March 31, 2019

F.O. Stronachlachar by Kate Davies

Isn't it just lovely when you get a project off the needles that has been languishing for some time?  I am so happy to have finished Stronachlachar by Kate Davies, a pattern found in the West Highland Way collection.  This is one of those projects where I think I found the perfect match between pattern and yarn, and I am so happy with how it turned out.  Spring is still quite cool where I live, so there is still plenty of time to wear it before the weather gets too warm.

Pattern: Stronachlachar
Stronachlachar by Kate Davies

Designer:  Kate Davies
YarnWest Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaed Leicester DK (100% Bluefaced Leicester 223 meters):  4 skeins

Colourway:  2 Natural Light Brown 

Needles:  3.5mm (ribbing) & 3.75mm (body)

Ravelry:  see notes

After Blocking

Added Notes:

1.  Blocking is my favourite part of the knitting process.  Check out the difference:
Before Blocking

Once blocked the cables opened up and the yarn bloomed.  If you are new to blocking, all I did was soak the sweater in some water and wool wash.  Then I gently squeezed out the excess water with a towel, and laid it to out to dry, making sure the measurements given in the pattern matched the third size I had chosen.  I used a few blocking pins along the ribbing, and by the next day it looked like this:

Blocking magic

2.  One reason this sweater took longer to complete is because I made a mistake mid-body when I switched my needles to a pointier set.  Instead of the required 3.75mm needles, I started using 4mm needles and proceeded to knit many inches.  Once I noticed my mistake I tried knitting a few rows with 3.75mm needles to see if it was noticeable, and it definitely was.  I ripped out the inches I had knit and started over.  Thank goodness I made that choice as I would have run out of yarn with the bigger needles, and the sweater would have been too big.  It doesn't matter how long you have been knitting... you still make dumb errors!

3.  I bought this yarn on a family trip to Scotland at Ginger Twist studio in Edinburgh five years ago (read about my visit here).  Every time I looked at this yarn it brought back a lot of good memories and so I was super pleased to find a pattern that worked well it.  The fact that the designer of this vest is Scottish is a bonus.  

A very simple cable
4.  This pattern, like all Kate Davies patterns, is well written.  The sweater is knit in the round from the bottom up and is then divided at the underarms.  I like the way the sleeves are easily constructed. This pattern is the perfect introduction to sweater knitting with cables. The repetitive pattern is quite simple and the end result, I think, is gorgeous.   Perfect for beginners.