I finished the lovely Goldie Collar from Purl Alpaca Designs (or a ‘neckwarmer’ as I prefer to call it – slightly less Fifty Shades and all that) before Christmas. Here’s the details on the pattern and materials used.
Pattern: Goldie Collar from Pure Alpaca Designs (www.purlalpacadesigns.com). I had bought the pattern last year at the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS with a view to making it for Elizabeth down in Hushabye Farm using some of their own delicious Alpaca wool. The pattern itself was pricey – €7.50, but as it was for the Alpaca farmer herself (and using her wool at that) I could happily justify that. The pattern is for one-size.
Yarn: 100% pure Irish Alpaca from Dorchester at Hushabye Farm. The yarn is not dyed and comes in a beautiful silky jet black. I had used this yarn before for the Purl Soho Garter Ear Flap Hat and it is simply beautiful to work with, and even nicer to wear. This yarn comes in 100g, 140m balls, and I used just under one and a half balls, i.e. 150g. It is great quality, with no knots or tangles. The finished piece is hand-wash only.
Needles: 5mm circular needles, 80cm long, and 4.5cm straight needles. You could technically work this in circular needles but I found that this created gaps in the piece so I preferred to use the larger circular needles on the moss stitch edge and then transfer onto the smaller straight needles for the stocking stitch section.
Notions: As the finished piece is so plain I *may* have agonised over the buttons and (whispers) bought a few types. Ultimately I went with these embossed ceramic ones that I picked up in This is Knit in the Powerscourt Shopping Centre in Dublin. They are just the right mix of under-stated and patterned. If memory serves they were about €6.50 (though – according to my husband, I have a knack for under-stating these things).
Comments: The pattern was very cleverly structured and quite easy to work with – once I got my head around what I was doing. The initial cast-on creates the moss-stitch edging that ultimately runs along the bottom and up the sides of the piece, and includes the three button holes. After the edge is created, the stocking stitch section is worked in a series of short rows which gradually increase in length to bring the edge ‘up along the sides’, as it were. The stocking stitch section of the collar is gently shaped so it sits really well and is not bulky or loose. The final moss stitch edge at the top completes the piece. As it is worked in one piece, the only finishing is to sew on the buttons and to block it – which really gave the piece and neat and silky texture.
This is a lovely pattern which was greatly complimented by this beautiful Irish yarn. I definitely think I’ll be making this again but will be sure to use high quality, soft yarn as with this piece sitting so close to the skin, it’s essential it’s breathable and comfortable.