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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spectral Spectacle

I think I have finally convinced Rei to have a nap (she likes to get out of bed and play in her laundry basket, the little bugger) so I thought I'd take advantage of the peace and quiet, sit down with a mug of hot, sugary tea and share my Spectra with you!

I've been wanting to learn intarsia for years now, just because I feel like it's something I should know. The trouble has been, of course, that I don't really like the way it's used in patterns. I don't want to knit argyle socks. I don't want to make Rei sweaters emblazoned with pink kitties or patriotic symbols. This is where Stephen West comes in. The man is something of a genius. His patterns are best know for bold, rhythmic geometry, hipsterish unisex appeal, and really gorgeous models (ok, that one is subjective but omg the dude in Westkints book three... I'd model his knitwear if you know what I mean and I think you do)

Spectra has just enough intarsia to teach the concept, without enough to need bobbins of yarn all over the place. Short rows provide the somewhat unusual shaping, and the yarn does all the work.

I used Noro Kureyon Sock that I found for $8/ball after it was discontinued (I can see why it wouldn't succeed as a sock yarn but damn it makes a pretty shawl) for the striping yarn, and some mystery merino sock yarn that a friend overdyed from yellow to a gorgeous green and then later destashed to lucky, grateful me.

These yarns worked together spectacularly - the green is plump, squishy, shiny and dense, while the Noro is wispy, delicate, matte, and airy. The contrast is delightful, and the drape is perfect.

I didn't get the full number of repeats the pattern called for, but the scarf is long enough to be very versatile. I think I had about four inches of the green left after binding off, which warms my heart. I love not having leftovers. The Noro part, however, required less than half a skein, so I'll have to find some other use for the rest of it. I am very OK with this, as the colourway is just stunning.

I love the way this piece twists and turns when it drapes. I am not 100% sure how to best wear it, but I have a few ideas, and several long summer months to perfect them before a scarf becomes a necessity.


  1. gorgeous! great pictures too!

  2. What a great job you did! It's stunning.

  3. Absolutely beautiful!!! Love the colors you choose to use:)

  4. Love it! Your Spectra is an inspiration - pattern's in my queue now, waiting for me to find something to go with some of my handspun. And your styling in these pictures is fabulous! I love the mossy stonework!

  5. Your Spectra looks great Em!!! I love the colours! Seeing your gorgeous photos has made me bump this further up the queue!