The tale of a yoke

I have once again set aside a blog post for more knitting although to help our friends who visit our blog to read about our adventures and view our photographs of nature we have had our first taste of discovering butterflies in abandoned land which brightened both of us up. We have had a few visits of the Small Tortoiseshell to our garden but one evening while taking a little walk we were delight to see the Speckled Wood butterflies dancing around in the evening sun. Now I need to brush up on my skills as nature springs to life. We spent yesterday morning sorting out our lens hoods which was nearly as tedious as me sorting out the sizes of my knitting needles! 

I wouldn’t add copious notes on this blog as my project notes on Ravelry have full details of how I adjusted this version of a new Kate Davies design ‘Miss Rachel’s Yoke’ (my Ravlery user name 0bev0) 

I am knitting another Miss Rachel using the colours which Kate used in her design but the one I have posted here started out as a swatch for me to test my gauge and the design. I had a box of bits of Buachaille wool (Kate’s own brand wool) all of which are left over form other projects I had knit over the past months. I dipped in and out of my box and very soon my swatch grew to be a mini yoke. A friend on Ravelry mentioned that it would be a shame to waste this and maybe I could wear it over a plain jumper. Another lady had suggested that it may be a good idea for me to knit the sweater top down as this would allow me to try on the sweater as I knit and help me to adjust the size to fit me. I am not a standard size and find some things work out too big for me. The idea was going to push me out of my comfort zone but to cut a long story short with the help of friends on Ravelry I continued to knit top down and was able to try it on along the way. I had to frog back as true to my form I added stitches ‘just in case’ but knew when I tried it on it was going to be too big. Although it looked small and I doubted it would fit I am pleased to report the technique worked for me and Miss Rachel fits much better than other sweaters I have knit or own.

Kate’s design was inspired by a collection of textiles at Gwathorpe, the details of which can be read on Kate’s own blog.  The textile collection is based and preserved at the National Trust’s property Gwathorpe Hall

We couldn’t visit Gwathorpe Hall but decided that a visit to one of our National Trust properties Mount Stewart would provide the perfect setting to take some photos of my sweater. This was our first visit back after the winter season and we are now looking forward to returning over and over again. We will be visiting the swans soon to see if once again they will have a little family of cygnets like last year. The magnificent house and gardens were enticing and helped both of us to relax and enjoy the warmest afternoon of 2016 and 'yes' I wore my sweater although a few behind the scenes shots show the truth about changing numerous times although I will enjoy wearing Miss Rachel more days than I enjoy wearing a tee shirt! 

Thank you to dad who really is adding style to his photography and a little direction when I just wouldn’t relax to smile! I still don't like my photo being taken but dad was the star who enjoyed the shoot even though it was for fashion.

My thanks to everyone who encouraged me as my swatch turned into a sweater that I can wear. Nothing was wasted as all the cut off bits off wool are in our garden compost now. As an extra boost for this sweater my niece is called Rachel which makes this even more special to me. I just need a Miss Rebekah and a Miss Leah to complete my family. Thank you for reading, Beverley