Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fresh Off The Needles: Rae

Alright, this is another project that isn't really fresh off the needles per se.  This was actually finished back in February (Oi!!), worn it a bunch of times but never had the camera (or someone to take the photo) around when I wore it, and then last week I finally got around to begging asking Brett to help me take a few photos.  

This here is a Jane Richmond design.  Let me introduce you to Rae (in case you've been living under a rock the past year). It's been making it's rounds throughout Ravelry ever since the pattern was released last year in June.  There's been a few KALs dedicated to this pattern already and every time I read a post on a forum somewhere about what a skein of yarn should turn into, Rae is always mentioned.

In true Jane Richmond fashion, this pattern is wonderfully simplistic and really allows for those special yarns to shine through.  Not a sock knitter but have a fabulous skein of yummy MCN that you don't know what to do with?  Rae would be perfect for it.  Sick and tired of knitting shawls that you never wear?  You would totally get some wear out of Rae.  Need a mindless knit but already have a few socks on the needles?  Rae's the pattern for you.  Are you just learning to knit and want to knit something that you can actually wear or even give away with pride?  Look no further, Rae's got your back.  Do you have way too many complicated cardigans on the go but need a more sociable knit to bring to knit night?  Don't make me say it.  Ok, I will.  You need to cast on a Rae.  It's perfect for knit nights (and beer knitting!!), heck, you can knit Rae in your sleep.

I'm sure you get the point.  Yeah?

Rae - Closeup 2

I had to toss the stash a few times before I could make the final decision as to which yarn and colour to use for my Rae.  I had initially planned on gifting this when I first casted on, but a quarter into it I knew that this scarf wasn't going to be leaving my hands any time soon.  Or at all.  The yarn I used is the Pales Sock base by Gaia's Colours Fibre Arts in the beautiful Mama Cocha colourway.  Sadly, my friend Ursa who was the creator and owner of Gaia's Colours, made the tough decision last year to close down her business.  I kinda took it for granted that I saw Ursa every Friday at our knit nights and had always thought that if I wanted to buy a skein that I could always ask her the next time I saw her.  When she announced that she was closing up shop I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few skeins of the colourways that I always had my eye on.  Mama Cocha was one of them (and it was ridiculously hard for me to capture all the blue-y goodness within it!).  

Halfway into this project I discovered why so many people knit more than one Rae.  Not only was this a soothing knit, but it was so satisfying.  I should forewarn you though, to anyone who has this pattern in their queue or is planning on knitting it, this pattern can get quite addictive.  Once you start and get into a groove, the knitting quickly becomes potato chip knitting.  There were so many times when I've told myself that I would knit only one more row, only to realize that I had knit several and now the sink or bath tub was too full, dinner a little browner than planned, or bedtime was pushed back by half an hour.  Eep!

Rae - With Coat

Rae is such a simple knit that you don't even need to tote along the pattern with you.  Or even your usual knitterly accoutrements.  The only thing I needed was two locking stitch markers.  You could probably get away with using only one, but I tend to have cases where my memory resembles a sieve.  You definitely need a marker of sorts to define which side is the one you make the increases on.  If you're anything like me and space out a lot, you might need the second marker to indicate which row you did your increase on.  I kept forgetting when I had increased and had always lost count of my rows, especially when I had to constantly put my knitting down to attend to the Munchkin.  So that second stitch marker kept me in line and helped to make this mindless knit even more mindless.

There really is no need to alter the pattern in any way, other than to adjust your stitch count if you have more or less yardage than called for.  Since I had a smidge more yarn I did a few more increases before I started decreasing.  If I was thinking ahead I would have weighed my yarn beforehand and would've known how far I could've knit before I had to start the decreases.  Oh well.  I can tell you right now that this won't be my last time knitting Rae.

I'm sure this project would have knit up way faster had I been monogamously knitting on it.  Instead this became my "between projects" knit, what I grabbed as I headed out the door for an afternoon of running errands.  It had fit perfectly in my handbag and since it was such a non-fussy project it was super easy to take out and shove back in when needed.  Even though Spring has finally sprung in my neck of the woods (no pun intended!), Rae is just light enough that you can still sport it around without feeling overheated.  I have a feeling come September I'll be whipping this pattern out again and will be knitting up a few that will hopefully this time, will land under someone else's Christmas tree!

So...have you made a Rae?

Rae - Closeup 4

The Deets:
Pattern: Rae by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Gaia's Colours Fibre Arts Pales Sock (now discontinued)
Colour: Mama Cocha
Needles: Signature Needle Arts circular in 4mm (US 6) - 24" cable
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Rae


  1. Love your Rae Melissa, it brightens up your wardrobe with all of the those flashes of colour in the yarn.

    I feel the same way about the pattern, I joined in for the KAL and knit Rae # 2 and all of a sudden I was imagining every lovely skein of sock yarn that crossed my path, as another Rae... Hand dyed yarns deserve simple patterns :)

    Thank you for such a glowing review, totally made my day!

    1. Thanks so much Jane! :)

      Ever since I finished this Rae I'm doing the exact same thing, I keep imagining all these sock yarns as a Rae! I'm sure more will pop up on the blog, as I definitely plan on knitting a bunch for gifting!!

  2. you bet your butt i've knit rae's. hahaah 3 now. and i have plans for more. i love your rae! the blues are gorgeous!!! and now you've made me think of knitting on another :) you're so right about jane designing the perfect patterns for the most lovely yarns. also i love the name "potato chip knitting" i've never heard that before. but now i want chips. hahaha.

    1. Hahaha...Yes, I remember you are the Rae Queen! I really don't think I need to twist your arm into knitting up another Rae. I'm sure you're just looking for any excuse to cast another one on? ;)

      I hope you got your chips! :)

  3. No I haven't yet but I would like to. It is just starting to get cool here on the Gold Coast so I may need to whip one up for myself in between my baby knitting. I love the colour that you used for yours. It is gorgeous!

    1. I think Rae would be totally perfect for Australia! And the best part - gauge isn't that important (other than it'll affect how big the end scarf will be)!! I can't wait to see all the cute baby items you'll be knitting up!! :)


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