Handmaker's Factory

Red Liquorice

Here is my finished ‘Faith’ (by Louisa Harding from the pattern book Delphine) washed and blocked. I think I’ll have to call it Raspberry Liquorice as the large cable up the front is like a big fat red liquorice strap. Because my row tension is smaller than that of the pattern, my cable will not sit as flat as the original does, but I decided as I was knitting the front that I was happy with mine as is.
Figure 1 ‘Faith’ by Louisa Harding from the book Delphine
There was only one thing to note in the pattern; to my count the body pieces were short two rows to complete the last cable pattern repeat before the start of the neckline ribbing. I’m not sure if that is a pattern error, or if my counting was out. My only other alteration was to knit the sleeves with more rows between increases to reduce the bagginess and knit them to finish just below my elbow, not mid-forearm.
Washed and blocked, my measurements are spot on, including the sleeve length measurement which means the model must have very short arms, or I’ve got super long ones.
Figure 2 Body length measurement (left) and width (right)
I wish I could say that my pattern making was going as well. I am easily distracted by new pattern books, knitwear designers who are much more talented than I, and of course, albeit only occasionally, work.
I have begun to chart up my pattern and as I do my admiration for pattern designers grows. And I can’t even begin to imagine grading the pattern for different sizes. So in the interests of getting the thing knitted before the end of the year, I have been hunting through my pattern library for cabled jackets or jackets I could adapt to include a cable.
In the meantime I have been sidetracked by another of Louisa Harding new books, Marguerite, from which I've started ‘Willow’. I'm using two yarns I picked up in Edinburgh last year; Mayes Howe, 100% Scottish wool grown on the Orkney Islands and St Magnus DK, a 50/50 angora and wool mix, also from the Orkneys.

Figure 3 Yarns, patterns and a slow start on my ‘Willow’ by Louisa Harding
This time my yarn substitution is a bit more ambitious. St Magnus is a soft fluffy mix which, from my previous experience of knitting Louisa Harding’s ‘Juliet Scarf’ from Knitting Little Luxuries with Kimono Angora Pure, flops. That is, it will knit up to a floppy hand. Mayes Howe on the other hand is the kind of strong yarn you could send your husband out fishing in and it would come back in exactly the same condition. As such it is itchy. The pattern uses only two rows of the itchy yarn surrounded by eight rows of clouds of fluffy yarn, so I’m hoping it will be wearable. In the yarn shop in Edinburgh, I was shown how it would soften up after washing. 
As to how the hand my yarn compares to the hand of Louisa Harding Ianthe, I have no idea. Therefore, I'm knitting a sleeve as a big swatch again to see how I go. Meh, what are rules if they can’t be broken? Or does pride go before a fall? Hmm...I’ll let you know!
Ms Jane is Melbourne-based artist who earns her living taking photographs and spends it all on knitting yarn and sewing material. You can see her knitting and sewing projects here or find her as msjane on Ravelry.

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