Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

Francis Revisited in Kauri

13 Comments

Sometimes a project manages to be all-consuming.  It taunts you every time you put it down, willing you to pick it up, tempting you with its pure deliciousness, goading you to knit, knit, knit until it’s done!  It knits up so quickly, so beautifully, the knitting so effortless that it is exclusively addictive to the detriment of housework, blogging and everything else on the needles… it’s relentless!

A week after starting this beautiful project, and fresh from my little frisson with Noro, I now have my perfect Francis (except that I might go back and lengthen the sleeves):

Wearing this yarn feels like being wrapped in a cloud of the ultimate softness and warmth.  It’s so light, and airy, but yet warm and snuggly.  It drapes and folds like a dream.  I think I’ll wear it to bed.   Zealana’s Kauri, worsted weight.  Having finally got my sticky fingers on some of this yarn (thank you Zealana!), I’ve decided that this is my absolute favourite of all the Zealana yarns so far!

The addition of silk into the yarn has given it a sparkling lustre, drape and lightness that completely matches the attributes required to make this sweater a winner.  The worsted weight is quite different to the fingering weight of the same yarn – it’s more like Rimu in spin, density and feel on the ball, but knit it up, and oh my!!!

I showed my Francis-in-progress to a friend at a knit meet this week, and I was worried she wasn’t going to give it back.  She got that wide-eyed, slightly slack-jawed look of someone who has discovered a most covetable item and wants it.  Clutching it tightly, slightly discombobulated language burbled out… ‘cloud’ ‘warm’ ‘soft’ ‘OMG’ something like that.  I quickly prised my project out of her fingers and tucked into back my bag for safe keeping.  Just in case.  Because friends have been known to steal knitted items right out of my closet.  It’s true!

Beth Silverstein’s Francis Revisited is an amazingly simple, yet stunning design that appears to suit all body types.  Thank you again, Beth!

I’ve Raveled this project here, if you are interested in finding out the mods for this pattern using this yarn.  There is one thing I’ll share with you here though:  I learned a new cast-off (bind-off) that gave me a stretchy cuff and welt, matching the elasticity of the knitting perfectly.

Basically, it goes like this:  at the beginning of your cast-off row, knit two stitches, then pop your left needle into the back of those two stitches and knit them together (effectively a SSK decrease) so that you’d got one stitch left.  Then you knit another stitch, and SSK the remaining stitch left on your needle together with your new stitch and so on.

I’m sure there’s an online tutorial somewhere, but I got my instructions from the book Knit Fix: Problem Solving for Knitters by Lisa Kartus.

When I knitted my second Francis, I wasn’t happy with the bind-off despite using larger needles and knitting very loosely.  It still produced a tight edge that didn’t match the fluidity of the rest of the project.  So this time I decided to give this method a go, and I’m really happy I did.

In New Zealand, Mishi Yarns sells the yarn but you won’t see any pics on the site – best to check out the Yarn Sisters first to see the colours before contacting Mishi.  Personally, I just want Knit World to stock this weight too, so I can pop in and indulge in a little Kauri at will!

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Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

13 thoughts on “Francis Revisited in Kauri

  1. What a beautiful color on you! I need to find a yarn like this, it sounds magnificent!

  2. That looks like a pattern that would be suitable to a sweater dress (but longer, of course!) I could go for that.

    • You’re absolutely right! Just make a couple more increases after the waist shaping to allow for it to flow nicely over the hips. And the beauty of it is that you can try it on as you go!

  3. Love it! I love the shorter sleeves too, it really suits it, keep them that length!

    I popped out to HRYC and bought nothing except the long circular needles for my cowl, how great am I…. I then managed to refrain from stopping at Nancy’s for another ball of kureyon sock yarn, I am such a paragon of willpower…. It all came from wearing my Noro scarf you see, I need more!!!

    Have a lovely weekend, and looking forward to our trip!

    • Yes, the trouble with Noro is that the more you use it, the MORE you want it!! I saw a pattern for a jumper today that only used 14 balls of Silk Garden. It’s enough to make one take leave of one’s senses and run screaming off to the Noro…

  4. The Francis looks so soft and warm! I just love the color on you 😀

  5. That turned out great but I must agree with Alice, the arms look good as they are. I really like the raglan shoulder… I’ve got to learn how to do that, it makes such a nice, smooth shoulder.Amazing halo effect on the wool in the second photo, it really looks soft and cuddly warm.
    Thanks for the cast of tip, sounds like a good one, definitely gonna give that whirl

    • Thanks! Given two of my wonderful blog friends like the sleeves as they are, I might just keep them that way. 😉 The raglan sleeve is really easy done from the top – it’s just a continual increase each side of the marker every other row until you get the width you want. I guess decreasing from bottom up is the same concept, but I hate sewing those seams when it’s piece work construction (which is usually the case if you’re decreasing from the bottom up) and I always worry that the seams won’t match! Possum yarns do have an amazing halo. They are some of my ultimate favourite yarns to work with.

  6. Yep to the shorted sleeves and it does look really great on you (one to keep out of the wardrobe just in case friends come to visit!!)

  7. You are a Francis fiend! – gotta love those relentless patterns (my latest was the Whisper cardigan – a total of 4 in all and I wouldn’t put it past me doing more).

    It looks great on you. I like the shorter length sleeve over a long sleeved tee. If you are worried about keeping warm in the cold of winter, have you any left overs for a pair of wristwarmers? I’ve debated doing that myself. Personally I am a fan of the 3/4 sleeve – can’t abide cuffs around my wrists – I always fold them up – strange as I’m quite happy to have bangles on my wrists or wear armwarmers (I am weird 🙂

    Thanks for the cast off, I’m game to try it. I only recently cottoned onto the p2 tog cast off which is very similar and I love it (purl first 2 stitches together, slip that stitch back to left needle, p2 tog and repeat – the slipping means you can really stretch it out for a super stretchy cast off – totally controllable by the knitter, I’ll be interested to try the ssk and see how it goes). I’ve never been happy with using a larger needle to bind off either – love that there are other options.

    Cheers from sunny Wales (Spring has finally arrived – glorious!!)

    • Wow. Four times is hard core. I can totally understand though!

      Thank for the tip re the P2 tog cast-off. I’ll have to try that one too! Now I’ve discovered stretchy cast-offs, casting off will never be the same again. (A bit like after I discovered the long-tail cast-on).

      Long sleeves are over-rated – I’m forever pushing my sleeves up too. And having shorter sleeves is a great excuse for all those lovely long fingerless gloves I have waiting to be worn this winter!

      Glad to know Spring has finally arrived. We’ve got Autumn properly here!