Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Louisa Harding Esquel Review

I’ve just finished a lovely poncho for a friend. The yarn is Louisa Harding’s Esquel and the pattern is Ivy  from the Esquel book. It’s the one on the cover. The colour I used was 16 Tomato, which isn’t really a very accurate colour name as it’s much more like a rust / burnt orange colour.

It turned out so beautifully and I loved the colour. I keep thinking I’d quite like one but not sure I’ve got it in me to make another at the moment. It’s a beautiful knit but essentially just two big rectangles plus sleeves, so I think another one would become monotonous. Plus, I have an ever growing mountain of projects to do - maybe I'll add it to the wish list.

I was very impressed with the yarn. On the ball, I wasn’t enamoured by it. It was nice but not anything exciting. I’m not a fan of single ply yarns and it didn’t feel particularly soft. I’m very glad I’ve used it now because it’s a pleasure to knit with and blocks to a beautifully soft and draping fabric.

Louisa Harding Esquel 2

It’s a mix of 60% merino, 20% llama and 20% silk. The merino gives it nice body and warmth, the llama gives it a bit of a halo and the silk gives the tweed like effect on the yarn.

I made two swatches. I did hang them on their sides with weights on for a day or two. I wanted to see if the weight of the yarn would change the gauge. 

Swatch

5.50mm – 17 sts & 24 rows

6.00mm – 16 sts & 23 rows

The intended gauge was 16 sts by 22 rows. The row gauge was more important for this, as it was worked from side to side. The poncho is quite oversized, so as long as I wasn’t miles off it didn’t matter hugely which I used. I thought the looser gauge would give more drape, which would be particularly nice in a poncho.

Suffice to say, my friend was very happy with the poncho.

Tish Poncho2

It was a huge thing to block and took up all the spare bed. I ended up pinning the edge instead of using wires. I tried the wires but it was making a bigger job of it and I had a bit more control with the pins. I did use the wires in the shoulders and sleeves to give a straight edge.

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