Comtemporary Korowai

I am calling this project my Contemporary Korowai.

Journey started from meeting StephenBe (Stephen Berg) at KAN Ten 2019 in Ahuriri, NZ (Knit August Nights). Unlocking Creative Potential and Embrace My Fibre Future.

 A group of us took StephenBe workshop at My Eden guildrooms. We were asked to bring 3 weights of yarn, eg lace weight, fingering and mohair. As I left the house I grabbed some old fur yarn that I have had in stash for 4 years. Stephen said “you gotta cast this on” and so I did.

Based on Silk n Scibbles by StevenBe pattern, I held together Hedgehog skinny single Jelly and Malabrigo Lace “Damask” knit 2 rows and 2 rows Plymouth Yarn Just Fur Kicks, colour Tiger .

This gave a nice korowai fabric with the hot colours popping.

A korowai is traditionally longways rectangular cloak, my design being a triangle is “different”.

The actual knitting was easy and quick on 10mm needles, the fabric grew very fast, which led me to figure out how to finish.

Ideas came very quickly. The finishing band must be firm and decorative. Dabbled with 3-5 rows of icord on top of each other. Dabbled with a possible loom purchase.

I had a hat pattern in my queue for sometime, I really liked latvian braid. Purchased Westward by Stephen West. The braid is perfect, decision made.

Next yarn decisions, what is in stash ? and what I may need to purchase.

Westward recommends Malabrigo Twist , I had previously purchased Twist from Knit n Stitch (NZ), Wool and Flax now Woolarium (AUST) AND Webs (USA) intended for Hemisphere hat. After playing with colours online and what would match Tiger (brown), Jelly (hot pink) and Damask. I have now decided on Malabrigo Twist Applewood (AU) and Damask (Ravelry Detash USA) – Main issue is yardage, will I have enough Malabrigo Twist (100g 150 yd) to knit a tight gauge braid band

As I did not have both Applewood and Damask Malabrigo Twist, decided to cast on a head band braid using NZ Outlaw Bandit DK 100% Wool Light Grey Escapade and Hot Pink Kan Ten on 4.5mm needles. This was loosey goosey, will rip back and re cast on with 4.00 mm needles.

Very happy with Braid and Arrow cables. Malabrigo Twist is the perfect yarn for korowai edging, twist is very firm, wool I can image will stretch and not hold its shape.

I managed to purchase and you shop Malabrigo Twist, 3 skeins of Damask which is the same colourway I am using between Fur rows.

I have an issue sourcing discontinued Malabrigo Twist, pleasant surprise to find a “brown” colourway called Teron, 3 skeins in an Australian Ravely Destash. Unfortunately the lady can not find my much needed skeins.

Alternative thoughts are: I have 1 skein of Applewood and 1 skein of Natural. Woolarium in Melbourne has skeins of Black, Natural, Sunset and Applewood.

Do I buy 2 skeins of Natural and coffee dye or dye a Chocolate Brown ? Or do I purchase Natural and Black, alternate skeins in the background and Damask to be a cable. Can not picture that in my mind as yet. Hmmm Chocolate Brown idea is at the forefront.

This project has also blown what I would say is my shawl or project limit of NZD $120. Not only in yarn but shipping has added up.

Maori would say Korowai is a treasure “taonga” and you cant really put a price on a treasure. Ok now that is settled, money not an option. Ka Kite for now.

26 Nov 2019, I am still waiting on 3 skeins of Natural Malabrigo Twist from Woolarium in Melbourne. I drew out my design on paper to give it a visual of end project. I wanted to added another layer without adding weight. I like the idea of light feathers in lace weight, as well as keeping the triangle shape.

Author: Cup of Tea and a Yarn

Kia ora, I'm Gill. A crocheter, knitter, spinner and more recently a weaver and I live in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. I love to use New Zealand yarns and fibre from our talented indy dyers

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