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Dear Kay,

When the going gets tough, the tough procrastinate. C’mon! Let’s ditch work and gaze at patterns.

I’m on a never-ending quest for patterns that make the most of mohair and silk blends.

In my wanderings, I ended up in the Land of Rowan, that dreamy place where the Kidsilk Haze floats around and the models are pensive. Rowan has a significant number of patterns that call for mohair/silk yarn. I love them all, but here are seven designs that made me go particularly heart eyes.

Belarus by Kaffe Fassett

In typical Kaffe exuberance, this airy cardigan calls for nine shades of yarn. We support this completely while at the same time observing that a person could conceivably make this with far fewer shades and still have a great time. Bonus: no buttonhole band!

Lucetta by Sarah Hatton

We are curious about that generous sleeve. The generous sleeve is everywhere this season. We wonder if it allows for extra storage of facial tissues for the cold ’n’ flu season? Whatever. We applaud eyelets with mohair/silk yarn. It gets you into the lace zone without it being, you know, lace. Bonus: no buttonhole band!

Gossamer Shrug by Marie Wallin

Maybe 15 percent of my love of this pattern has to do with our model’s hair: a classic Rowan confection of volume and Things From Nature Put In There. Beyond that, I love this design for its forgiving fit and Jane Austen vibe. We are experiencing a Shrug Revival, people—often called a “cocoon” or “unshaped semi-garment” or “one size doesn’t actually fit anybody but that’s OK.” Bonus: no buttonhole band!

Beaded Kidsilk Haze Scarf by Lisa Richardson

More eyelet fun, here with Old Shale/feather-and-fan wave action. Bead it if you’re feeling sassy; ignore that instruction completely if you’re feeling, like me, human. Bonus: no buttonhole band!

Purity by Sharon Miller

Moderate-dose lace edging, plus a nice, easy stockinette along the way. Possible caption: “Did I feed the cat this morning?” Bonus: no buttonhole band!

River by Sharon Miller

A second favorite by a revered shawlist. This wrap is 90% air holes, just saying. It’s practically not knitting at all. Bonus: no buttonhole band!

Birch by Sharon Miller

Finally, the shawl I’ve made at least three times, OH GAH this is the best thing ever. Birch will comfort you and warm you when you’re out touring the British Isles in your caravan on holiday, and it’s a bit chilly in the early evening air. (Or early morning air, I can’t really tell but it’s probably early evening because who’s got their stripey/plaid ensemble together before coffee?)

Bonus: no buttonhole band!



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  • A bit obsessed with no button bands, hmmmm. The eyelets are like lots of button holes… just saying.

    Your post reminds me: I still need to knit Birch which I first encountered on MDK when the pattern was originally published.

  • Love this one and I do have a box of kid silk haze from a ROWAN membership of the past. Must finish a wedding gift first, but think I’ll try the sorta shrug by Marie Wallen. Thanks for your great daily print. It keeps me going.

  • Oh, that Belarus is stunning eye candy for a cloudy November! I, too, am on the Bonus: no buttonhole bandwagon these days. Thanks for the post.

  • The patterns you feature are lovely. But it is your way with words that makes ME go all heart eye. The sun isn’t up yet. The coffee isn’t even dripping. And already I’m chuckling. Too much fun this early in the morning!

  • Never enjoyed mohair so much.

  • Psssst! The link for Purity goes to the Beaded Kidsilk Haze Scarf instead of to

    • I am in for River (without the beads). BTW, the link to Birch also goes to River.

  • I️ first read that as “facial TISSUE” and wondered if you planned to pull the sleeve up over your head … it’s stull so very early!

  • If one had access to a copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts, there is always the Airy Scarf:

    Eyelets and no button band.

  • This was so funny you almost make me want to knit again with mohair and silk, which makes me curse. Love the feel, hate my tendency to drop stitches with it and not discover til many rows later. But it is dreamy looking! (Dang it — see what you’ve done!)

  • Birch shawl … bottom up … ya’ can stop when you’re done … if you get the gist of it … ’cause the original in true Rowan fashion starts from the longer edge to the tip! You can find it here …

  • Plenty of little bits of this and that kidsilk haze … or a glory of colors from the shop shop shop … make this one if you’d like … a most perfect and forever cowl …

  • All the searches … 154 pages worth … kidsilk haze … on ravelry … suggested patterns … ’cause you needed one more rabbit hole … … happy day … knit faster … knit happy … knit all the bits and pieces!

