Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nice yarn, shame about the patterns

It's been a while since my attention was caught so completely by a yarn that I spontaneously catch my breath; I'm not impressed by the new Rowan range, and there seems to be a lot of copy-catting going on amongst the B-list brands. But this did the trick:
The colours! The lustre! The soft, delicious hand! (The price tag!)
OK, you'd have to be doing something wrong to make 100% pure silk yarn not look luscious, especially if it looks like simple singles (I haven't dissected it; I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be corespun for strength), but this hits all the buttons... I liked it so much that I went looking for the accompanying pattern book. Ohh... well. There are a few garments in there that I would consider knitting, but I'm not sure if they're right for the yarn. Admittedly, I'm not sure what *is* right for the yarn - maybe just leaving it in skeins is enough. It doesn't help that there is no hint of lustre in the book's photographs; this is a lustrous yarn, folks; if you don't want to play to it, at least don't hide it! Nothing p!sses people off more than finding they've knit a garment that has been misrepresented in the photographs (believe me: ask about Minnie sometime. She's still awaiting surgery...). In fact, in some of the photographs, the yarn looks really tired and sad:
It's hard to believe that this yarn is from the same line as this, where even the black shines:
To me, this yarn calls for luscious, draping forms, simple stitches that will let the material speak for itself; perhaps a draping, ruffled flounce or two (think Garland from Rowan's Classic Garden, though the quantity of yarn and thus cost of knitting this garment in this yarn would be prohibitive; I only mortgage my house, thanks!) I'm sure Kim Hargreaves, with her understanding of simple form and elegant drape could come up with some fantastic ideas.
These two, I think, are not the way to use this stuff:
Can you imagine cables and bobbles in high-lustre yarn? You'd look like a disco ball...
My two favourites from the book:
though I'm still worried about expecting silk to have the kind of memory that allows ribbing not to sag out horribly after a while... And the neckline on that wrap top is already looking... odd.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about the sheen on silk: better to knit something simple and let the yarn stand out, than something cabled and shine like a disco ball! Ha ha!

- MJ

9/14/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Midsummer night's knitter said...

GLad I''m not the only one who was unimpressed with that pattern book.
By the way, I reckon that I am free a week Saturday, in the morning or in the afternoon until about 5ish. What would suit you?

9/14/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous sarah said...

Very interesting posting. I ended up knitting the first garment you show - the little bolero to wear over a dress to a wedding cos I couldn't find anything else to match it in colour (purple) - anyway it looked like a dishcloth when knitted until I pressed it extremely hard. It now drapes beautifully but something seems to have gone from the yarn. It knits up very very twisted so the tension looks terrible. I had already bought yarn to knit the wrap top you show but as Jeanette at HK pointed out to me those sleeves would NEVER stay on your shoulder in heavy silk yarn so I am now ploughing my way through the ribbed sleeveless sweater you also show! Tension looks equally bad so have given up on it - may get it out next spring! On the whole the yarn is extremely disappointing when knitted up and you're right much nicer left in the skein.

9/17/2006 08:52:00 PM  

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