Walkover Wrap

For Noreen

This is Walkover Wrap, designed by talented Canadian designer, Ash Kearns. Her patterns are available on her website and on Ravelry. This wrap is a very simple knit, for sure. Basically, you knit a rectangle with a buttonhole.

It has a bit of the unexpected going on with that buttonhole, though. One buttonhole, three buttons. That’s definitely a new one for me. I actually didn’t realize it when I purchased the pattern. It’s knitter’s choice about whether you wear the wrap asymmetrically or evenly. I find the look I’m enjoying most is asymmetrical, as here.

The wrap is knit in the yarn the pattern called for: Berroco’s Lustra, a 50% wool, 50% tencel concoction. I’d tried to work Lustra up in a few other patterns and it proved very ill-behaved and I gave up. So I searched for a pattern that called for the yarn and that’s what let me to Walkover Wrap.

The good points of Lustra are that it has a wonderful shimmer and it’s warm but quite lightweight. The colorways are varied and beautiful. I used Seine (3181), a great blue with deeper blue-black highlights.

The bad points of Lustra are that it is nasty splitty yarn that occasionally snaps for no apparent reason. The final gift to me was that it snapped while I was binding off very very gently. Lustra has a mind of its own and also kinks up after you work with it. Kearns suggests a 15 minute bath in wool wash, and it needed every minute of that to relax.

But, if you can get through the hassle of working with Lustra, the finished garment feels great and looks great too. And Kearns’s pattern is wonderful–you could always use a different worsted weight.

For Noreen

WATERshed Harrowsmith

harrowsmith3This is Harrowsmith, a pattern by Ash Kearns of Ash Kearns Handknitting. The cape’s name harkens back to a group of Canadians who fled urban life back in the 1960’s and ended up trying to live off the land, near the town of Harrowsmith in the Ottawa Valley. Harrowsmith Country Life, the magazine that championed back-to-the-land environmentalism, was eventually sold to Telemedia, a media giant. And rural Harrowsmith is now home to a Walmart and Tim Hortons.

Well, Harrowsmith is still a great little cape, even if the times they are a changin’.

I knitted Harrowsmith in Harrisville Design’s new worsted weight: WATERshed. I’ve been working with it quite a bit, so you’ll soon see more of WATERshed on this blog. This is their barn door shade. I have their full sample card. The deep rich heathers, evocative of the watershed around Harrisville, New Hampshire, are all wonderful.

This was a fun, quick knit. My only modifications were to add a few rows to the bottom ribbing, and to use a two-stitch, four-row buttonhole rather than the one-stitch, two row sheep’s eye buttonhole the pattern called for. I also gave up trying to graft the ribbing at the top of the very extravagant hood and just grafted the first rib and then did a three-needle join and bind off. The instructions are excellent on how to graft the ribbing by sorting the knits and purls onto separate needles and then separately grafting the sets of stitches. But my tensioning was off by a country mile, so I felt a strategic retreat was required.

Here’s another view of the front and then a look at the hood.