The owls are not what they seem

I always wanted to make this sweater. I proposed for a KAL in the group Madrid Knits and it won 😀

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCf-oiIbVnw]

After looking for an alternative wool for the Owls since Christmas, I finally decided myself for Cascade Ecological Wool. I’ve always been sensitive to wool, not really allergic and the perspective of buying wool online always scared me. I need to touch it, to feel it, to check if I’m going to be able to wear it. On the other hand, I left acrylic relegated to the bottom of my drawers. I started crocheting with acrylic because it was cheap, it was ok for amigurumis and it didn’t itch. But now that I’m knitting, I can’t stand it. I tried a blend of wool and silk some months ago to make a sweater and the feeling was totally wonderful. The elasticity of the wool, its forgiveness, all those praises we read everyday on Ravelry and blogs. All those are true. And I wanted my sweater to be ultra-warm. I’m always cold, even during the hottest days of Summer (Spanish Summer) I always have a cardigan or a sweater with me, just in case. I don’t mind temperatures of 45ºC, but I can’t stand the cold.

The main alternative for the Owls was this Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool, and I found out that I could buy it from France at a very good price. I think it was 28 euros plus shipping, making a total of 36 euros, for two skeins, just what I needed for my sweater. I read a lot of opinions about this yarn at Raverly, and although most of them were very positive (incredible yarn, soft, warm, etc), some of them were a bit worse (the yarn smells, it itches hell, it grows after blocking, “I’ll never use it again”). After two desperate months looking for a yarn I decided to take the risk having in mind that for that price I was not going to get anything better.

And the wool arrived and it was really like having two sheeps at home.

It was rich, woolly, smelly and dense. The smell was not disgusting at all like some people said, but natural and sweet. Knitting with this yarn was a total pleasure and the project was finished in no time. At the beginning I was afraid of having allergy to this wool (some people had and I have a lot of allergies) but my fingers were ok, I didn’t sneeze during the process and my asthma didn’t get worse. The body took me some days. At that time I was so busy emptying boxes at home that I didn’t have time for anything else except for work and sleep. But at the end I got in a hurry. On February 10th I had to leave for Belgium for my boyfriend’s thesis defense, the temperatures there were the whole day below 0ºC and I didn’t want to be cold. The only option was knitting as fast as I could. I made some calculations and I decided to stick to them and finish my sweater in time. That meant: 1 day for each sleeve plus 1 day for the yoke plus weaving in. And I made it! Knitting until I had to go to bed but I made it 😀 The last day I went to a close by shop to buy some buttons and my Owls was finished.

After reading several reviews of this pattern in Ravelry I decided to move the back decreases and increases from the back to the sides. I found this blog post with the exact mods that I wanted to make (thank you, Mamatronic).

I didn’t have time to block it and I’m really scared of what will happen. I hope it’s not going to grow too much, otherwise my sweater will be ruined. That weekend in Belgium (I was only in Leuven and Helcheteren, sorry girls) was cold, ultra cold, reaching temperatures of -12ºC. But I had my Owls and I was warm. Wow, this sweater is ultra-warm!!!

I wore it a couple of times here in Madrid with a thin coat it I still love it. It itches much less than in the beginning and it’s already loosing its smell. A pity, I got used to it and I learned to like it.

Moving

It’s been one month since last time I wrote something here. This last four weeks have been a bit hectic due to our moving from Brussels to Madrid. The 14th the moving company came to put everything in boxes and take them away, and the next day we were also gone.

We visited around 15 or 16 apartments in two days, and one of the last apartments we’ve seen the second day was the perfect for us. In our favorite area (Malasaña), with gas heating, airco, good materials and very close to the public transport. I should add that it’s very close to a square that it’s always full with dogs and children. I love the sound of dogs and children!

During the first days I explored the area looking for wool shops and I’ve already found four! The closest one is called La Guerra de los Botones, and the girls there are very friendly and they periodically organize diverse workshops.

But when our boxes arrived I realized that my stash is… how to say it, … huge. My wool was inside a big box like the ones they use for clothes and light items, about a meter high. And there was also a bit more in a other two boxes. Ups, did I really have ALL this wool at home in that little corner of the living room?? So I think I have to stop my compulsion of buying wool if I don’t have a project in mind, and the wool I already have, I should use it as soon as possible!

This apartment is smaller than the one in Brussels, and we are still drowned in boxes. We finally bought a bed with big drawers under and I stuffed my wool there in the meantime while we don’t get something for the living room. I was also knitting something, but that goes into another post 🙂