An African Adventure

No, unfortunately I am not going to Africa. I have decided to join in the African KAL in the Jane Thornley group on Ravelry. The KAL is based on Jane’s latest Evocative Guide, Safari & Savannahs.

Jane’s guides contain more a recipe than a pattern. Instead of the usual knitting pattern that says you should probably use this yarn, or at least a substitute yarn of this blend that will get you this gauge on these needles and you must do this, step by step, etc. Jane doesn’t do as much ‘hand holding’. Her patterns are more along the lines of: select yarns that you can knit on this range of needles, gather different blends, weights, colours, cast on around this number of stitches, or more or less depending on your particular body, knit these stitch patterns in whatever order you want, etc. If you’re the kind of knitter who requires more step by step instructions then you can still follow Jane as she does tell you what yarns she used and will include charts etc but for the knitter who isn’t so caught up in exact numbers Jane’s patterns are wonderfully freeing. They give you the courage to go out on your own and just pick up needles and yarn and knit. Does it really matter if one side has a row or two extra, if you knit a DK weight then a worsted, then a ribbon yarn all on the same size needle with the gauge changing as you do? Does it really matter?

Now Janes’ designs are not for everyone. But then whose are? I’ve had some great success with using Jane’s guides and also some not so good outcomes.

I’m a bit late starting the KAL, I think the ‘official’ start was April 18. Today I did some stash diving & these are the yarns I’ve come up with. There is a mixture of blends, quality and weights. Everything from a nylon/polyester/lurex blend that I picked up for $1.59 (called Fragile Sahara) to a Manos Silk Blend and a 100% angora.

I’m using a 5.5mm needle (as suggested by Jane) and will cast on soon. I’ll keep you posted. Oh, by the way, I’ve chosen the Great Zimbabwe Vest.