I've been working for some time now on a throw using cable patterns from Barbara Walker's "Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns". In 2003, I dropped into the Oxfam shop in Penrith and snapped up a full pack of Rowan Cork for £4.99. It's been waiting for the right project to come along.
Last year I decided to reclaim the yarn from an aran jumper knitted for my husband, but about two sizes too big for him. I used some of this on an earlier throw, but there was still plenty left.
My idea was to knit strips of random widths in a variety of neutral tones, but this turned out to be more of a challenge for me than I had imagined. I actually prefer symmetry. I bought 100gms of another greyish yarn, but was surprised to find that it read as a dull green against the grey and beige of the completed stripes. I decided that this did not matter as it was such a muted tone, not really a colour. I bought another ball to make a second stripe.
As I was assembling the strips it became obvious that there was some variation in length, which could not be fixed by blocking. I added some moss stitch or took away a motif in some cases. This was the most fiddly part of the process.
Finally, I also reknitted the opening rows of some pieces where the moss stitch needed fewer stitches because the cables pull in so dramatically. This was quick to do and made a huge difference to the neatness of the finish.
One last ingredient: sunshine! With side lighting the sculptural qualities of the cables really come alive. I love the complexity of the finished item and the muted tones of the yarns.