Sunday, December 23, 2012

FOs: Renfrew and Arbutus

A month or two ago I was browsing Ravelry and saw some new designs from Jane Richmond in the "hot now" pattern section. She was releasing a book of five patterns called "Island". I really liked most of the patterns, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend $20 on an e-book. Thankfully during my process of mulling it over for a couple of days, my local yarn store sent out an email saying they were taking pre-orders for a physical copy of the book, signed by the author. It was just a couple of dollars more, so I was all over that. I think Jane does a really beautiful job with the layout of her patterns, so getting them in print is really nice. The great thing about it was that Firefly Fibers is part of Ravelry's In-Store Pattern Service, so as soon as I bought the book, Alisa emailed me a redemption code to download the patterns immediately from Ravelry. 

I decided to make the cowl and hat patterns from the book using some yarn I had leftover from my Acer Cardigan. I finished the two projects in about a week over the Thanksgiving holiday. Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted is seriously becoming my favorite worsted weight yarn. It's just so soft and pretty! However, photographing the orange color once again proved to be a huge challenge.

pattern: Arbutus (cowl) and Renfrew (hat)
yarn: Misti Alpaca Tonos Worsted, colorway Copper Penny
needles: 8s for the cowl, 7s for the hat
raveled: Arbutus and Renfrew

Arbutus is a cowl made from a relatively small amount of yarn (I used less than 200). The genius thing about it is that it uses short row shaping to make the front thicker or taller than the back. It also has three "sections" to it that makes it looks like you wrapped a scarf around your neck three times when you're wearing it. This pattern was absolutely brilliant and would make a great gift pattern.

Renfrew is also a great design. It's actually knitted inside out and flipped after finishing so that you can knit for most of the time but still end up with a reverse stockinette stitch hat. I made the slouchy version of the hat, but if I make it again I'd do the beanie version because slouchy hats don't stay on my head very well.

Overall, I'm really impressed by these two patterns. And they weren't even my favorite patterns when I saw the book! I'll probably knit a Strathcona as we get closer to summer. And maybe I'll knit Grace someday, when I have enough patience for a fingering-weight cardigan. 

'Til next time, folks!


  1. Oh, the cowl is cool! I like how the design allows it to drape while it's being worn.