Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring knitted collar

Knitting projects are like books. Generally I have several that I'm in the middle of.

Lately I've been busy with knitting baby hats for the local hospital and I'll post more on those later but I just finished a project for myself that I've been thinking about for over a year.

This is the Berthe collar from No Sheep for You, a book of patterns for projects specifically designed for fibers other than wool.

I'd been looking for a long time for just the right yarn to show off in this project. The photo of the finished collar in the book was a lovely sea green color and I must admit I was immediately wanting to make one just that color for myself. I'm so original, right? Not only do I always knit from someone else's pattern but so often I want to follow the colors of the yarn in the photos. What can I say, so many of you designers have such impeccable taste!

I finally found the right thing in a sale bin at So Much Yarn in Seattle. Their store, by the way, is full of gorgeous yarns and I could have totally spent myself silly in there. But I was restrained and focused for once (and I didn't have too much room in my tiny suitcase).

As I tried to show in the above shot, I used GGH Boulino yarn, a blend of cotton, nylon, and linen. From a distance it appears shiny but up close it has variations of texture and thickness that seemed just right for the level of interest I wanted in the yarn for this collar. I used just a bit less than a 50 g ball for the whole collar, knitted on size four needles. Since the yarn is rather slippery I used bamboo circular needles and they gripped the yarn well but didn't mar the silky finish.

My only complaint about the Boulino was that it was difficult to keep it from twisting while pulling from a ball. It comes wound on a cardboard spool and pulls from the outside. I tried handwinding it into a ball and even then the ball would fall apart in my knitting bag because the yarn was so slippery. With this kind of yarn I'm not sure there's a good solution to this problem of slippery and twisty but the end result was definitely worth it.

Here's another shot of the collar, held together with just the wooden pin from my shawl pin shown above.

This is a great project for putting in your purse (in a ziploc, of course) and bringing with you for when you have just a few minutes here and there to knit.