My two giant balls of Kauni yarn look like some kind of desert pottery.
The colors, as you can see, don’t look subtle. Why would I knit a sweater out of tomato soup red and pea green yarn? That was one of the questions I kept asking myself, and it was why I hadn’t yet started knitting with my Kauni yarn. Susan and I (along with regular reader Kim) got ours at the same time. Susan’s Kauni, almost finished except for the dreaded last sleeve, is lovely. See?
I know that the change from one color to another is not as stark as it looks when the yarn is in the ball. When I wound these skeins, watching the color change was magical — like time lapse photography. Even so, every time I looked at the raw yarn I had doubts. I kept getting seduced by other projects, too, which often happens to me. Then Ruth Sorenson, who designed the Kauni Cardigan, put out another design.
Although I wasn’t sure I liked the style of the ribbing at the bottom, that design rekindled my interest — it reminded me of some of the sweaters in Solveig Hisdal’s Poetry in Stitches. I vaguely thought about trying to adapt one of the Hisdal patterns or some other fair isle. Then I promptly forgot all about it and went on to other knitting.
Fast forward to the other day, when my sister sent me a link to the blog of another Minnesota knitter named Maria. I took one look at her Kauni and gasped: it was the Kauni of my dreams. Maria used a Dalegarn pillow pattern called Damask. Looking at her beautiful work-in-progress, I remembered that I had bought some of Dale’s pillow patterns when I worked in the yarn store. Why? Who knows? I’ve never knitted a pillow in my life. But lo and behold I had that pattern.
I did a provisional cast on because I didn’t want to waste valuable knitting time trying to decide what kind of finishing I wanted at the bottom. I didn’t do a gauge swatch; I based my needle choice on knowing that I usually knit on one size smaller needle than Susan does to achieve the same gauge. I did a quick calculation of how many stitches I thought I would need, adjusted a bit to center the pattern on the back and started. I’ve knit one full repeat. I don’t know what I’m doing the for the neck or whether I’ll use the same pattern for the sleeves, but I think it’s gorgeous.
I’m trying to make myself finish my lone Mermaid sleeve, but this is pretty hard to resist. How wild do I want it to be? I have these beautiful buttons from an abandoned Intarsia project. The color is perfect, but I think they may be a bit too much. We’ll see.
From Susan: WhenÂ I saw Maria’s Kauni I felt like I wanted to throw up!Â I was so sad that I had already started mine and feltÂ I was too far along to rip it out (though I did consider it!).Â I asked myself, “Would I rather knit 1-7/8 sweaters and end up with one sweater, or knit two sweaters and end up with two?”Â I may still knit the Damask Kauni at a later date.Â Sometimes it pays to wait :(.
There is a benefit to knitting the original Kauni: it takes much less yarn and is much faster because you do not need to follow the pattern so closely: you only do stranded knitting onÂ 4 out of 10 rounds instead of every round.Â
When I was still considering ripping back my Kauni, I brought it out and thought, “It’s cute.Â I like it.Â I don’t want to rip out my lil Kauni.”Â Â So, Lil Kauni, I still love you!