Friday, 29 June 2012


Do you enjoy reading about other people's nutty knitting pursuits (as I do)? About their, ahem, knitting obsessions? If so, read on ...

One of my favourite features on Ravelry is the 'friend activity' tab (where is it? under 'my notebook' click on friends and then it's the second tab along from the left). This feature allows you to peek in at what patterns and projects your ravelry friends have recently chosen as their favourites, what they are adding to their knitting queue, yarns they are purchasing (and a couple more things beside). This is where I am most often apprised of what's new and where I come across projects that I may otherwise have missed and where I first came across the fabulous 'morse code', an elongated cowl version of Laura Chau's Attabi wrap.

I rarely knit something in the yarn that the pattern indicates (it's usually way too expensive). (Except I did knit Kieran Foley's 'Kerchief' in exactly the yarns indicated and was even moved to try stranded knitting for the first time ever so it's an exception in more ways than one.) And I'm not sure that I've ever acually been moved to replicate someone else's project, that is until now.

Another thing I really like about Ravelry is being able to virtually paw through other people's stash and thereby acquire yarn that is not otherwise easily available or at a much better price (or both). That's how I came to own ten balls of Rowan RYC Baby Alpaca DK in Cheviot. Someone was selling nine balls on Ravelry and didn't want to split the lot and as it was the same cost as buying just five balls brand new and I couldn't get hold of any brand new, except for the ball that I had already bought on ebay to check out the colourway ... yes, ten balls. Ah yes, Baby Alpaca DK being the yarn from which 'morse code' is knit ...

There was no way that I could get hold of the other yarn, Viola Silky DK as the independent dyer is on a two-year break on a sheep farm somewhere, so started shopping around for a contrast. I ended up with some madelinetosh tosh DK in Betine, but that wasn't quite right.

Actually, the Cheviot also wasn't quite right - colours in photos online can be deceiving and it's much paler and greyer than I was searching for. Nor were either of the Road to China Light skeins that I bought (moonstone and dusky quartz) quiet the thing either, wrong composition for the main yarn which needs to be a matte, slightly fuzzy alpaca-ish yarn to contrast with the shiny smoothness of a silk blend. (But they are going to make a beautiful subtly striped hat or neckwarmer or something once I decide on it.)

Finally, I realised that what I want to replicate is the look - matte fuzzy alpaca with a contrasting (and lighter) silk blend. So I have settled on:

Classic Elite Yarns Mountaintop Vista, an alpaca blend in natural colourway '6076' and Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in 3075. I hope it works well.

Along the way I also managed to pick up three skeins of Malabrigo Finito in colourway 'pearl ten'. I'm sure I'll think of something to knit with it.

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