For me, a pattern only really comes alive when I see people’s projects. Now, for Song of the Sea, there are a lot of beautiful projects out there. And a lot of project notes to read. Yes, I do read them; it helps me to write better patterns.
I know people do like Song of the Sea as it is, but there are three niggles that I need to address: rolling edges, tricky start with tiny waves and the varying amounts of yarn needed by different knitters.
There are also some beautiful projects where modifications have been made in cowl size and yarn choice. I wish more knitters would find these kinds of changes easier to make. And I wish the pattern was available in other languages. So here is the news about the big update being published today – and our new knitalong.
First: don’t panic. If you loved the original version, and wouldn’t change a thing, the original pdf is still available in your Ravelry library – it’s imaginatively entitled the ORIGINAL! Ravelry update emails will come out to everyone later today.
The top priority for my attention was the border. The original is not very stable for some knitters and yarns. Yes, I know I opted for looks over stability. So, I have given an alternative mistake-rib border in the revised pattern, which behaves a little better. For those who want a much more stable border, there are two extra options given at the end of the new pattern. The beautiful Sage green version (above), in Juno Fibre Arts Alice Sock, shows off the new border. This yarn is a light 4ply/fingering, and blocks well, so the sample was made on 3.75mm/US 5 needles and blocked to bring it up to finished measurements.
For those who are obsessed with flatness, however, I recommend using Fyberspates Faery Wings. Shown above with the alternative border, it sat as flat as a pancake, even before blocking. I think it’s the combination of loose gauge, low twist and fuzzy mohair that help the project behave so well. You’ll find the technical details in yogicknitter’s Faery Song project notes.
Now, yogicknitter weighed as she went so that she could use up all her 350m/382yds of yarn; she had 1g left! Which brings me on to the next point – how did she manage to use up all the yarn so neatly?
With the original version, some knitters found that 400m/44yds was more than ample, and some found that it was only just enough. Now, if you’re like me, I don’t want a chunk of yarn left from a project of this size. I came up with a solution. I’ve turned the pattern on its head. Literally.
Now, it starts with the big Breakers and moves down through the Medium Waves to the Tiny Waves. This way, you get the easy big repeats done first, and can adjust the number of smaller repeats near the end, if you need to do so. This is how we went so close to the end of the yarn with the Faery Wings version.
The added bonus is that you don’t start with the fiddly Tiny Waves any more – you get to start with the easier Breakers, and then move into the smaller waves once you’ve got into the rhythm of the pattern. You can space your markers clearly and really “see” your knitting. No more fiddly start.
I wanted to make a version for colder weather, so I turned to Fyberspates Scrumptious High Twist DK for my Song of the Deep Sea, pictured.
I also realised that DK could be the answer for the snug cowl. A few knitters have found that the snug cowl doesn’t show off the pattern so well because the soft fabric squashes up too much. Made in Juno Fibre Arts Alice DK, it has that bit more body, and makes it a perfect 1-skein project for DK. I love this because I find it really hard to find good patterns for 1 skein of DK. This has got to be a really quick gift-knit. It’s only been steamed, not wet blocked, so it keeps its texture and stays as a low-effort knit.
I wouldn’t recommend going heavier than DK because thicker yarn means larger yarnover holes, which would probably start to look distracting. If the fabric is knitted too densely, it also starts to scallop along the bottom edge. Personally, I think the range from laceweight up to DK is about right. Having said all that, if you want to make it in super-bulky, you know I’d say go for it!
My tech editor got in on the act. She knits amazing lace, so I was thrilled when she offered to make the laceweight version, so we can show how you can go lighter-weight and delicate. The opposite extreme. I love the image of the feather-weight cowl floating on the snow.
Then I got a bit carried away. I wanted to make an ombre version. Song of the Silvery Sea is getting a post all to itself.
Meanwhile, I must thank Christine for the translation into French, and thank Marion & Steffi for the translation into German! Please download the new pattern pdf in your preferred language. I’m so pleased to have made a start on translating my patterns. There will be more in future.
I hope I’ve shown how you can really make the (improved) pattern your own, in different yarn weights. And you can use up all that yarn, if you wish. Which yarn would you choose to make Song of the Sea? Come and join in the new Song of the Sea Knitalong, running in my Ravelry group. There’s prizes, as you’d expect from an Inspiration Knits KAL. There’s prize draws just for joining in, as well as a draw for those who finish by the end of March. There’s plenty of time to join in and lots of fun to be had.