So, last week I cast on my first sweater, time for some serious knitting. I'm knitting 'branwen' from Rowan Country Escape in Rowan's Country, shade heather. I intend to follow the pattern exactly as possible, except to make the body 3 inches longer and to put in a deep v-neck. I'm anxious not to mess it up and have researched the v-neck extensively, well for a few hours anyway. I've written myself a clear pattern for it, but its the last thing I'll be knitting. I started with the sleeves, I know, I know, this isn't ideal, its classic swatch avoidance. I'm working on the back right now.
I love the colours of the wool, which turn more blue and pink in the evening under electric light. Its also super chunky, I'm using 9mm needles for most of it. Going back to 5mm needles to work on my architect's scarf feels like working with super thin fragile needles. I started last week but it just knits up so fast the impetus to keep going doesn't disappear. I might even have it finished by the end of next week. Woah, way to set myself up for a fall. My reasons for doing a v-neck instead of the short roll neck in the pattern are a) I don't like roll-necks, they feel horrible and look worse on me b) the wool is heavy, and will always be worn over a cotton top or shirt because of its texture, so I reckon its going to be plenty warm as it is. I won't be doing the crochet things all over it either, though I admit they look good in the photos. Having manipulated this pattern so much it might not really be branwen anymore, but I think the branwen essence is still very much apparent, especially as I'm using the suggested shade of Country. Its just like adding sleeves to a vest pattern.
Speaking of which, I am very much taken by the Fyne vest in the latest Rowan magazine, which is also in Simply Knitting's free calender with twelve patterns for next year. If I can find the colours of Rowan Felted Tweed I like it might just be my next project. I'm mostly working on my architect's scarf, other than branwen, and still love the colours and softness of the malabrigo, which is surprisingly hard to get hold of. I'm using a different shade of malabrigo on my secret knitting project (the one I can't blog about as its supposed, if its ever finished, to be a surprise) which is on hiatus as there is apparently none in the entire British isles.
Don't you just feel when you find a great wool that you just want to knit a whole bunch of stuff with it, however useless or impractical or unnecessary? That's what led to my branwen heart, which was actually knit on exactly the same scale as my last ones, months ago and now on flickr, but is so much bigger because of the chunky wool. I associate the heather Country with the branwen pattern so much that I can't help but call it the branwen wool. In fact anything knit in this wool I'll probably refer to as branwen, it will after all have come from that inspiration. Its entirely possible I might knit a branwen scarf and matching mittens. I watch a lot of films when knitting, and I've just watched a bit of the third harry potter film which is my favourite. My mind might be addled but it seems that the colours and mood of that film go really well with this wool.
I think I had better just note, for the sake of agreeing with the law, which I know very little of, that I am in no way connected with Rowan or selling any of their products, and the above is just me being enthusiastic. Also, I am not the sort of person to spend hours writing about stuff I don't like very much, there's plenty of time to be morose in real life.