Monday, July 14, 2008


AAAAAAAHHHHH, it seems I can't get this post up fast enough for people on ravelry! I logged in there this morning to about a dozen questions about it, so I guess I should get a move-on! I'm a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to what or how I like to do things on the internet. I will generally upload any new photos onto flickr on a Sunday evening as my weekend is winding down, throwing those photos into ravelry while I'm at it. It's usually at least a day or two later before I blog about said object on my lunch-hour or whatever, let alone get all my links and stuff up to speed. Sorry folks!

So that said, here she is:

pattern: Iceland by Stephanie White from Rowan #42
yarn: Rowan Cocoon in Tundra (808) 8 balls (merino & mohair) for size M
needles: 7mm

Ok, so this sweater is probably at least five months in the making. I knit ONE repeat of the pattern and then put it down for 4 months. I started to question whether I would ever pick it up again and finish it. But then I did, and it just seemed to fly off the needles from that point on. And I guess given that, it really was a pretty quick knit-- chunky yarn, big-ish needles -go figure.

The problem with chunky yarn?:

(image deleted)

I can't decide if I am as big as a house in this thing or what. Granted I am being deliberately droopy here to prove a point (where are my shoulders?), but still --what should I expect from a pattern that is essentially a rectangle, knit in bulky yarn. In retrospect, knitting a size small would have also been a better way to go. I checked and re-checked my gauge, but on something not very fitted, I should have likely gone the other way with it.

And here's something I don't get --the photo of it on the model --who is likely what 6 feet tall 120 pounds? Seems bigger --defintely longer --even the ribbed bottom band has THREE buttons (which I don't think any of the sizes in the actual pattern ever called for --mine has two) and seems just generally longer in the body.

Is it possible they've actually done a larger size on her? I find this strange. Maybe they have all the extra fabric clipped in behind her? Maybe they just made the ribbing longer?

This may also mark the first time I've used the exact same yarn in the exact same colour the pattern called for. So to say that this is the most expensive thing I've ever knit would be wholly accurate. I'm sure it's not as a big a deal for some of the more serious knitters out there to spend well over 200$ on supplies for a sweater --but for me? I get the cold sweats just thinking about it. (Good thing I have this ENORMO sweater to warm me up).

Though I must say that Rowan Cocoon is everything that people say it is--it was amazing --goregous, soft, no sudden splits/ends in ANY ball. I had zero yarn left over. In fact I still technically had about three more rows to go in the back bottom ribbing when I ran out of yarn completely. I wasn't about to buy another ball for it though so I just cast off and called it a day. It's still totally even at least (and no yarn bits clogging up the stash!). The one down side? My relentless sneezing. I am totally allergic to this yarn/sweater (the mohair...). Mind you I don't generally let that stop me as I'm allergic to ALL animals but still insist on living with two cats (and a hairy BF heh heh).

It's kind of looking a little more grey in these photos than is accurate --I'd say it's more of a brown/taupe.

(image deleted)

The super-duper bonus to this sweater? Minimal seaming--under the arms and that's it. Also because the yarn itself has good yardage and no knots there weren't all that many ends to weave in at the end either. Hooray for minimal-effort finishing!

Holding down the batwings keeps me from flying away.

So, in the end I guess I give it a thumbs-up. I question how much wear I will get out of it though. Rowan sweaters for the most part always seem to be made for roaming the moors of England in the damp when all you really want to do is wear-a-wool-sweater-as-a-coat. Which is all well and good but doesn't really translate well around these parts --hot summers, a fall that seems like it's a week long, and then a REAL winter with both coats AND sweaters. Trying to cram those bulky sleeves under my winter coat may prove somewhat of a predicament...

Though I suppose if all else fails Archie is more than happy to take it over as one hell of an expensive (though warm and cushy) cat bed.

God love his relentless need to ruin every picture!


Virtuous said...

Gurl you crack me up!

Great F.O. post about your Iceland!

I hate making very expensive projects too, but know that sometimes that is just the nature in what are tastes are sometimes.

I like it on y ou and hope you get lots of wear out of it!!

Reckless Glue said...

yeah, what is that expression? champagne tastes, beer budget?
that would be me.
except that for the most part I do actually prefer beer to champagne.

The Happy College Knitter said...

How freaking cute are you, I can't even handle it. Okay, I can and it's awesome.

Oh, and I don't think you look like you're wearing a burlap sac like you make it sound. In fact, it's super drapey and chic on you. Not to mention you can pull that sort of look off. I on the other hand...well...I'll leave the cute trendiness to you :)

Anonymous said...

i think you're nuts--the sweater looks great. yes, it looks different than the picture in the book, but don't most of them? i hope it grows on you, in spite of your current impression.

Team Knit ! said...

I bet that the modelled shot in the magazine had the sweater blocked to be very long. It looks like yours is the same in every respect, but maybe try blocking it differently, if you feel it's not quite the way you want it. I bet that would give you more length, and less width!

It's a great sweater, by the way. really fashionable and yet classic all at once!

- Julie

Reckless Glue said...

thanks everyone! I'm under no aspersions in terms of wanting to look like the model haha And I'm leery of blocking it lest I inadvertantly make it bigger, but y'all are helping me to change my mind on this thing fundamentally. I love all your comments thankyou thankyou you guys are the best!

Julia said...

I agree with everyone - it's awesome! I think it looks great on you. Of course, if you don't like it I know a certain someone who might take it off your hands...

joy said...

I think it looks great on you as is. But have you tried belting it? Maybe that would give it the shape you want!

And (this is my crazy fashion sense talking - please feel free to ignore) I think that really long leather gloves would be cool with it too - that way, no need to fit it under a coat!


Reckless Glue said...

ooooh, I like the gloves idea!

Kathryn said...

Your sweater is georgeous, it's all in the photography. I am just starting Iceland, same color. I'm only on row 3 for the 20th time. I really need to talk with someone about the sequence of pattern and why I've got extra sts. If possible I'd love to chat with you briefly.

Thanks so much, Kathy

Kathryn said...

I love this pattern. Your work is so lovely. I think the sucess is in the photography really.
I'm starting Iceland for the 20th time. I'm wondering if you can tell me why at row three after the ribbing I'm coming up with one extra st. This is frustrating me. If possible I would love to briefly chat via email about it.


Reckless Glue said...

for sure ---you can email me at
hopefully I'll remember how I knit that thing! I seem to remember having the same issue in the beginning...I'm pretty sure it was the M3 throwing me off, if that helps. I can always contact you via ravelry if you're on there--I didn't see a blog associated with your comment.
:) cara

shani said...

i can't figure out the m3 either. if you can remember and help, that would be super!!!!

Reckless Glue said...

it's been ages since I've knit this so I don't really remember the M3 issues, but I just did a ravelry search on it and someone said this:
M3 = K into front, back, front of same stitch - so it’s really M2 = Kfbf. But it’s written as M3 = K1, yfwd, K1.

hope that helps! :)