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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah


You know when you really like something, and then it turns out everybody else on the planet likes it too, and so its overwhelming popularity makes you like it less? That’s how I felt about Kate Davies’ Owls.

Emily's Owls!

(My friend Emily’s version, knit in Mirasol Sulka. I took this photo when she visited me in New Jersey last October.)

So I was gonna knit it, and then I wasn’t.  And then I was again, as soon as I saw this yarn at the Merck Forest stall at the Dorset farmers’ market back in June:

It called to me, and said, ‘I am to be an Owls jumper.’ So I bought seven hanks and that was that.  (Seven was two too many, but I didn’t want to run out.)  I adore this yarn–it’s sturdy and smooshy and gloriously wooly, and a terrific value at $8.75 for 250 yards (even if there’s a knot here and there; it’s handspun). It’s not the most flattering color on me, but I do like the gray Owls best.


Pattern: Owls by Kate Davies
Yarn: Merck Forest 100% wool Greenspun
Needles: #9s (#8s for the ribbing)
Raveled: here, with notes.


The pattern calls for chunky weight, but the good thing about five million people knitting it is the wealth of pattern notes you can learn from, and lots of people have knit this in worsted weight. (StinaK‘s notes were especially helpful.)  After the short rows on the back of the neck I had to add two more sets of short rows to the shoulders.  (I think those short rows on the back were eliminated in the latest version of the pattern because a lot of knitters didn’t think it was necessary, but I was knitting from an earlier version and just decided to go with it.) Anyway, it was nice to pause in my knitting and think, ‘isn’t it marvelous that I have no qualms about winging it? And it’s working! Hooray!’


(Of course, I had to take it off the needles and try it on every so often.)


You see why everyone is knitting this jumper?

1.  There are owls.
2.  It is the most flattering thing EVER.

Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?


And the buttons are from my grandparents’ candy tin.  (I really have to get back to the whole make-do-and-mend thing.)

5 Comments to Owls!

  1. Susan Grant's Gravatar Susan Grant
    October 18, 2010 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I took some of these photos and just now realized that there ARE owls! Since I’ve seen it in person, I can attest to the fact that the sweater is lovely! (So is the person wearing it!!)

  2. October 18, 2010 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    “A parliament of owls” just turned my entire morning around.

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    October 18, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The eyes are so cute! This is definitely one of my favorite of your knitted sweaters.

  4. October 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I love it! Owls are one of my favorites though. I have little stone statues and miniature artworks I’ve collected over the years – all owls. 😉 So, I may be biased, but that is one awesome sweater!

  5. October 19, 2010 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    You are lovely AND talented! The sweater is delightful.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.