choosing a pattern

Between my ample yarn stash and full library of patterns - both in books and pdfs stored in my virtual library - I almost never have trouble finding something to knit. Sometimes matching yarn to pattern and vice versa can be overwhelming because of the wealth of choices available; I have a lot of yarn (as I might have mentioned here...a few times) and of course there are just oodles of patterns on Ravelry.

Generally my process for choosing a project goes something like this: I'll find a specific design that I want to knit such as a sweater for myself, a pair of mittens for a Christmas gift, or even a test knit request from Thea. Then I find appropriate yarn for it, and because I'm committed to stash reduction these days, if I don't have the yarn already, I'll just move on to a different project.

Sometimes I get stuck deciding on the next thing. Usually when this happens I just start knitting a sock, and by the time the pair is done (or even before that), I've figured out what I want to cast on next. In fact, I'm past the heel already on a sock I started a week ago (this is fast for me) because I finished one big project (FO post with pictures coming next week) and I don't know what to start next.

I've departed from my usual MO and have the yarn picked out but can't settle on a pattern. This is really special yarn:

I bought it three years ago at the Wisconsin Alpaca and Fiber Fest.  The year I went to the fiber fest, Daniel was in kindergarten, and we ran into his teacher and family at the festival. It turned out that the teacher, Mr. M., was there because his sister raises Wensleydale Farms, which is less than an hour's drive southwest of Madison. I went to her booth and saw her beautiful animals and touched the beautiful yarn and bought not one, but two skeins without any idea what I would do with them.

Mr. M. told me his sister's animal won Best in Show the following year, and has asked me a few times if I've knit anything with the yarn I bought and I keep telling him it's so special I need to find the perfect pattern for it.

It's time. I want to knit something out of this gorgeous yarn but I'm still having trouble settling on a pattern. I have 600 yards and it's sport weight, though on the lighter side so if I find a pattern that calls for fingering weight I could use it. I think the breed is Suri; it doesn't say so on the label, but if I recall, that's what Mr. M's sister told me when she sold me the yarn. This means that it is extremely silky and has a lot of drape, but essentially no elasticity.

I'd like to make some manner of cozy neckwear, but other than that I'm not sure what I want. I know what I don't want! I don't like knitting or wearing complex lace or fussy shawls. I think this yarn is not well-suited for cables. As much as I love knitting and wearing cowls, I think the drape and lack of elasticity/bounce in this yarn would make a cowl stretch out of shape.

I spent a little while doing some pattern searching on Ravelry last night and for now, I've got this narrowed down to about a half a dozen possibilities (prepare for a link extravaganza!):

Theolie from Katie White Designs

Crescent Phases by Veera Välimäki

Chance of Flurries by Amy Miller

Heaven and Space by Martina Behm

Grand Valley Shawl by Kelene Kindersley

Ardent by Janina Kallio

I also looked through all the Brooklyn Tweed accessories to see if anything would fit, but I don't have enough yardage for any of the designs I like. Plus, I'm not sure how well designs for airy wool would work in drapey alpaca, yeah?

So, readers, what do you think? Which design would you pick??


Anonymous said…
I like Theole. It has nice smooth look to it.

Seajaes said…
For sure Chance of Flurries. Even fits colour.
Julie Crawford said…
you are totally right to go for a shawl with a yarn this soft and drape-y, but it's so hard to decide! I like all the patterns you linked to, but I think I might prefer the gGrand Valley pattern best. Just a personal choice!
baerenwolle said…
That's gorgeous yarn and a stinking cute Alpaca on the tag!
Would it be enough yardage for a Campside shawl (by Alicia Plummer)? Just to add one more option... ;)

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