WIP Wednesday 160 – In which I have to keep a secret

Welcome back, WIP peeps! I’ve been awol for the last month, but now I’m back in the game!

Yeah right. I wish.

The problem is, that all my current knitting is top-secret, no-show, once again. So all you’ll get will be pictures of my WIP, artfully arranged (read: a bunched up heap) so one can’t tell what it actually is or what its key features will be. Isn’t that fun?!? … Sorry.

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Diamonds

(Photo credit: Kim Alaniz)

So here’s what I feel I can tell you:

  • It’ll be a spring/summer knit
  • It will NOT be a sweater
  • As you can see, there will be some fair-isle knitting
  • And a lot of different textures
  • And all that color and texture has one common theme. I’ll give you a hint ⇒

But I’m sure I’m allowed to talk yarn. Nobody can say anything against that, can they? So yarn it’ll be.

The current design WIP uses Rowan Panama. I hadn’t heard of it, let alone knit with it before, so it was kind of a surprise when the yarn support parcel arrived.

At first I was less than impressed, I have to admit. Before it is knit up, it has a slightly weird texture, like a loose crochet chain with unevenly spaced, shiny slubs. When I started knitting my gauge swatch, I was even genuinely disappointed. I had been working with sofTropes heavenly soft kidsilk lace yarn over the last weeks and compared to that it felt like knitting up thin strips of cardboard.

But.

Rowan Panama in Orchid and Begonia

This yarn undergoes an almost magical transformation during washing and blocking! After it had dried, my gauge swatch had turned wonderfully soft and smooth, the slubs had evened out to shiny flecks reflecting the light beautifully for visual interest, and even the tiny 4” square of knitted fabric had a perfect drape. Wow.

I’m really glad I was “coerced” to using this yarn by my editor, because I’d have never discovered it on my own. In a yarn shop, I’d have passed it by after the first look and touch and dismissed it as a bad idea. Well, it isn’t. Promise. Although, even after I’ve made my way through 3 balls of it, I still find knitting with it a little difficult. It’s not as bad as I felt in the beginning (what cotton/linen blend can hold up against the softness of silk and kid mohair?), it feels sort of “gnarly” and splits like hell. But I feel that the gorgeous end result is well worth the trouble of knitting it…

Did you ever knit with this yarn? Or did you discover your own surprising yarn gem? I’d love to hear about it…

As always, I’m joining up with the knitting crowd gathered at Tami’s Amis for WIP Wednesdays… why not go and pay a visit?

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