Friday, 7 August 2015

My First Irish Yarn: Cushendale Woolen Mills DK

Recently I was contacted by Vibes & Scribes in Cork, Ireland, who asked if I'd be interested in trying some of their Irish yarns. Don't be confused by the bag in the photo: Vibes & Scribes also have a shop for wool and other craft supplies. Since I don't think I have ever used Irish yarn before I was very keen to give it a go and am very grateful for the two balls skeins of Cushendale Woollen Mills DK. It consists of 100% Irish wool and I really like the Rowan colourway I received. The green is full of colourful speckles that give it a lot of depth.

What I miss is information about needle size and tension which I couldn't find on the ball band or the website. This resulted in a few frustrating attempts at finding the right needles for my pattern and ate up a lot of time.
My first pattern choice for this yarn was the Cupido cowl that has been in my favourites for ages. So I happily cast on the 200 stitches, but soon realised that the yarn wasn't right for it. The yarn is very coarse and the texture of the cowl just did not come through at all. So I stopped after a few rounds and decided to use the Cupido texture only for the edging.

It took a while for me to figure out how to continue. The yarn seems to be best suited for sturdy knits with texture. I hope the yarn will soften after a soak to prevent any itchiness; otherwise I can't imagine it being useful for garments or any accessories worn close to the skin. However, it would work very well for cushions and other home furnishings, I think.
Once I decided on an easy textured stitch pattern (hurrah for improvisation), progress was swift and the cowl is now nearly done. As you can see, you only need knit and purl stitches for the main body. The edging uses knit, purl and slipped stitches, so this would be suitable for beginners to practise knitting in the round. (Mind, there is no pattern as yet since I improvised after the edging.)

I look forward to showing you the final result soon. Stay tuned!

5 comments:

  1. The colouring of this yarn is beautiful, but the lack of needle sizing information seems a bit odd. Fingers crossed it'll indeed soften up after a soak!

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    1. It's very odd. I understand that everyone knits differently, but having that information at least as a guide would have been helpful. Ah well. Just goes to show one should always swatch.

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  2. I love Vibes and Scribes...such a wonderful store. That yarn looks absolutely lovely!

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    1. Hi Andi! That is good to hear. If I ever get to Cork myself, I will definitely have to pop in.

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  3. Can't wait to see the finished cowl :) such a shame they don't carry that information on the band :/ quite an important point for me when it comes to buying wool - perhaps they could rectify it with a devoted page on their website? otherwise the colour looks beautiful and seems to knit up well :) jenny xx

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