It really should have been obvious. But in my world, there’s a reason there’s only a 2 letter difference between “obvious” and “oblivious.”
It wasn’t until I saw the thread regarding Rhinebeck knitting that it occured to me that, naturally, knitters were probably going to be knitting up something special to show off at a festival that celebrates wool. My only excuse is that this is my first fiber festival (WOOHOO!) and I was too busy being excited about going to think about actually knitting something for it.
Of course, now that my error had been pointed out to me, what was I going to do about it? I first saw the thread 2 months ago, when I was about a month into knitting my February Lady Sweater. I was pretty sure I could get it done it time, but at the time I wasn’t going to get cocky and start lining up projects for mid-October. For once, I was going to take it one project at a time.
I believe it is now safe to move on:
Now, I adore my February Lady Sweater…but I’d like to have something else there. Maybe a few something elses. Obviously, they couldn’t be huge projects–I’ve got less than 2 months left–but I could knock out a few small, quick things…
…Which, of course, is why I’m about to cast on for a capelet. As soon as I finish designing it.
Go big or go home, right?
I’m not sure why I suddenly decided I wanted a capelet, but suffice to say I did. It was going to have to be something that was a relatively quick knit, which eliminated a number of the available patterns; knit with thin yarn in complicated lace patterns, they weren’t going to be quick. There were a number of bulky yarn patterns, but I did want something a little lacy…and I didn’t have any bulky yarn I wanted to use.
What I did have was 3 skeins of Three Irish Girls yarn, the Carys BFL in Lady Slipper:
This was one of my first 3IG yarns, and when I got it I didn’t have any plans for it. It sat, waiting patiently, as new yarns arrived every month and were assigned to a project. Well, now was its time to shine…if only I could find a pattern for it.
I couldn’t. There really weren’t a lot of patterns for capelets using worsted weight yarns, and the ones I found weren’t what I was looking for. I was going to have to come up with my own.
My first inspiration–after the yarn–actually was my February Lady Sweater. It was the first top down raglan sweater I’d ever knit, and a great first lesson in raglan shaping. So I could knit the first part of the capelet in the same manner, until I had it as wide as wanted to cover the top part of my arms.
The last piece of the puzzle was the actual stitch pattern, and as I’ve been doing a lot recently, I turned to Barbara Walker. Well, to her Treasuries. My qualifications were pretty narrow–I was looking for a pattern that was open but not too open, and it had to have a small repeat. I was going to be adding stitches every other row for awhile, and then maybe more slowly, and I didn’t want large “blank” spots at the corners or a stair step look on the sides. I found 4 possibilities, 1 in the 3rd Treasury and 3 in the 1st. I swatched the pattern in the 3rd Treasury first, which was my favorite, but I really didn’t like the look of it. I was knitting worsted weight yarn on US9 needles, and I wasn’t going to change that, but the lace pattern I’d chosen needed to be more open to show properly.
So I frogged and cast on to knit the first of the patterns from the 1st Treasury, the Open Honeycomb Stitch. It had the benefit of the smallest repeat (any odd number of stitches), but I liked the look of it the least.
But…this is why you swatch.
This was precisely the look I wanted, open but not too open, with interesting stitch definition. And it really worked well with the color repeats in the yarn. I also realized that I could pick another lace pattern, one that was more intricate with a longer stitch repeat, to work in a stripe across the capelet once the number of stitches stabilizes. I haven’t picked one out yet, but I’ll need to do that and swatch it up first. I want to make sure the pattern works well with my yarn weight / needle size combination (unlike my first choice pattern) before I start knitting it across hundreds of stitches on the capelet…and then have to frog back!