cast on, because I would end up with a lot of ends from tails too long. I tried cable cast on but mine was too tight. In the end I went for the simple single cast on. I will have to see what it looks like when the blocks are joined.
The first long rows are peaceful, and they soon get shorter. I started with 80 cm circular needles, and I had 60 and 40 cm ones ready but I found I can get straight on to 20 cm double pointed needles. When you get that far the rows take no time at all and the block is soon done. It is nice to plan the colour bands. I try to limit the bands to an even number of rows because it is easier that way to keep track of the decreases every other row. Stitch markers are essential. Mine come from the markers from electric toothbrush heads. I saw an even better suggestion in Adelheid's blog - rings from discarded bras. They have a nicer feel. The beginning of the row is marked with a loop in a different yarn.