Friday, October 4, 2013

Jewels

You know I don't like to show craft favouritism, when purchasing patterns, which is why I have a new knitting pattern and story to share. In truth, I buy new knitting patterns ALL the time (they cost 5 bucks on Ravelry or other pattern pdf sites) but this one is a bit special.

For starters, here are 3 versions, of the Jewel sweater by Kim Hargreaves, all made by the same (awesome) knitter - Saashka (aka Alexandra):

This is the "original", as designed by Kim Hargreaves

This is the shawl modification - this modification was designed by Alexandra

And here's the wrap version, which I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO STOP THINKING ABOUT for 2 yrs...
When I say that I haven't been able to stop thinking about the wrap version for 2 years, I can also tell you that I've been looking for an affordable version of the original Kim Hargreaves pattern for the same amount of time.

Ridiculously, this pattern was never produced independently as a PDF. You have to buy the book to own the pattern. I'm all cool with that - it's worth 30 bucks to me! But, alas, the book has been out of print for years. And my library doesn't carry it. And I have no access to knitting friends who own it.

I can find copies of it for a zillion dollars (aka via Albris), but I really can't justify that expenditure as I'm not nuts about most of the collection featured in the book.

So, out of desperation (and the stress-shop impulse), I contacted Kim Hargreaves' head office to find out if there's any other reasonable way to purchase the pattern.

And, to my glee, the lovely woman, with whom I exchanged emails, advised that there was but one copy that she was able to source internally, that had never been sold. She referred to it mysteriously as "perhaps the last copy ever".  Moreover, through convoluted but doable mechanisms, I was able to purchase it and now it's being shipped to me over the ocean!

But not everything was resolved...

I was still concerned about how I'd manage to modify the original pattern (which I've yet to see up close, with instructions) to turn it into the wrap version. To clarify: I really like the original version, I'm just obsessed with the wrap. This may be one of those pattern which, if it works well and is pleasant to knit, I might end up making numerous times in numerous ways.

This is where Ravelry (and the loveliness of knitters) kicks in. Alexandra, within 2 hours, sent me her carefully transcribed modifications for three different versions. (This is a woman after my own heart - I felt I was looking at some crazy document I'd written for myself!) I cannot begin to tell you how generous this is, given that she worked long and hard (I'm sure) to draft those mods.

Anyway, 100 bucks later (what? you don't think I needed to buy yarn??) and I'm almost good to go.  Here's the yarn, btw, that's wending its way to me:

Quince and Co. Chickadee in Slate

This photo doesn't really give its depth away, but it's called slate. It's bluer than it appears in this web-culled shot. But not so blue as to call into question its value as a true neutral. BTW, slate is a new colour that was introduced by Quince and Co. earlier this week.

Oh, and while I was at it (for another, secret project I'm planning in the future, more to come), I got some skeins in this colour too:

Quince and Co. Chickadee in Lichen
These two projects - the Jewel and the "mystery" one I'll write about soon - will comprise my winter knitting, likely to start around December - as I'm still working actively on using up my current stash for Xmas gifts - and I'm making some hats for my mum.

For those of you wondering, Starry Starry Night is OVER. I found another pattern I'm going to use the stash on - one which is hopefully much more pleasant (if not quite as exciting). I haven't ripped the yarn back yet, still too soon, but I'll do it in the near future and liberate myself from a project that just wasn't fun.

So, today's questions: What do you think of these awesome versions (no bias) of the Jewel sweater? Have you made the original? If yes, do you love and wear it? What do you think of my yarn choices? Let's talk!

26 comments:

  1. I heartily approve your yarn choices! I'm making a sweater with Chickadee right now, and although it's my first time using this yarn, it's already in my list of favorites. I really love that Lichen colorway . . . may have to consider that for myself!

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    1. I'm thrilled to hear that cuz I just spent a bit of money on 2 colourways of this stuff - and I've only ever worked with one batch of the Finch fingering :-) As you can see, I really like that Finch :-) Lichen is a gorgeous colour, yes? It would look terrific on you!

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  2. Love your plans! There really are fantastic people in the knitting world. I have to get on board with Quince and co.

    Right now I'm trying to find a pattern for some yarn I'm obsessed with for my winter knitting, and anything I like is out of print or not available to download.

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    1. Thanks! The prob for the relatively newbie knitters such as ourselves is that we haven't been collecting patterns as they come out, for long enough. Don't worry, in time, we won't have these problems :-)

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  3. Great yarn choices and I know you love the wrap -- I think I'm in love with the shawl. I'm just so impressed you are powering on with more knitting! So productive. BTW, I bought a new book, BARE (on bra pattern making and production) and a bra pattern from Pin Up Girls. More to follow. Congratulations and I look forward to the final result.

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    1. Thanks Pam! I'm going to look up that book right now. Of course, I need more ways to stress shop :-)

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  4. It was meant to be! Don't you love how helpful and enthusiastic knitters and sewists can be? Your cardigan is going to be gorgeous, I LURVE the yummy colour :)

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    1. I do love it! You should get that colour. You'll look great in it - totally sea-side.

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  5. I love that sweater, all iterations, although I suspect I'd wear the top version more. And that slate is a great colour for it!

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    1. I know! Every version is good! Thanks F.

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  6. Wow! Well done on tracking it down!

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    1. I do feel kind of like a detective :-)

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  7. Your persistence is inspiring. I love that you just figured out the way to get the closest to exactly what you want..

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    1. Why, what a lovely compliment Laura! Thank you.

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  8. I've wanted that pattern for a while. Glad you found it.

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    1. Thanks M! If I find another copy, I will let you know...

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  9. Never made that pattern but could certainly be persuaded to make the wrap version - it's awesome so I totally understand you quest to find it. Happy knitting!

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    1. I know! Isn't it terrific?! Thanks A.

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  10. Omg, it's so gorgeous. Well worth the effort.

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  11. They're all gorgeous but the middle one is my favorite.

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    1. That one is the most formal, to my eye. It would be great with a skirt.

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  12. You need a friends like mine that between them have pretty much every Rowan and Kim Hargreaves pattern ever printed. I so love this pattern...and your yarn.

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    1. I know! I don't know enough knitters. And all the knitters are new and tend to buy one offs on Ravelry.

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  13. And now my obsession with this cardigan begins! It's gorgeous! Will keep an eye out for your wrap version! Sara

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    1. I'm sorry to have passed along the bug! :-)

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