I loved my first Purl Alpaca jersey (sorry for going on about it but I wear it all the time – soft, light, warm and such a gorgeous colour) so much that I decided to make another Kari-Helene design. At the Knitting and Stitching show I was able to try on several items and ended up purchasing (at a slight exhibition discount) the Cyrene jacket kit.
I want to make it in the featured colour – brownish grey “Rain”. Or taupe as I like to call it. After a French mole. This ashen-brown is the underlying colour of my hair at its darkest, although it is getting very grey these days. I am thinking of making a pair of taupe corduroy trousers to go with it. My friend Deon-Nadine wrote (on Instagram)
“I know you like vibrant colours but I love the depth and warmth of this colour @fabrickated. Lovely!”
Yes it is an interesting shade that seems to change colour with different light. Reminds me of the Farrow and Ball colours that are going on the walls at Rainshore, as I write.
My Lorelle was knitted with “fine”, whereas Cyrene requires “medium”. If you knit any of the Purl Alpaca patterns, and want to substitute a yarn, this may help:
Our yarn comes in two thicknesses; Fine and Medium. Fine is equivalent to Sports weight (this thickness is in between 4 ply and DK) and Medium is a Worsted weight (this thickness lies between DK and Aran).
For the Cyrene, I knitted it, as proposed, with 4mm needles, and the medium yarn creates a much firmer fabric compared to much looser, softer feel for the Lorelle. I think this texture is right for the garment, but the finer yarn felt alot softer and more “snuggly”. But obviously this one hasn’t been soaked in water or washed yet.
But first I have to finish the jacket!
I found the pattern both curious and challenging. The border (in moss stitch or seed stitch as I think you Americans call it) is knitted first. Then the body of the jacket is created between the edges, in one big piece, knitted on circular needles as there are so many stitches (nearly 300 to start with). I got into trouble fairly early on by making messy corners on the border. Here is a nice version by prolific knitter, Susan Crowe.
I failed to understand how to create the lower curve. This involves “short rows” and something called wrapped turn, just WT on my pattern sheet. That took a little while to understand, with You Tube, and emails to Kari-Helene (“trust the pattern!”) but it was surprisingly successful. I was learning. But there were lots of failings. My mitred corners, for example. But also I didn’t understand that each of the middle rows just needed to pick up the border at the end of a row. Once or twice, or even more often, I had a strange compulsion to pick up stitches at the beginning too. This used up too many of the border stitches. in the end I knew I needed to start again. I looked at the moss stitch borders, counted the stitches and realised it would never be long enough to come right up to the upper chest. Also I felt the jacket it would be better if I had an extra inch or two in the hips. But I couldn’t bring myself to destroy what I had created.
It took alot of resolve.
In fact I had to step away from my work for a whole week to gather the courage to tear this up. Completely. Kari-Helene suggested I could just go back to the border. But I wanted higher quality plus that little bit of extra width in the bum area. So, sitting in the car at 6am on a Saturday morning, I unravelled this jersey right back to nothing. I even undid the loop that you start casting on from, to create a sort of empty Zen headspace.
I was left with a gigantic ball of wool and nothing to be seen on my needles. But, like creating a toile first, I now knew what I was doing. For four and a half hours to Lancashire, several hours sitting with mother, and for four and a half hours on my return journey I reknitted where I had been before. Creating a new jumper that was Small at the base and Extra Small from the waist up, I reknitted the jacket.
By Tuesday night, with a little bit of sneaky knitting at a conference organised by Becci, I had almost reached the armholes!
I am worried I may not have enough yarn, but I am really enjoying this knitting malarky. I hope it fits…!