A wonderful pocket-sized project from Karen Porter, the Raven's Wing Wristlets are great travel-knitting not to mention a wonderful way to get a head start on gift-creating. Or for yourself; after all don't you deserve these too?
Please be sure to get your pattern from Karen's Ravelry page. What we offer here is yarn plus beads.
Here is what Karen writes:
I love all Corvids, but Ravens are really my favorites. They are plentiful in the desert Southwest – so commonly seen that they are part of the landscape. They can be seen soaring overhead or roosting in tall trees, and their social behavior is complex, fascinating, and at times hilarious.
During the year I’ve lived in a remote corner of the high desert, many groups of Ravens have visited briefly, but the only permanent residents are a mated pair. It has been wonderful fun observing them on a daily basis – they truly act like an old married couple. They seem to have acknowledged me and my cat as well; nearly every morning the male sits on an overhead power line next to my trailer and caws until Murphy and I come outside. Usually by that time the female has joined him, and when I open the door and step outside with my coffee, they both give one last emphatic “caw!” and fly away in search of breakfast.
I wanted to evoke the Raven’s feathers in these wristlets.
I’ve used luxurious fibers and lush textures, a feather lace pattern and sparkling beads to emulate the Raven’s glossy, deep black, and slightly iridescent plumage. The result has a rather Victorian feel, and it reminds me of how well-to-do Victorian ladies would adorn their hats and other garments with birds’ feathers, and sometimes wings or even whole stuffed birds. These ladies were especially fond of iridescent feathers, and I think these wristlets would perfectly complement an elaborate feathered outfit such as they might have worn back then.
Raven’s Wing wristlets are knit in the round from the beaded cuff to the wrist. They begin with a beaded cast on and a lace pattern that resembles feathers with beaded shafts, worked in a delicate mohair laceweight in deep black.
The wrist portion is worked in a sturdier yarn, a beautiful Merino and silk blend. The slightly reflective yarn and textured Beaded Rib pattern echo the Raven’s glossy black plumage. Feather Lace and Beaded Rib patterns are given both as charts and written instructions
The Yarn and Colorways
Our kits use somewhat different yarns than the exact ones Karen used though the overall fiber composition and weight remain the same.
Here are the two yarns included in each kit, one skein of each:
1. Instead of the Kidsilk Haze from Rowan, we have a lovely yarn from Pura Bella, their Pura Kid Mohair Silk. This is exquisitely lustrous fingering weight Kid Mohair yarn with a silk center core, this blend is 60% Kid Mohair and 40% Silk.
It is labeled as a fingering weight but I would call it more of a lace weight -- each 25 gram skein has 340 yards --- you decide. I queried the manufacturer on this and here is what I was told:
"We like to refer to this yarn as a "fingering" weight because of the fiber characteristics of the Kid Mohair, which renders a halo in the finished garment. Without this halo, the garment could be knit using lace gauge needle sizes (00, 0, 1) and the handiwork would be more clearly defined. The halo ends up requiring larger needle sizes (3, 4, ...) in order to properly define the handiwork. But these are qualitative and subjective specifications."
Regardless, it is silky-soft to the touch and a pleasure to work with.
The colorway is simply called Black and that is what it is.
2. For the smooth fingering weight yarn, instead of Cascade Heritage Silk (as all you need is between 55 yards and 70 yards), we decided on Staccato from Shibui Yarn. This is 70% superwash merino/ 30% silk (so it has more silk than the original and thus a delicate sheen as well), with 191 yards (175m) per 50g skein.
The colorway is Abyss, purely a rich dark black.
Karen recommends 200 size 8/0 seed beads. This amount includes extras to it just in case.
We will include in each kit close to10g of beads, or about 400 + or -. Plus a dental floss threader to help with threading the beads onto your yarn.
Her sample used silver lined purple A/B (AB=Aurora Borealis, a faintly rainbowy-iridescent finish). I also like how silver lined crystal AB beads would look.
If you have a preference on bead color, tell me. Otherwise I will choose for you.