Saturday, February 23, 2013


Hmmm. Not sure what to do. I've been working on my Bartok's Tunic, a pattern by Julia Farwell-Clay in the latest issue of Interweave Knits. As usual, I started on the sleeve, because if anything goes wrong, it's less painful to rip back - which is exactly what I've been doing.

I started knitting with Amy Butler Belle Organic, a heavy worsted wool/cotton blend. Goodness, is this yarn a delight. It knits up plushly and becomes even more so after blocking. I was certain this was a good choice for the pattern.

I knitted up to the colorwork portion at the top of the sleeves and then I started pacing in circles. Unhappy with the colorwork, I frogged it back and started again. And again. And again. It just didn't look right to my anal-retentive self. With wool, the yarn forgives and naturally fills in little spaces between stitches. But this cotton/wool blend does not behave. Twists and turns show up everywhere. Or so I thought anyway. Now I look at it and wonder what I was thinking. It looks fine, don't you think?

But I decided that I didn't have the correct yarn, so I got some Berroco Remix. I've knitted this this wool/cotton/silk/rayon blend before and really like it. I already have some left Remix in Strawberry, so I ordered some off-white and knitted a swatch. The gauge is too large - I need to use a size 7 needle instead of an 8. But you can still see the differences between the two yarns.

This all happened several days ago. Ever since, I've been wandering around wondering what to do. I like the Amy Butler yarn but not particularly the colors, which seem like teal and salmon from the 1980s (although maybe they're all the rage now, who knows). I prefer the color in the Remix swatch, but unfortunately that color isn't availabe in the the Amy Butler yarn which is being discontinued; there are only a handful of color left.

Now I'm wandering around my own personal labyrinth trying to figure out which yarn to use. It's a conundrum. I'll let you know when I decide. Let's hope that's soon because I'd certainly rather be knitting than worrying about knitting...


  1. Love the Remix colors too! And I like this sweater way better with the lighter background. I like how it echoes the ethnic garment you posted earlier as well. Nice.

    Hope you can figure it out! Could you get some balls of Remix on Ravelry? Seems like you wouldn't need huge amounts of the accents, assuming you can setill get the body color.

  2. I'm not sure about the salmon but I like the teal better than the darker remix color - I think the pattern looks clearer with teal!
    I think, a salmon replacement would fix it for me :)

    Hope you find your perfect solution soon!

  3. I like both the lighter colors..and the placement of the stitches in the Amy B yarn.
    It looks more 'refined' whereas the Remix has a 'rustic' look.
    I happen to like the lighter colors because it will be ready just in time for spring whereas the darker reminds me of fall.

  4. I'm so glad I saw your blog. I had looked at the photo of that garment in the magazine and honestly thought the blurry, brown blobs on the garment appeared as though a muddy-footed animal had walked over it!
    There is no reference to 'birds' or 'hearts' in any part of the article and the graph is all in the same browny colour, so nothing had changed my original impression.
    Your multi-toned rendition shows off the idea of "traditional needlework motifs" beautifully AND clearly.
    I reckon - Go with the pink and blue!

  5. The teal and salmon color work looks fine. Remember that washing and blocking will even out you stitches.

  6. That shaping of the circles with the Amy Butler? That is because of the way the yarn is constructed. See how the two sides of the the stockinette seem unbalanced? Its the same quality in the yarn that gives it a little bias. Yarns constructed like this always seem to be such lively yarns. The do wonderfully well at cables and some laces, but less well at colourwork. Still Blocking should take care of most of it.

  7. I prefer the Amy B yarn in this sweater unless you're looking for the 'rustic' look. I don't like that shade of pink! how about another color to go with the Teal?? Get thee back to the color wheel!. Or, can you find a lighter or darker version of the Teal?? Or why not make it all Teal??