February 22, 2015

Algiers #2: Try and Try Again

It's so interesting how some patterns just seem to flow off the needles, every stitch falling into place easily.  Japan Sleeves by Joji Locatelli is a pattern that is doing that for me.  I am having so much fun knitting this pattern that I resent being tired and having to put the needles down to go to bed.  I just want to keep knitting.  I can't wait to see what's next.

Japan Sleeves in progress

Then there are those patterns, that for whatever reason, create a challenge from start to finish. This was the case for me when knitting a shawl for my lovely sister-in-law's birthday. I had planned to knit the shawl pattern, Algiers by Kirsten Kapur, a pattern that I had knit before.  I chose to knit it in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in a beautiful colourway called Coquette.  To me it was the perfect combination of pattern, colour and yarn.  As I tried to knit this pattern during a very busy work month I ended up ripping it out three times. This was due mainly to losing focus on the lace pattern and making silly mistakes.  I gave up and tried a simpler pattern and still I was making errors.  I ripped that attempt out and once things started calming down on the work front I retried Algiers and this time was able to do it.  Lesson learned...stay away from knitting complicated patterns when you are busy elsewhere.

Despite all the frustration I am glad I persisted because I am very happy with how it turned out.

Coquette is a beautiful shade of pink with a very slight variegation which was hard to pick up on camera.  Luckily I had bought a couple skeins of this yarn because Tosh Merino Light does not like to be ripped out three times.  It became quite fuzzy and fortunately I had enough yarn that I did not have to reuse the yarn that been ripped out.  However, going forward, if I am going to do a complicated pattern again I think I would use another yarn.

As always I found blocking to be a miraculous thing, as the two pictures below show you before and after shots.  Tosh Merino Light really grows and blocks beautifully.  Despite my difficulties this is a well written pattern that creates a wonderful result.  There are both charts and written directions.  Don't let my adventures with this pattern prevent you from checking it out.

This shawl is in progress after I knit the third section


Have a great week!  Hopefully things will start thawing out around here.  I am ready for spring.  How about you?


  1. the shawl turned out beautifully, but lace totally requires focus, at least for me. And the japan sleeves pullover looks so awesome already- I love the colours you've paired.

    1. Thanks Julie! Now I am working on the body...just plain knitting...a little less exciting.