Sunday, February 2, 2014

Modern Wrapper

Ice on the Hudson

It's been REALLY cold.

Even though things are busy and deadlines loom, I just couldn't resist casting on a sweater.  I have been wanting something casually and light to throw on over a long sleeve t-shirt to wear in my chilly studio... when by chance I saw Michelle Wang's stunning version of the Modern Wrapper by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. So lovely! So chic!

But could I pull it off?

I'm always a little unsure of how these drappy cardigans suit me.  Will it look casually elegant? Or sad and dowdy? Hard to say...

To add to that, the Modern Wrapper eats major yardage in two yarns; a fingering weight tweed and a lace weight mohair/silk blend, held together throughout. If you were to purchase the yarn kits from Churchmouse, this project could easily cost you between $172-209.
It just so happened that I had enough Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Fossil in my stash to convince myself that I would just be buying yarn for half a sweater, and that's worth a gamble. Now I just had to find a suitable lace weight!

I'm not crazy about Mohair, so I chose something that was similar, but with less of a halo (and closer to hand at my LYS) Jill Draper Makes Stuff Nimbus, a 70% Angora, 30% Silk blend which runs for about $30 for 50g/435 yds.The colorway is Mourning Dove- a silvery blue which tempers the yellow undertones of Brooklyn Tweed's Targhee-Columbia wool. 
I took the plunge and bought 3 skeins.

I demonstrated my commitment to this project by winding the two yarns into one cake.

The wrapper is knit on 6.0mm (US10) needles, so despite working what is essentially a sport weight, it goes rather quickly. It was obvious from the start that Loft was going to be perfect for this project. Because of the large gauge you need a yarn that is going to puff up or fill in all that empty space with fiber. A sock yarn simply would not cut it. The halo from the mohair (or angora, in my case) goes a long way to fill in some of that space, and the silk gives a slight cool slippery feel to the fabric.

So, confession, I did bollock-up the hem a bit. I think I got the RS and WS confused when working the two rows of garter stitch at the bottom. It should create a purl ridge that theoretically prevents the edge from curling, but having done it right on the front pieces, I am still getting an edge that curls. It might just be doomed to curl. I would find this disappointing of Churchmouse - who have a reputation for their carefully considered designs, but then again, it is quite long... I suppose a little curl won't hurt anything. If it won't stay put after blocking, I might be asking for advice on how to change out a hem....

The right front, seaming and blocking remain on this baby blanket sized wrapper. I'm hoping to have it finished by next weekend, and I will finally know the answer to the question of whether this will make me look like a chic artist or a frumpy housewife. Fingers crossed!

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