Tailfeather by Heidi Kirrmaier I bought this pattern in March 2019, as part of an offer Heidi has on her patterns. At that time I didn’t have any yarn in mind for it, I just liked the look of the unusual angle of the stitches and it looked an interesting construction. (Plus I was in blissful ignorance of the torture of knitting a 4 ply/fingering weight garment pattern!!)
Third Vault Yarns Limbo (4 ply/Fingering weight 70% Rayon from Bamboo/30% Linen yarn) in the colour Ursula. I bought this yarn at Fibre East in July 2019. I originally bought one skein of it, and then on my 2nd circuit around all the stalls I bought the other 2 skeins Lola had in the same colour. I hoped it would be enough length to knit the Tailfeather pattern. (I see that Lola also has some patterns available for sale on Ravelry.)
Pattern: $6.53 (£5.15) for the pattern, however this is a discounted price as I bought 4 of Heidi’s patterns which resulted in a discount.
Yarn: £54 (I think they were £18 a skein?) I didn’t keep a great track of what I was spending that day, as I’d gone with a cash budget and felt comfortable spending it all. (Erm and of course went on to use a credit card too…but hey that’s another story!)
Total (excluding labour): £59.15
Started – 28th April 2020
Finished – 28th June 2020
This is my 3rd of Heidi’s patterns (Quick Sand and Such a Winter’s Day). The other two patterns I am definitely going to make again, but this one is a one time only project. Fingering weight/4 ply yarn in a garment is not for me! How on earth anyone is able to knit those enormous boxy jumpers in this weight of yarn, they have my respect but it is not for me. I would maybe be tempted to knit a shawl using the yoke section of the pattern and just continue, but only in a thicker yarn.
I made the Medium size which is designed to have a lot of positive ease. I used size 3mm needles. This pattern is mostly just knit stitch, with every 12th row purls. After a frustrating error on one of the purl rows I made sure I always did the purl rows using Portuguese knitting. The pattern isn’t difficult, but it is a little tedious, especially as I was working solely on this for a few weeks trying to get it finished before the end of this YOP year (end of June). Perhaps if I’d taken more time, had a lovely Aran weight or chunky weight project in between then it may not have seemed so tedious.
Modifications: I continued the slip stitch spine from the shoulder onto the sleeve trim. (In hindsight I wish I’d just gone with garter). I finished the mattress stitch seaming (that was my first time doing it and I think I did okay), after that I couldn’t bring myself to do the border and bottom trim, never mind the risk of picking up nearly 600 stitches and not having enough yarn to knit them and cast them off. So I started looking through all the Tailfeather projects by other knitters and saw that a few people had not bothered with the trim. I also read some horror stories about people who picked up the stitches and had to unpick them and do it a couple of times to get it right.
There is one person who has done a crochet edge, so I did a
double crochet (single crochet in US) slipped stitch around the edge with a 3.5mm hook. Way easier and quicker than picking up stitches. Why the crossed out bit? Turns out I watched a video, instantly forgot how to do it and ended up with something totally different, that my friend identified as a crocheted slip stitch 😂. To be honest it now matches my the slip stitch on the shoulders and back, so it worked out well!
This is my first time using a bamboo linen blend. It is splitty, but it is managable with this mostly garter stitch pattern. The sheen on it is lovely, and Lola has dyed it really well with such beautiful shades of a purple. It is almost like a metallic purple, as there’s some pewter type greys in it. Most of the pictures I’ve taken in previous posts haven’t done the colours justice.
When I soaked it ready for blocking I was surprised how much purple bled out of the yarn. I rinsed it quite a few times and it was still bleeding colour. Anyway it looks the same colour now it’s dry.
A note on 4 ply/fingering weight yarn
If anyone is thinking I am making too big a deal of knitting with this weight of yarn, I wanted to add a note to explain my main personal issue. Anyone who has seen my Year of Projects Final Summary post will see how much volume and variety of projects I like to work on. Tailfeather took me 2 months, with it being almost exclusively the only craft I was working on during that time. It’s just not how I want to spend my crafting time, and as much as I love the look of the jumpers others make in this fine yarn, it just isn’t for me. I’ll use it in socks, gloves or the brioche scarf I have as a WIP…or maybe for crochet projects…just not a big knitted garment.