It’s hard to resist a new novelty yarn. I know I can’t, I wouldn’t even waste an splurt of energy on trying. I’d had an order for some men’s slouchies in various shades of grey (not a colour I generally keep at home), so I popped in to Roger at Orion to stock up on the weekend. And there was a new delivery of yarn, not even unpacked yet… yum…
It’s called Elle Baltic and it comes from Saprotex in East London (E L on the South African coast in the Eastern Cape, that is). Roger had two colours so I grabbed the one with pinks and blues mixed up, called Potpourri. R40 for a 100g ball. As you can see, the yarn consists of two separate strands that are bridged at regular intervals. Makes for a very chunky look.
I used a 10mm hook and made a simple cowl. Trebles seemed to work best, anything shorter and I think the stitch would have been too squished. I have no idea how many stitches I started with, nor how long it took, and I also know that it’s got a built-in twist because I really wasn’t paying attention (episode 7 of True Detective – who would take their eyes off Mr McConaughey, right?) – but I’m very happy with it.
Do you ever start making something and after a few rows you think, Nah, this isn’t going to be right because ——————-(insert reason). And so you rip it out and start again, with a bigger/smaller hook, bigger/smaller needles, different wool, or more or less stitches. And then a bit later you think, Uh uh, still not right. So you undo it again and try one more time. And the third time, when the beginning of your wool is now a lot thinner than the rest of the ball, you think, Oh forget it! This pattern is never going to work. And I didn’t want a new shrug/scarf/cardie anyway. You rip it out again and tell yourself you will use the wool in the multi-coloured scrap blanket that you’ll make one day.
For once I am determined not to do this. A friend at work, Lucinda, made this stunning cowl-y scarf and brought it in to show me. It looked just like the picture, and she’d done it in a classy shade of claret. I immediately printed out the pattern and started it that very evening. I love the wool I am using, Elle Jewel DK, and I thought using a 4.5mm hook instead of the usual 4mm would make for a droopier ‘hang’, but now I’m not so sure. The colours have come out in solid bands, and the silver doesn’t show up as much as I’d hoped, and it looks nothing like Lucinda’s. But I’m tired of second-guessing myself: I’m just going to persevere and finish it. And if I don’t like it, maybe someone else will?