Sunday, 5 October 2014

The nexf blanket

The next blanket, #163, is a dark one.  I always enjoy these, particularly if, like this one, I manage to avoid bright colours.  There are plenty of dark yarns in the yarn store, and because they are dark it is unlikely that the shades will clash.  The lighter grey yarn that does show up is the angora yarn that I'm trying to finish.  It adds softness, but the unevenness disturbs a little.

The first sweater that I unravelled was this one with a hunting scene.  This is the second from the same pattern that I found, and I knew it was a Rowan design because the first one had a Rowan label inside the collar.  This one is exactly the same pattern as the first one, the same yarns, the same colours, but it is knitted with the yarn doubled so it is larger, and because it is knitted to a tighter tension it feels less nice.

I like using yarn from picture patterns because it will come in unequal lengths, and that is good for a blanket using random lengths of wool.  I have done it so many times now, so that when I wind yarn into smaller balls they tend to end up the same length.  But this sweater - the larger one in doubled yarn - has not been knitted intarsia style.  The background yarn has been carried along behind the motives.  I didn't notice that when I bought it.  Well, there is plenty of lovely Rowan double knitting wool in it anyway.  The smaller one is in intarsia.  I am postponing unravelling it because it fits me perfectly.

I distinctly remember finding this pattern in an old Rowan magazine as a Kim Hargreaves design, but now I can't find it, so I may be wrong.  The design is attractive, similar to Joseph designs at the time.

The second sweater was a navy Jigsaw mohair nylon blend, 4 ply weight, knitted in a lace aran pattern design as a tunic.  This is from the 1990s, and it is the third I have unravelled.  The yarn is nice, easier to handle than blends with a higher mohair content.  The tunic is nice too.  I considered, briefly, keeping it when I tried it on.

I did find other things when I was looking for the hunting scene pattern.  This sweater is in fact by Kim Hargreaves, Chelsea style from her 1991 book, Kim Hargreaves Collection.  The pattern used Rowan Grainy Silk, Silkstones and Fine Cotton Chenille doubled while mine was knitted in ordinary double knitting wool with some mohair in different colours, but the design was the same.

And this waistcoat is a Louisa Harding pattern, Flamingo, from Rowan Magazine 19.  I was surprised, because the lurex yarn didn't point to Rowan for me, but at the time they did a Lurex yarn.  Also the pattern uses Rowan Cotton Glace, while the yarn used struck me more as Handknit Cotton rather than Cotton Glace.  But Cotton Glace has evolved over the years, I found, when comparing balls of different vintages.  The earlier ones seem thicker because they were less tightly plied.

My collection of Rowan magazines is still incomplete, and I look for the missing ones in charity shops.  A few months ago I came across a pile of half a dozen, so I picked out the ones I wanted.  It was when I came home and looked at them more thoroughly that I noticed Kate Moss's face on the cover of one, number 10.  I never thought I would be able to get hold of that one as you read of it being a collector's item with a hefty price tag.  Well, I did it.  It is not in very good condition, dog eared and worn, but I'm pleased.

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