When this huge 150g skein of Kauni Effectgarn EQ Rainbow arrived from Etsy some time ago, I knew it had to become something special and scoured the Ravelry project gallery for inspiration. Whippoorwill was soon purchased (after seeing a smaller one) although it took a while to cast on. Whenever I've posted pictures of this yarn I've had loads of questions about it so here's what I think.
First off, this 100% wool is "rustic" which is a nice way of saying that in the skein it's stiff and a bit scratchy. I would imagine that some people who are especially sensitive to wool might find it too prickly to wear next to the skin. As Whippoorwill is meant as outerwear, this wasn't a huge concern for me but after a soak in some wool wash it's definitely 'bloomed'. I have seen that term before and wasn't sure what it meant until I finished squeezing the water out of this in a towel and it dawned on me - it has fluffed up and is slightly softer to the touch but it's still rustic. That being said, there is a whole lot going for this yarn:
- the colours - they are so rich and vibrant (there were a few joins but the colour was not affected)
- after soaking in tepid water with wool wash, the water was clear - there was no dye residue
- the transition between colours is wonderful - a perfect gradation
- the price tag - yarn for this huge shawl cost just $22.60 including international post, which is around £15 at the current exchange rate.
Needless to say, there is another skein in a different colourway in my stash already. And so the pattern - I have a few Carina Spencer designs and they are some of the best in my library. Clear and comprehensive instructions, rows written in detail with the option of using a chart. This is a simple but effective construction. I love the way that it's shaped so that it hugs the shoulders without slipping off, and is big enough to be worn as a wrap-around shrug/cardi - I made the largest size to make the most of the yarn. The pattern is worth every cent of the $6 price, and I am thinking about making another in contrasting hand-spun yarns when I have enough yardage. It was such a joy to knit these long rows and despite the break (when I needed to frog part of it for knitting too much) and knitting half of it in the recent 'heatwave', it was bound off with mixed emotion because I could have happily kept knitting it. By the end I was using 2m of cable on my interchangeables and still had wrist ache, so it's probably best that it's finished.
As for the bind off, you may have seen my anguished posts on Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday when I realised that the final row was going to be in my least favourite part of the yarn which is the greeny-yellow section. (I can wear orangey-yellows but not greeny-yellows and had actually considered cutting that colour out of all the repeats). First I tried skipping straight to the blue for the bind off row, but that looked too much of a contrast. Then I considered waiting until after the holidays for some extra golden-yellow yarn but it seemed wasteful to get extra for the sake of a single row. In the end I cut out a long (11g) section so that it was still finished with green, but not the worst bit. I don't think it made much difference in the end as it's so big. Which brings me onto the blocking.
It needed to be lightly blocked as the edge had rolled up. I'd end with a few garter stitch rows rather than the eyelet row when knitting this again, to give the bottom a bit more weight. While lightly blocking, an error became evident. Right in the middle (of course!!!) there is an accidental increase, which means there is a hole. I've blocked it with a pin holding it together and will add a sew it closed or it'll annoy the heck out of me.
I've loved this project and hope to get plenty of wear out of it... but not yet. We are heading off to sunnier climes, but there will be lots happening on the blog while I'm away including some great guest posts, some lovely crafters for you to meet and the usual link ups for Spinning Show & Tell and the Knitalong. Have a great week!