Sunday, February 03, 2008

Irish Hiking Scarf and other stories

Hi guys

It is very remiss of me not to have blogged much lately, I am sorry. Life does have a nasty habit of interfering with one's knitting. I have made a little progress though, so let me tell you about the Irish Hiking Scarf I'm knitting for Ed. Here it is:

It's coming along well. It is my travelling project so I knit it on buses and trains and I got loads done sitting at the back of a conference the other day. The yarn, you'll recall, is Rowan Cocoon, which includes kid mohair, so it's slightly hairy but still not so fluffy that you can't see the pattern. I'm knitting the pattern on the prescribed 42 sts, I've used up two balls of yarn so far and I'm thinking that half a ball more will probably do it. When it comes to blocking, I'm unsure what to do. Fierce blocking for maximum stitch display? Or gentle blocking for maximum elasticity and spring in the finished scarf? Your opinions welcome.

In other news, I am ploughing on with Joe's red Edan sweater and I've nearly finished the second sleeve. Joe is a bit disgusted with how long it's taking. I am sorry, but not sorry enough to stop scarf-knitting alongside the jumper.

The new Rowan magazine arrived at my house today. Oh, Rowan. It never fails to disappoint. I just keep buying it out of loyalty because it's a lovely British yarn brand. A bit of a national institution, like John Lewis or something. But the fact is, they really need to come up with a new fashion story. If I see any more pictures of bored, embarrassed models wafting around the English countryside in floaty skirts and shapeless lacy jumpers, I will scream. Rowan, will you please wake up! Some of us live in urban environments and got over wanting to dress up like a fairy by the time we were 8 years old.

I ask you. Beelzebub has no time for such frippery.
Next time, a review of The Knitting Circle, by Ann Hood: a novel about knitting which distinguishes itself by being slightly less awful than The Friday Night Knitting Club, by the nearly-illiterate Kate Jacobs.


Cinders said...

I agree about Rowan! infact I never knit any of there stuff. they rarely go up to my size and its all designed for waif thin anorexic six foot models.
the scarf is looking good.

Kay said...

I made a neckwarmer similar in design to the Irish Hiking scarf, and when I blocked it, I stretched the heck out of it to make sure all the stitches and cables were nice and even. I unpinned it while it was still slightly damp, though, so the cable rib pulled back in somewhat. It seemed to maintain some of the springyness, that way.

I love some of the designs in the Rowan books, but not so much the magasines. Five-foot-tall overweight Canadians should not dress like fairytale princesses.

The Friday Night Knitting Club is becoming a film. -_-

feltboots said...

Ha! that's a great observation on Rowan, you've placed them well :D

Do you think they'll ever change ?

Janette said...

Oh I am so with you on the recent Rowan magazines. I too purchased #43, but it may be the last. So very disappointing as Rowan was once the most fabulous company.

Looking forward to your next review.

Fiona said...

Irish Hiking Scarf rocks.

But I disagree on Rowan... other than the models looking bored. I like the Summer editions. The Winter editions leaves me cold - no pun intended.

(I'd like to stress that I don't go for the fairytale princess look!)

ContinentalCat said...

Rowan really gives a wrong impression of what the British countryside must look like. I almost don't dare to visit, afraid I will run over a fairy in Kid Silk Haze ;-) The magazines are a bit like those expensive Home and Garden ones, where everyone lives in a converted mill or something like that and has three kids, two dogs AND a white sofa.

As for the Cocoon: I love this yarn (and used it for a felted basket - perhaps not the best idea in the world) but I found that it broke easily, perhaps because of the mohair. (Or perhaps it was just my luck). I'd block carefully, not too much tension right away.

Looking forward to seeing the results, and to your book review of course.

Viknits said...

totally agree with you on Rowan. It'd be nice to see a range of styles. However their yarns remain highly regarded by me :) I really want to try out cocoon now, I've felt it and drooled over it, so once my stashalong is over that'll be one of the first things I get!

Your needle review below was awesome, and I agreed with what you said about them all. The Brittany's really are the perfect length for socks aren't they. Which is a shame as the pretty aluminium ones are so smooth and nice to knit with.