Thursday, March 30, 2006

Kiri or Birch??

Knitting Three Kidsilk Fuzzballs made their way home in my shopping bag the other day, in that fab lime green colour known as 'Jelly' (I know, I know... I have more than enough yarn for the rest of the year, and probably several more to boot, but we've all been there, haven't we?). I've been coveting a Birch or a Kiri for ages, and felt it was just time. I love that fresh, springy green; greens of all types make a regular appearance in my wardrobe, and the zing of jelly is a particular favourite. For the uninitiated (Ha! Who am I kidding?!?), Birch is a pattern from Rowan 34 that uses a traditional fern lace pattern. Eleventy-million stitches are cast on to form the top edge, and the pattern is worked down from the top, decreasing out stitches as you go. Kiri is a version created by the wonderful Polly of All Tangled Up. It is knit by the more familiar method of casting on a few stitches, and increasing at the edges and centre to make a triangle. There are other differences too, I'm sure; but that's the salient one right now. Birch ends up as an all over pattern with the motifs pointing up and down the shawl. Kiri shows the central tram-track eyelet line typical of this method of shawl construction, and the motifs point up and inwards towards the central line. I actually think Kiri has more visual interest, but... Well, part of me wants to knit the pattern as Rowan printed it, not least because I want to prove to myself that I *can* cast on and knit eleventymillion stitches. It's as if some sort of snobbery is pushing me towards the 'original' despite myself - and I can't put my finger on what or why. Silly, I know. Of course, the other option is to do a shawl that actually uses more than one stitch pattern. Suggestions, anyone? P.S. The consensus was that the previous layout was a tad too wide for many people; is the new one any better? P.P.S. I actually had a dream last night where I was trying to explain the difference in construction between Kiri and Birch, and the resulting different appearance, to a non-knitter. Complete with diagrams. Is that worrying?


Blogger ambermoggie said...

kiri I think:) and blog much easier to read now thanks

3/30/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Mary deB said...

New setup is better.
I'll vote for Birch, for no good reason. What are the edgings like?

3/30/2006 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Kita is beautiful.And so is your new house!

3/31/2006 01:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Helen said...

I want to knit Birch too.
But I've so far been unwilling to shell out the money for the Rowan book in which it was published -- it is the ONLY thing in that book I'd want to knit.

I really like the vertical flow of the pattern..

3/31/2006 01:26:00 AM  
Anonymous carol said...

I would like to do birch too - there is just something about that all over pattern that appeals. Not sure about huge cast on tho!

3/31/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger KnitYoga said...

I've knitted Birch but not Kiri. Personally, I think I'd rather cast on a zillion stitches knowing that I'm gradually going to reduce them than the other way around. But, I agree, Kiri is probably more visually interesting.

3/31/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

I vote for Birch. I made it and it was such a wonderful experience. I emailed Sharon Miller, the designer with a question and she got right back to me and supported me through the whole thing.

To me, Kiri is just an upside down birch - not the way the stitch or the design was intended and possibly a copyright violation, although Sharon Miller is too much of a lady to ever do anything like sue.

I made mine in black KSH. My daughter and I fight over it and wear it all the time. I would NEVER make it in black again - too hard on the eyes. Sharon says she only made one in black and will never again! Have fun! Your knitting life will never be the same.

4/02/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

I have made Kiri but not Birch. They both rely on a traditional fern stitch pattern and have their own individual design merits. But I like the edging on Kiri much better, so that has my vote.

4/02/2006 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger alltangledup said...

I would vote that you do birch if you tend to get bored close to the end of a project. Decreasing # stitches is very motivating.

Kiri is better if you are knitting lace for the first time or using kid silk haze on big needles for the first time. The main reason is that there likely going to be ripping if you're not familiar with the pattern and KSH is not a fun yarn to rip.

4/09/2006 03:37:00 PM  

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