Melange

What do you get when you have a Finnsheep, a French rabbit and a pattern called Holland?

I know, I know, it sounds like a joke from a bygone era.

To answer the question ~ you get this wonderful melange.  Added bonus:  you actually finish your monthly wool-along project within the specified month!

Holland Cowl - blocking

Our Knitter’s Book of Wool wool-along yarn was Finn.  Back in November, I picked up this blend of Finn and angora from Point of View Farm.  Although labeled worsted-weight, it was decidedly thick-and-thin, and really rather bulky in places.  Thus, I sought a cowl pattern that was more sculptural than defined, and that would accommodate the 103 yards in the hank.

Holland Cowl fit the bill.  Written for just 60 yards, I could play around with extra repeats and work the shaping I like, rather than making a neck tube.

Holland Cowl - modeled

Mods: Worked first 4 pattern repeats on US 9, then 1 repeat on US 10 and the final repeat on US 10.5.  Used Russian lace bind-off for stretch.

It was clear that the yarn was happier with the larger needle sizes.  Not that the 9 was bad – it will keep close to the neck at the top, and I knew the yarn would relax some with a bath. There was some VM (vegetable matter, to muggles), but it was easily removed and emblematic of how “close the the sheep” the yarn is.

The cowl-blocker

I know there are a lot of questions out there about how to block cowls to keep them from creasing.  I have found that using this old metal vase is perfect. For blocking cowls that are graduated at the bottom, I turn it upside-down (as photographed above).  For those with a defined edging that might need some pinning out, I stand it upright (as at left), stuff a couple of plastic bags around the sides to pad to suit my needs, and then pin out the bottom on the blocking board.  Voila!

I am glad that most of the breed-specific yarn I have stashed  in anticipation of upcoming wool-alongs is not blended with other fiber.  I love angora, and I really like what it did to this yarn.  But I do feel that I took away from the all-Finn experience in doing so, and hope to revisit this yarn based on my pals’ many joyous comments.  On the other hand, the soaking led to a more cohesive yarn in the final product, complete with a slight angora halo and wonderful smooshiness.  Just what’s needed in the brief wake between New England snowstorms.

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4 Responses to “Melange”

  1. Luann Says:

    Oh, it looks lovely, and I bet it feels like heaven!

  2. Bullwinkle Says:

    Excellent use of a flower vase 🙂

    Cowl looks yummy and squooshy and warm.

  3. Delish « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] rather finicky about blocking cowls.  In order to get the shape I want without a crease, it involves working in three dimensions.  […]

  4. Ciao 2011! « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] first used this year: Romney and Finn   The former is pretty common in this neck of the woods, and I enjoyed getting to know it on the […]

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