Friday, 1 April 2011

Viva la Mochi Mochi!

About 6 months or so ago, I bought a bag of yarn from Little Knits - one of my favorite spots to buy yarn (great selection, fantastic service, quick shipping and to-die-for prices!). I found a colourway that just screamed "me!" in a bulky weight 100% wool, and after debating whether to buy 2 or 4 balls, saw that the whole bag (10 skeins!) was only $25.00 US, I decided "To hell with it" and bought a bag (pretty wool is a weakness of mine and I am especially partial to self striping!).

The bag of yarn arrived, and I was happy to see that the monitor did not lie - pretty colours :) Then it struck me ... there was more yarn there than I could make a hat and cowl from, even more than I could use to add mitts to the ensemble ... what to make? So I set to scouring Ravelry for ideas ... Nashua Handknits Woolly Stripes ... what had other people made from it? Nine hundred and forty six projects, and most of them hats, scarves, mitts and cowls ... hmmmm!

I am a stasher, I admit it, but it pains me greatly to stuff beautiful yarn into the depths, never to be seen again ... that coupled with the bargain hunter in me compelled me to continue to search. Somewhere on Ravelry, I stumbled across this vest. Similar yarn, same weight, self striping, and cute as a button! I printed off the pattern, and put it with the bag of yarn , and forgot about it for a while.

At the beginning of March, I realized that the maritime Fibre Arts retreat was only 1 month away, and as usual, I had no hand knits to wear to it (and once again would have to be envious of all the other knitters wearing their own creations while I wore a store bought sweater!). It really isn't right that I have been knitting for 9 years, and really only have socks in my own knitwear wardrobe (every baby I know has a sweater, a skirt or a vest to show as a memento of knowing me, and my hubby has a cabled sweater in size XXHUGE that I knit him as my fourth ever knitted item, but me? nothing! well, a shawl, but other than that - nothing!).

I grabbed the pattern, and the bag of pretty yarn, and sat down to knit ... it was then that I realized the difference between my yarn and the yarn used in the pattern. Stripes were there, 100 percent wool was there, same sized needles and gauge was there ... yardage? not there. The Nashua was less yardage! I decided to risk it. I took my measurements and cast on for an XL. As I knit, I marvelled at the pretty stripes and the cleverness of the pattern, all the while wondering why I don't have a closet full of sweaters for me, it is so fun and easy. That lasted 3 nights, while the 'skirt' part of the pattern dragged on and on. As I held it up to me and wrapped it around my hips for the 45th time, I decided that an XL was going to be too big and if I went down a size it might still fit, and I should have enough yarn to finish it.

I hoped.

The skirt/lower part took nearly 5 skeins when knit to the size large length and XL width ... I hate math, but decided that the rest of the sweater couldn't possibly take more than the skirt, so continued in the size large. The fronts went together quickly, using a bit more than 1 skein each, then the back knit up quicker than I could imagine!

Nashua Handknits Wooly Stripes
Used: 9 skeins ... bought 10 skeins = 880.0 yards (804.7m) (I guess I can make my hat or cowl after all!)
Colorway: Viva!
Needles: 6.0 mm Harmony Circulars
Time in: March 2 - March 22 (20 days, including 1 week off for a cold!)
Again? Heck yeah! Nice pattern, cute end result, and a great candidate for the random balls of Noro that one acquires over the years :)