Funchal Moebius: It’s a Wrap (sorry, couldn’t resist)

It took me 7 months to knit the first 2 thirds of my Funchal Moebius, but I knitted the last third in just a month, and managed to finish it by beginning of June. I just kept knitting, and suddenly it was done!

I feel rather like one might after running a marathon – victorious and relieved, but also slightly bereft and thinking about the next one….


One reason I finished it sooner than expected, was that I only needed to do one extra repeat of the pattern, instead of the anticipated two. Having used Malabrigo Sock before, I knew it was prone to getting bigger after blocking, so I erred on the side of caution. And I was right to, because the length increased from 44 to 49 inches (apparently this is common with superwash yarns). At 49 inches it’s the perfect length to be twisted up once around my neck, which, as a year round scarf enthusiast, is how I intended to wear it.

I usually wet-block, but decided against it this time because I was worried about leaving wool out to dry during moth season, and also didn’t want the hassle of putting all those stitches onto spare yarn. I steam blocked, as suggested by the pattern, and I’m fairly happy with the result, although I still think wet-blocking might have evened my tension out further.


I had to put a whole evening aside for grafting the two ends together, which I was dreading. It was never going to look perfect, because I was grafting a nice even edge to a fairly wonky provisionally cast-on edge, and me and Kitchener stitch don’t really get along anyway…

That said, I’m pleasantly surprised by my acceptable (as opposed to disastrous) result. I debated not putting a twist in the cowl before grafting, but relented when the consensus from other knitters was that I should keep the twist in. I suppose it does make the most of the reversed colour scheme on each side.

Funchal graft

I’m pretty thrilled with the finished result (one would hope so after 8 months of work….). This project arose as much out of a practical need for a proper winter scarf, as a desire for a fairisle project, and I think it will do the job perfectly. The fabric is really thick, soft and squishy, and will be super warm in winter. I’m also really glad I used a soft, superwash yarn, as it sits close to my neck which is usually prime itching territory.


The lovely mustardy gold will also brighten up my largely grey and navy coats, jackets and jumpers. My only regret is that I can’t wear it yet!

So what’s next?

I don’t think I’m quite ready for another big knit, so I’ve been working on smaller projects – some lovely felted slippers for a workshop we’ll be running at Social Fabric, and some fingerless gloves for me (I’m gonna be so ready for winter). Watch this space!


Funchal Moebius: Work in Progress

Hi Readers, it’s been a while has it not? I’ve been working on a slow and (literally) lengthy fairisle project which I started back in September.

I’d been mulling over fairisle patterns for a while, and decided on Kate Davies’ amazing ‘Funchal Moebius’ because it only has two colours and would be forgiving of any beginner tension issues.
Fairisle cowl wip

I also wanted to (gulp..) use up the Ochre Malabrigo Sock that I salvaged from my machine knitted t-shirt. I hate admitting defeat, but I wasn’t wearing it, and frankly, it was too small. I combined it with more Malabrigo Sock in ‘Natural’. As someone who doesn’t really ‘do’ bold patterns, I really like how the Ochre shows a defined pattern against the white, without it being too stark.

Funchal wip-1-2

It’s slowly growing, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve knitted about 11 of the recommended 14 repeats, and it’s shorter than it should be and also quite a bit narrower (judging from the pattern photos). I’m trying to keep it all super loose, but clearly my gauge is still pretty small. Hey, that’s why I chose a scarf and not a jumper for my first fairisle project… I think I’ll need at least 16 repeats altogether to get it to the right length.

Funchal wip-1-4

I’ve heard (and seen…) a few fairisle puckering horror stories and  was initially quite worried about the uneven texture of my knitting, but it really settled down after a quick steam with the iron. I’m optimistic that a good wet-block will even everything out when it’s finally finished (oh the miraculous wonder of blocking)

The first repeat of the pattern was quite the learning curve. The provisional cast-on took me at least 5 attempts to get right and looks a bit…rough. I also blundered in without properly familiarising myself with the colour work basics (“I tried it once 5 years ago, I totally know what I’m doing!”). My stranding was all over the place in the first couple of rounds, and it took a bit of experimentation to get the colour dominance right. I eventually found that it worked best with white carried as the dominant colour throughout (you can clearly see the ‘experimentation zone’ in the first row of diamonds below).

Funchal wip-1-5

I had rather optimistically hoped that this cowl would be finished by Christmas, but it looks like it’ll be one for next winter. Only 5 more repeats to go!

A Rivage for Hannah

My sister Hannah has a birthday in April and lives in super hip Berlin.  She’s also a knitter (knits a mean top-down sock) and like me, she loves Brooklyn Tweed. It can be kind of a tough call knitting for another knitter, but when I came across Brooklyn Tweed’s Rivage wrap pattern, I knew it would be the kind of big drapey scarf that she would wear.


As a hand-knit, the pattern is kind of crazy. Not because it’s difficult (I only bought it because I was too lazy to work out the stripe sequence from photos), but because it’s 25 x 76 inches of stockinette stitch in 4 ply yarn on 4mm needles. Luckily, this makes it perfect machine knitting fodder, and very feasible as present (It would take me a year to hand knit this. Literally).


I spent far too long on Google and Ravelry agonising about yarn and colour options (it’s a birthday present, it must be perfect). I definitely didn’t want to use Brooklyn Tweed ‘Loft’ because it apparently breaks easily (thanks for the heads up Ravelry!) and is really expensive here (£11.99 for 50g!). In the end I panic bought Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 ply in ‘Water’, ‘Natural’ and ‘Oyster’, which roughly correspond to the colours suggested by the pattern. Turns out I did some bad maths, because I had to go back and order another skein of ‘Water’…

I’m so happy I chose this yarn! It contains my favourite thing (55% merino) and my second favourite thing (45% silk) and is soft, shiny, very drapey and generally luxurious. It has quite a loose twist, which I thought might snag in the machine, but it knitted up really easily. I managed to knit the whole scarf in just over two evenings without any problems  (tension was 24 sts to 10cm, with the tension dial on 7). It took me two further evenings to weave in the hundreds of ends…

The finished scarf/wrap is really quite wonderful. As you would expect from a silk blend yarn, it’s incredibly drapey and soft. It works really well both as a scarf and a shawl, and the colours are just neutral enough to go with anything. All in all, it feels like a lovely, luxury item that I was proud to wrap up and post to Berlin.

Rivage silly

Happy Birthday Hannah! xx