Knitting Libran – Part 2

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When we look at a knitting or crochet garment, we tend only to see the whole thing.  The overall look, is the reason why we chose the pattern in the first place after all.  Sometimes though it’s how the different elements combine, to create something that can really give you that wow factor.

I’ve already explained in Part 1 of this post how I achieved the lovely vintage pink shade used in the garment above, now I really want to look more in depth at Siún Carden’s Libran design.

Siún has really thought of everything.  Firstly the shawlette is completely reversible, which she achieved by working her cables in rib.  It’s an easy and extremely effective technique and something I love to use in scarves.  My scarf here uses the same technique, I had the pattern in the shop, no Idea why I didn’t pop it up on here?

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At the start of the shawlette, Siún has the cables beginning to form and the way she’s cleverly stretched the smaller, 8 stitch rope so it sits nicer next to the hefty 16 stitch band is genius.

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You can see more clearly when the shawlette is lying flat, that there is a row of eyelets on the inside of both of the cables.  This is not only a way of increasing the stitches, the yarn over, gives the garment flexibility and allows the shawlette to be more fluid.  The larger cable is also much easier to knit with a yarn over before it rather than if  Siún had suggested a make one.

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If we study the 16 stitch cable in more detail, you can see that the pattern is actually two different size twists.  It reminds me of the sea a bit?

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Last but not least, Siún wanted to design a perfectly balanced piece of knitwear, hence the name Libran.  Here at the centre of the triangle you can see how she achieved this.

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The smaller 8 stitch cable has been elongated before it’s turned in the opposite direction.  As well as being a design feature, it really helps to make the top of the garment sit flatter.

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Siún has used a similar technique at the point of the shawl.  It was a bit curly to begin with, so to make it sit flatter, I used a good few pins when blocking and it’s perfect now.

It’s worth noting a few things about the design.

  • It’s a lovely project to knit, but be sure to make a note of which row you’re on.
  • The 16st cable can be a little difficult to manoeuvre, try not to make your stitches tight.  I know traditionally, we tend to pull the first and last stitches a bit, but that really isn’t necessary with this design.
  • Your shawlette will work best in 100% wool or a yarn with a high content of wool, say 75%.  Your cables will ‘pop’ more and you’ll find it blocks better too.
  • When you block your shawl, be careful not to stretch your cables, however you will probably find you need to pin each one well, so they dry flat.
  • It is a very warm garment, particularly in the Soft Donegal.  If I make it again in the same yarn, I think I’d be tempted to use a slightly bigger needle, to open it up a little more.
  • 380 metres of yarn is perfect, you can see the little ball of my ends in the photos above.  Siún has included directions for making your shawlette longer, so you will definitely need more yarn.

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Before I go, don’t you think the the two shades look lovely together?  They really remind me of the new improved Drumstick lollipops that you can get.  The colours are much more subtle now they’ve turned to ‘natural colourings’ instead of the screaming pink and white of years ago.  Naturally coloured Smarties though? – yuck!

 

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Happy making

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