February 09, 2005


Elfin: What has renewed my interest in the Elfin cardigan? A couple of things, really.

First, one of the most fun parts of my recent visit with Anne in Portland was that I got to try on a bunch of sweaters that she's made, including Audrey, Beth, and her Elfin. Anne made the turtleneck version that is knitted completely from Kidsilk Haze, two strands held together. Since Rowan puts out a fair number of these patterns that call for doubling Kidsilk Haze, I have wondered whether the finished garment ends up see-through. After trying on Anne's Elfin, I can report that the finished fabric has enough density that it is not see-through at all -- it is also incredbly soft. Anne's Elfin looked exactly like the picture on the back cover of Rowan 34 -- right down to the bell sleeves. Kim Hargreaves has created a charming, charming design.

And then, every once in awhile, it pays to procrastinate. Last year, you may recall, I was shopping high and low to find a laceweight mohair -- or any mohair -- that would match the color of the Treacle Felted Tweed I am using in my Elfin cardi. For most of the Rowan yarns, a color is repeated in more than one of the lines of yarn -- so that, for example, Crushed Velvet Kd Classic matches Liqueur Kidsilk Haze matches Conker Felted Tweed, etc., etc. But a year ago, the Kidsilk Haze that matches Treacle Felted Tweed did not exist. In fact, last April I showed you this photo, of the closest thing I could find, a Jo Sharp worsted weight mohair, and I asked you to imagine a collar knitted from it:

Sammyelfin 004.jpg

While I've been procrastinating in the intervening months since that photo, the Rowan people, in their wisdom, have produced Villain, the Kidsilk Haze shade that corresponds to Treacle Felted Tweed. Don't'cha love it when situations get better rather than worse when you procrastinate!

I love Elfin for all its ruffly femininity. It reminds me so much of blouses I used to wear when I was a little girl. But Felina Schwarz has several times reminded me that one can have too much of a good thing. Felina is a consummate web surfer, and has pointed me to many photos on various blogs that show Elfin ruffles that are . . . how to put this politely . . . ? Let's just say that I want to be able to wear my ruffled Elfin cardi and still be taken seriously.

So I've started my Elfin sleeves, and am cutting back on the number of stitches in my ruffles. I'm taking a cue from Becky, my blog hostess, who used only one row of ruffles at the edges of her Elfin cardi sleeves. I also am changing the bell sleeve to a fitted one, which I will be more comfortable in. I'm starting the ruffle on a size 5 needle, as the pattern directs, then, at the decrease, switching down to a size 3, and keeping with that while working a 2x1 rib at the wrist (same ribbing as at the waistband).

elfinsleeve 001.jpg

Hugs and Kisses Socks: Over the weekend, I got my pattern for the charity knit-along, being co-led by Marti. I plan to knit up a pair of these socks and then donate them to the Dulaan Project, being co-led by Ryan.

I would use the proverb of "killing two birds with one stone," here, but -- since, my yarn store is Two Swans, I am not sure that the proverb uses the kind of imagery I want to promote!

Last year I participated in two knit-alongs at once. I was knitting along in the UFO-along on the Knitted Lace list, and my UFO was the Bronte scarf, which I was using to participate in the Heirloom Knitting group's knit-along for Sharon Miller patterns. That was a satisfying experience, and made me resolve to always find knitting projects that could serve double-duty in at least two knit-alongs at once. I finished the scarf, too, by the way, last October (check the archives of this blog for October 6's entry to see photos of it).

Bragging rights: Scott got his picture in the paper today.

Posted by Karen at February 9, 2005 11:34 AM

Everything looks wonderful! Go, Karen! Go, Scott!

Posted by: Anne at February 9, 2005 08:47 PM

Oh, nice article--and I want a yurt so very badly! Sounds like you've come up with a very nice solution to the potential problem of too much cute that Elfin entraps too many knitters with (wait, what just happened to that sentence?!).

Posted by: Janine at February 10, 2005 03:19 PM

Yurts are awesome. Ryan has suggested that the Feral Knitters have a retreat and stay in a yurt or yurts . . . an event you wouldn't want to miss, Janine. I'll look into this and see if it can be worked out.

Posted by: Karen at February 10, 2005 03:59 PM