I didn't have an On the Needles post for this piece, because it kinda came together in the frenzy of December's Christmas knitting. I used Quince and Co. Lark yarn in Chanterelle. I've been wanting to use Quince for something since I found out about them last year, and I fell in love with this colorway as soon as I saw it. The bottom photos turned out a little more brownish than the yarn actually looks, and I would say it is closer to the photos of me wearing the piece above. It's a somewhat grayish tan. Beautiful.
The pattern is Replier by Pam Powers, which was just released a few days before I cast it on. I came across the pattern page around Thanksgiving, which was posted prior to the pattern becoming available. It struck me as a very elegant alternative to a scarf, and I knew it would be a perfect gift for my very stylish grandmother. I wasn't sure if I would get any photos of her in it, so I tried it on and got some self portraits in it just in case - and then proceeded to wear it around for another hour or two because it was so pretty and warm and comfortable---I mean, because I wanted to make sure that the clasps would stay closed. In any case she loved it, so my work here is done.
The pattern was pretty simple, but I wasn't crazy about the way it was written out. The short row section was a little confusing, because the designer wrote in a lot of repeats but some instructions were not very clear. Then in the main pattern section a couple of lines required you to repeat a previous line that was several rows above. It is my thinking that writing "repeat row X" instead of writing out a stitch pattern is done to make the pattern easier to read for the knitter... but when you have to find a different line and then jump back and forth, I think this only creates more difficulty for the knitter in following the pattern. I would much rather just have that line written out again. The only thing I can think of is that the designer was trying to make everything fit onto a certain number of pages so she had to cut out some text. Since it's a brand new pattern there are obviously no corrections yet and the kinks must be worked out. All in all it was a quick knit and the end result is gorgeous. This is the first thing I've knitted using the smocking stitch, and I love the way it looks - an interesting variation on cables.