Yay, Liesl is finished, and I'm really pleased with it (her?). I've made it(her?) quite long as I wanted to use the yarn up - I used up all 406 metres (320g) of the Araucania Toconao I had left over in purple after making my Fantastic Purple Cardigan a couple of years ago. It's 100% merino yarn, bought at 50% off from Norfolk Yarns when we visited there on holiday in 2010. It's lovely to knit with.
I love the Liesl pattern. There's enough happening to keep it interesting, but it's a quick knit using aran weight (you can use different weights of yarn) on 7mm needles. I think it will be a really useful cardigan too in a few weeks time, once the weather is a tiny bit warmer. The yarn is also soft enough to wear over a short-sleeved top or dress.
I blocked it using some Eucalan wool wash in lavender (seemed appropriate, given the colour!), and here is the finished item!
I actually finished the knitting about 10 days ago, but then had to wait for it to dry, and then go and buy a button for it. I only did one buttonhole, and found this purple button in a local shop which I thought would be perfect.
I'm pleased with the fit (it was hard to tell whilst trying it on during the knitting, as the circular needle pulled it backwards. I know I could have put it onto a bigger circular etc to try on, but I couldn't be bothered!).
And the back view. I'm especially pleased with the length of it.
So, that left me with a knitting gap this week, and 2 x knitting group plus an awful lot of TV either on or recorded to catch up with (Broadchurch, The Casual Vacancy, Indian Summers, Call the Midwife, Wolf Hall, The Legacy), so I needed to get my next projects chosen quickly. I did some swatching for Harvest Moon, intending to use one particular yarn for it, but it really didn't work and I just couldn't get gauge. The yarn was also horrible to knit with! Then I tried a swatch using my Rowan/Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran (originally purchased half price in the John Lewis Christmas sale the year I was working in London), and this went much better. The pattern calls for 4.5mm needles, but I had to go down to 4mm to get gauge. However, the knitted fabric feels and looks lovely, and the yarn is a dream to knit with. It's 50% organic wool and 50% organic cotton, with great stitch definition. It's more of a duck egg blue shade than it appears below.
The construction is fun. You knit a garter stitch strip, with a clever thing at the end which sort of centres the edging at the edge (that probably doesn't make any sense put like that). This is the collar of the cardigan.
Then pick up a billion stitches along the edge and knit downwards, increasing for the yoke.The billion stitches took most of one knitting group session to pick up!
It's a really satisfying knit, and is great for TV knitting, including subtitles, as you can work away without looking at it too much.
However, I also had my church's Quiet Day to go to yesterday, which involved 3 x 15 minute talks, with an hour of quiet reflection after each of them (all interspersed with tea, lunch or cake!), and craft activities were being provided to help people to be quiet and reflect. Of course, I could have taken Harvest Moon (and, in fact, I did), but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start another shawl. Having purchased two skeins of Triskelion Taliesin 4ply sock yarn at Yarndale in September, I'd been on the look out for a pattern to go with it, and finally settled on Semele.