I thought I knew exactly what the chicken lady was going to wear but I’ve discovered that designing knitwear for an outfit isn’t quite the same as simply knitting for an outfit, especially if like me, you design partly on paper and partly on the needles.

Initially the Rowan Lima seemed perfect. I love the colourway and the yarn offered an airy texture and thicker feel that wasn’t already included. The balance felt good. But, once it was on the needles it was obvious things weren’t right.

I should have known from my first swatch. The feel of the yarn and the way it was knitting up wasn’t jelling with the images in my head, plus I wasn’t enjoying the yarn, it was so splitty. But I’ve actually used Lima before – I made a gorgeous cowl last christmas and I wonder if the problem was as much the colour I was using (as delicious as it is) as the yarn itself. The dark colour was looking so flat and I was after depth.

Whatever, it wasn’t working and when I finished swatching and thought I had a design, it only took a couple of inches to realise that those very first doubts were right after all. Lima wasn’t the right yarn. Aren’t those voices always right? And, why don’t we listen earlier?!

Choosing a new yarn was easier now the sweater and the hat are finished – I had a clearer picture of the whole look and how to find balance and I saw quickly what I needed to do.

I’ve chosen Loft; a heathered fingering from Brooklyn Tweed in a light oatmeal/tan colourway “Woodsmoke”. It’s a few shades darker than my sweater and I’m hoping the tone on tone will be calming with a dash of elegance (as much elegance as can be expected in a field of chickens!).

I’m contrasting the simple lines and stitches of the sweater and hat with some undulating textured lace and a more architectural rectangular wrap shape. I’m really loving it. The stitch pattern is in it’s beginning stages and will develop into something else as the wrap grows but I’m really enjoying the yarn – it’s soft yet rustic, the depth of colour is perfect and I love how it acquires a light, fluid feel when blocked.

Now I can’t knit fast enough!


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