I have finished the gorgeous Soumak Wrap and am totally in love.
This wrap was designed by the super-talented Lisa Richardson of Rowan Yarn. I met her when I was at Rowan last week, but unfortunately I was just 5 days short of finishing. The pattern is called the Soumak Scarf Wrap and was published in Rowan 54. It is also available online for free; follow the link from the Ravelry page here. Rowan 54 is a terrific volume, however, so don’t be afraid to splurge for the magazine.)
I love everything about this Wrap. Most especially I love the colours. They are so rich and deep, and they change according to the light or the background.
I also like that I wouldn’t have picked this palette of colours myself. This allows me to push my boundaries a little bit and open up to new colours and combinations. One of the bonuses of the pattern, to my mind, is that the back of the fabric is nearly as cool as the front, and the juxtaposition of the two is fabulous.
The title of this post, Suddenly Soumak, is a bit of a joke. I have had the song Suddenly Seymour from the Little Shop of Horrors in my head the last few weeks (and the play on it, Suddenly New Zealand, by the cabaret group Fascinating Aida). As I was blocking this, the song was running through my head and morphed into Suddenly Soumak. The joke is on me in this case: I started knitting this in September 2013!!!! It took me 16 months to knit.
Notice to anyone lusting after this pattern: it does not take anywhere near 16 months to knit, unless, like me, you have problems with knitting project monogamy. (In those 16 months, I also knit 3 sweaters, six cowls, four pairs of fingerless mitts, a skirt, and – please forgive the lack of humility here – the world’s most fabulous Tolkien-inspired birthday present.) Now I am kicking myself for dawdling, because this is one of the best things I have ever knit and I want to wear it every day. It is also quite easy to knit, so do not have any fear: cast it on immediately and you will never be sorry.
I knit this according to the pattern, with the exact colours and colour repeat sequence. The only changes are that I went down a needle size, and I knit only 7 repeats instead of 8. Therein lies another part of the “Suddenly Soumak” joke: I kept knitting and knitting and I never seemed to get near the end of this project. I finished 7 repeats and I still had one more to go and I was losing momentum. Then for the first time I measured it, and discovered that it was already longer than needed. I bound it off quickly, blocked it, and – suddenly Soumak was done.
For those who like to know these things – the unblocked measurements were 16″x71″ and the blocked measurements are 19″x77″. As you can see, it is quite long:
I cannot end this post without gushing about the yarn. I love Rowan Fine Tweed. I knit one project with it before, the Peerie Flooers hat designed by Kate Davies, which like Soumak utilizes many colours in the design. A really good tweed yarn needs to have a beautiful, rich, heathered background colour, and then very bold, contrasting flecks. Rowan Tweed does this perfectly – there is not a single shade that I do not covet. When washed, it becomes bouncy and squishy, with a fabulous loft – really airy and plush while still being warm. But the absolute best part, particularly after all of the hand-dyed yarns I have used lately: there are ten colours in this wrap, and when I washed it, not a single one ran. I love the fact that I can do intricate colourwork with this yarn and don’t have to worry about colour bleeding or pooling. I can see a lot of Rowan Fine Tweed in my future!
Beautiful wrap. Gorgeous colors. Wonderful post. Learned new phrase “knitting project monogamy!” I, too, am truly a knitting polygamist!
Thanks Gretchen! It’s a good term, huh? Knitting one project at a time may be productive, but it’s also limiting.
Love love love love love Love love love love love Love love love love love Love love love love love Love love love love love !
Shhhhh , don’t tell anyone, but I already ordered the yarn. As soon as I get it, I am starting to knit this too.
Thank you for posting these gorgeous pictures to inspire everyone.
PS – you are right. That gift is AWESOME. 🙂
Thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks. You will love knitting this. Good luck!
It’s beautiful and it looks great on you! Well done for finishing.
This is absolutely beautiful. I love how the colours work together and the different patterns on the front and back. Just lovely!
Thank you. Working with colours is very satisfying, especially when the back works too.
It’s beautiful Kelly! I promised you it was worth the work. Like so many of the more colourful Rowan patterns, this one pushed me beyond my regular colour palette. I found knitting this particular model very inspiring as well.
Wear it with pride!
Thank you, Ann! Now we can be twins! You inspired me to push this one through.
Congrats on finishing the project. It’s beautiful and I love the pictures.
Thank you. I’m lucky that my husband, Doug, takes good photos of my work.
It looks beautiful, congrats on finishing it, just lovely!
It’s beautiful. Well done for finishing. It looks absolutely gorgeous!
Fantastic job, Kelly! I adore Rowan Fine Tweed too, and these colors are so incredible together – I usually choose neutrals but this wrap is EXCITING. Love it so much.
Exciting is a good word for it; especially since it changes as the light does. Thanks for commenting.
I have this pattern on my wish list. Then when you said it took you 16 months to knit; my heart dropped. I haven’t had time to read the pattern because I thought it was so difficult. Thanks for your post and showing that it isn’t that hard to accomplish. It is beautiful, and looks warm. I just love Rowan patterns and yarns.
It really is a “big bang for the buck” kind of knit – the pattern is easy and intuitive, and the results make it look very intricate and difficult. It IS very long, so it is a big piece of knitting, but it’s not complicated. Good luck!
Beautiful and timeless!
It is beautiful! ! I am.knitting with fine tweed at present, but have ordered magazine 54 so I can knit this too! You must be so proud & it looks wonderful on you! 😃 thank you for sharing
Thank you. I hope that you have fun knitting it, too.
I want this pattern
How many colors 12?
Wow the length is daunting.
It is sumptuous.
It has 10 colours, some of which are used twice every repeat, and some are used once per repeat. The length is a bit daunting, but I find this length of rectangular wrap to be very wearable.
Well that’s pretty darned impressive – I bow before your perseverance!
Hi just found you through Rowan, this is absolutely beautiful!Love love love. New follow too. Karen xxx
It looks amazing! That would totally take me years to knit (or at least to weave in the ends).
Fabulous! You look so (deservedly) happy.
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Hi Kelly, I thought you might Iike to read about how you inspired me to take on my own version of the Soumak Shawl – thanks so much! 🙂 https://leapinglife.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/on-the-needles/
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