Endings and beginnings... the chocolate tent


It all started a year ago…. where did all the time go?

I bought a pile of New Lanark aran wool in natural black. I bought a pattern. I was very excited and raring to go. I knitted on and off all the year long. It took forever….. it gobbled up more and more wool, far beyond what the pattern called for. Still I remained oblivious to the fact that something was ‘wrong’, and that instead of knitting a very stylish, unusual cardigan, I was infact knitting a chocolate coloured tent, capable of sheltering at least 3 people…..

It all boils down to tension squares (well, the lack of them to be honest). Im a terribly arrogant knitter and NEVER work tension squares, I always seem to have perfect tension…. see thats the arrogant part!!! The last New Lanark aran I used was a silk blend and it worked at perfect tension on my usual 5mm needles which I always use for aran yarns. This natural range of aran did feel thicker and very much more springy. I should have noticed. I think looking back that starting with the yoke (cables always pull the work in somewhat) might not have been a good idea. It took forever and once I had completed all 3 miles of it I felt committed to carry on with the rest of the cardi. I remember thinking when I cast on the back, Cripes, this is huge….

The definition of the cable is rather lovely…

Look at the massive surplus of wool at the front, and its just as bad at the back…

Its saggy and very unflattering. The whole thing needs to be unpicked and forgotten…

This all happened late last night. Instead of going to bed utterly depressed I went to the wool cupboard and had a rummage. I found my favourite knitting book. I checked the tension that this New Lanark aran had knitted to on 5mm needles, it matched the Sirdar Tweedie Chunky perfectly. I became quite hopeful and excited even despite the chocolate tent lying on the bed beside me….

I rather liked this… cables again…. and it is rather open in the front, flareing out to a A line at the bottom, not always a flattering shape. I have a thoery that flollopy, baggy clothing does not flatter any shape! In fact fitted is always the way to go.

And so, here we are. The chosen one!

Plain and simple. Should be warm. Very quick to knit. Perfect with my smaller Fairysteps buttons down the front. No pockets as I will only stuff them full of rubbish. I may work a picot bobbled border on the neckline ribbing and again on the sleeves and bottom, but not up the front. I can see this being a winter cardigan that I shall wear for years and years. We may even grow silvery together…

One last note…. I think that there may be wool left over from this…. I have even planned the next project is there is enough wool. I found this delicious jumper on Ravelry OWLS by the very clever Kate Davies. I see she has donated all sales from the pattern to the Haiti appeal fund. Even more reason to buy it! Its perfect!

Update at dinner time… Ive bought the OWLS pattern and had a look on Ravelry. It looks as if other knitters have used the New Lanark Aran for this pattern too, so I may not be alone in having a large tension with this wool… Im going to start unpicking the tent tonight…

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