    • If I don’t resurface in the next 48 hours, send in the knitters. Surely someone will know the way out!

  • I can’t believe you left off my personal fave:

    • Is there a link for Kaffe Fasette’s Belarus? Rowan website says page not found

    • The Cardi Cozy [swoon]! I never made one for myself….

  • Tel me how you really feel about button bands!

  • I like all of your options, but I can’t stand those loose, puffy sleeves! All I think of when I see loose & bell sleeves is, those things are seriously going to be in the way. I like sleeves, but I want to be able to push mine up a bit. With or without button bands.

  • Thanks for the reminder that Birch is in the air and the yarn has been sitting there patiently waiting its turn to be knit.

  • Ann, something tells me your procrastination may be related to a recalcitrant button band?

  • Try making Churchmouse easy Folded Poncho with one strand of Loft and one strand of Rowan Felted Tweed. Every time you wear it you will thank your self for all that boring knitting as the finished product drapes beautifully and feels yummy!

  • From this list, it is easy to deduce Ann’s “To-Do” list: 1. Finish that (expletive deleted) buttonhole band; 2. Feed Kermit; 3. Find Things From Nature to Put In Hair.

  • I recently struggled with a buttonhole band for a dog sweater(!), and then gave up and made it a pullover. “The dog will love it. Trust me.” [P.S. She did.] So, at this point I am also all about the no-button-band projects!

    Also, your description of the River shawl, “This wrap is 90% air holes, just saying,” made me think of a funny piece about learning to knit from the Christian Science Monitor in April of this year . “A knitter, by definition, creates holes by surrounding them with string, using sticks, a clickety-clickety noise, locally sourced air, and goodness.”

  • LOL @”When the going gets tough, the tough procrastinate”

    Can I use that as a blog post title?

  • “Did I feed the cat this morning?” Wonderful caption!

    I’ve been wanting to make this pattern for a long time–you can use all the colors!

    • That’s just gorgeous! And it would be fun to get all modular with so many colors to play with.

  • Memorieeeees… The Birch saga was how I discovered MDK back in the dark ages, as I was struggling with the pattern and learning how to cast on 299 sts in Kidsilk Haze without losing my mind. I still love knitting fluffy kid mohair-silk blends, and I love wearing them even more. Such gorgeous yarns transcend the simplest stockinette no-pattern project. One skein makes a simple cowl, which weighs next to nothing on your neck and takes no space at home when folded into this Parisienne’s purse. 3/4 skeins yield a simple, generous, luxurious wrap — see Churchmouse Yarns’ Alexandra’s Airplane Scarf. No button band, just the zen of handling the softest, prettiest wooly cloud of a yarn.

  • the Prize: We wonder if it allows for extra storage of facial tissues for the cold ’n’ flu season?

  • I sense a theme here, but will have to go back and reread to be sure.
    Meanwhile, my notes:
    Purity did NOT feed the cat. Which is why her pretty wrap is hanging down a bit. There is a cat climbing up one side.
    On the Birch, I vote for morning. I’ve lived that look. She slept in that outfit and only felt chilled when she was forced to creep out of her sleeping bag, step outside – brrr! – and get on her bike for an emergency trip to the shop for cat food for Purity who may have slept in the nearby hedge, maybe not, but either way was never going to get those botanical specimens out of her hair with a hungry cat climbing her shawl.

  • Promoting my Boundary Bay wrap pattern here! It’s designed with all Neighborhood Fiber Company yarns and uses both Loft and Sock together for a big stretchy rectangle with mixed textures. or spoutknits on Ravelry

  • Ann – did a buttonhole band HURT you or something?

    I love me some Rowan, but I swear I buy the magazines more for the entertainment value my husband gets out of them. He thought No. 43 in particular was hysterical – kept describing the models as misty emo-maidens and had them saying things like, “Woe! They have discontinued three of the colors of the yarn used to knit this sweater! Whatever shall I DO?” (He’s heard me rant often enough about Rowan discontinuing things – and has seen the resulting explosion in stash when they do.)

  • There’s also Kaffe’s Alder wrap
    And there would be yarn left over for the already mentioned Modern Quilt Wrap.

    Bonus: both are buttonhole-free.

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