FO Friday: Princess Wander’s Aran Cape

I made a cape! This does not make me a knitting superhero.

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Project: Princess Wander’s Aran Cape

Pattern: Wandering Aran Fields

Designer: Norah Gaughan

Available: in Wrap Style

Yarn: CEY Princess in peacock (3409)

This is a store sample for the Hub Mills Store.  Even though Princess has been discontinued (SOB!) we still have some in stock — come and get it, before it’s all gone! There is nothing quite so soft and lovely as this worsted-weight yarn. I will miss it when it’s gone entirely.  In the mean time, I got to knit this cabled cape — such fun!

The pattern is pretty straightforward: cast on the bottom edge, work cables until done, make button bands, then make more ribbing than you’d like to.  The shoulder decreases are cleverly hidden in the cables — very cool! The button bands are worked separately in the pattern, with smaller needles, although I noticed several knitters elected to work them as they went rather than deal with seaming.  Seaming doesn’t bother me, and I think it adds to the structure of the garment in many cases.

If you make this pattern, don’t make MY mistake.  I thought I knew what they wanted for 2×2 rib — I mean, 2×2 rib, right? How hard is that?  Well, I failed to take into account a totally appropriate one-stitch selvage (to make seaming those button bands easier), and ended up having to correct two inches of 2×2 rib that was off by one stitch.  Ugh.  Of course, I could have ripped it all out … but ribbing is my nemesis, and I just couldn’t face it.

I have improved my ribbing a great deal with this project, speaking of.  All it took was a little more attention paid to keep the working yarn on the needle tips when going from a knit to a purl — I was allowing the yarn to slip back a bit, adding too much slack at this crucial point and causing a loose left edge to knit columns.

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Cast-On Monday: Princess Wander’s Cape, Hooligan Pixie Hat, and Sept 2011 Sock Club Socks

This week I cast on two projects destined to be store samples for the Hub Mills Factory Store. Hub Mills is the outlet store for Classic Elite, who published myKudzu and Drop Everything patterns via their free web-letter.   I’m lucky enough to be their newest employee — I’ll be working two Saturdays a month, starting after Thanksgiving when the store opens in it’s new Billerica, MA, location.  I’m so excited to be joining this group of talented knitters.  (A major “thank you!” to my friend C who recommended me for the position!) In addition to helping staff the store, I’ll be teaching classes some Saturdays — more info to come!

The first project is a cabled cape from Wrap Style: Wandering Aran Fields by Norah Gaughan.  I’m using CEY Princess in Peacock.  Princess is a great blended yarn — Wool, Rayon, Nylon, Cashmere, and Angora.  It’s super soft, but has great stitch definition.  I’ve cast on the 332 stitches for the larger size and I’m done with the ribbing.  I found out after ten rows that I was 1 st off. Rather than re-do the ribbing, I spent three hours dropping down every other row and changing knits to purls and vice versa.  It probably would have been faster to rip out and re-do, but I couldn’t face all that ribbing again!

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The second sample for the store is cabled hat from the Bounty pattern booklet: Hooligan by Susan Mills.  I’m using CEY Montera in a beautiful olive green.  This llama-wool blend is aran weight — perfect for a warm, cozy hat.

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I also cast on the latest “Notorious Sock Knitters” shipment — but we’re still in spoiler season for that, so I won’t post a photo just now.  If you’re curious, you can click through to a photo for my Sept 2011 Sock Club Socks.