I love having a pair of socks on the go, they’re the perfect handbag project. I can easily whip them out while having a coffee in a cafe, or on a quick car trip (when I’m not driving), waiting for appointments, or in the last 5 minutes of my lunch break.
My work mates are also used to me knitting on socks in team meetings, they understand that it really helps me concentrate on what everyone is saying.
The last couple of months, working from home has meant I’ve been able to knit on bigger projects in meetings because they don’t have to fit in my handbag, and so, my socks have been suffering from lack of attention.
On Monday this all changed, with the whole of New Zealand open again except for the borders and the country now in recovery mode. And so my socks have once again returned to their rightful place as the knitting to grab as I’m heading out of the front door.
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
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.