purple o w l s

new, purple o w l s . . .

This was my first design, and it was in need of a little freshening up. The pattern now looks more professional and includes a few changes, the main one being the addition of extra sizes (the range now runs from a 30″to a 50″bust). And there are also a couple of minor alterations to the shaping (specifically to the underarm proportions and neckline), which should make for a better fitting sweater at the top of the size range.

I was lucky enough to find exactly the same kind of buttons (in John Lewis) as those used on my original sweater, and the yarn is Jamieson’s Shetland marl in Amethyst, a colour which I have surprised myself by rather liking. The yarn creates a nice, tight fabric when knitted to gauge, and is soft enough to wear next to the skin.

If you have purchased o w l s already, you should receive an email with a link to download the update. If you haven’t bought the pattern, and would like to, you can do so here or here.

I have been quiet for a few days because I’ve been (yes, you guessed it) laid low with fatigue. This bout was very difficult indeed. Sitting still all day is hard enough, but when it gets to the stage where I can’t even knit, because my eyes won’t focus, I start to become very ratty. After a weekend full of rats, it was a complete joy to be able to get outside in the sunshine today in a new sweater.

It seemed appropriate to take my new o w l s out into the woods.

57 thoughts on “purple o w l s

  1. Your sweater is beautiful in purple. I bought the pattern a couple months ago and have had yarn sent here (Canada) from Australia for it. Thank you for this timely update. I think o w l s may have just jumped rank to the front of my queue! Cheers : ) PS: I am jealous of the green signs of spring in your photos. We are still buried under snow here.

  2. I love it. I’m a sucker for purple – its the one color everyone looks good in – no matter what your complexion. I especially love the sweater with the skirt (and the matching tights!)

  3. See! Purple’s a great colour! This reminds me of heather a bit ….sings old song to self….”all around the bloomin heather…will you go lassie go….” or some such….who sang that?

  4. The purple is fantastic. I must attempt a big project. So terrified though. Looks great in the sunshine, waiting for spring here in Ontario. PS you have inspired me to visit Edinburgh when I turn 50! L

  5. It looks incredible! The purple is gorgeous and cheery! I’ve loved this pattern since I first saw it! You are such a creative genius! Of your patterns, I’ve only knit Paper Dolls, so far. But I cannot wait to have my very own Owls!

  6. Those buttons go so well with the sweater. I love the first picture. On my screen, it looks like there are just eyes glowing from the darkness.

  7. thank you for the updates. this version of your owls is beautiful too; i’ve been debating colors for my own, leaning toward grey/charcoal, but seeing a heathered purple gives me pause… i’ll be skipping over to have a look at the Jamieson’s colors!
    i’m glad you were up for a walk-about, that fatigue let you loose to enjoy yourself. :)

  8. I love your owls Kate! Got the email, thanks. One of these days I’m going to cast on. But this weather makes me drop the yarn for seeds – drop me an email if you and Tom would like an allotment fix on a sunny day. You’ll be more than welcome. It’s very near the Hermitage, so may go well with one of your lovely documented walks. And there’s plenty of wood for the Owls.
    Lots of love from the South Side, Sarah x

  9. You know it’s bad when you are too tired to knit. Hope your solar batteries were recharged today. The new sweater looks beautiful, especially in that yarn. It’s a gorgeous colour.

  10. those purple o w l s do scream spring, don’t they? Or perhaps better yet- they hoot it?

    Like so many above, you are inspiring me to bump this lovely pattern to the top of my queue. …maybe in a soft green? to battle with the never ending snow and ice that surrounds us here in Saskatchewan (Canada)?

  11. Thanks for the update Kate, and I have to say you look really good in that colour. Hope the sunshine is helping you a bit, and I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts for renewed strength and energy as the year turns towards spring.

  12. Well, rats to all those rats that made for rattiness! And welcome owls, especially purple ones. (“I never saw a purple owl, / But now I hope to see one, / Cuz I can wear my purple owls / With me sandwiched between ’em!) All best as you slog ahead with recovery — and all hail as you go on designing. Thanks so much for both designs and blogs. Yours in the v. first one I check each day. Your writing is wonderful (surprise, surprise…), as are your observations, photos, talent, and honesty.

  13. I add my thanks for the update to your growing list. I was re-reading your blog posts on o w l s earlier today funnily enough, before the update arrived. Second thought was ‘wow, she’s sourced the same buttons!’ (first thought was ooh, beautiful colour).
    I hope Bruce and Jesus were helping to chase away the ratties, or at least distract you from them – cabin fever really is no fun when you can’t do what you’d like to.

  14. Kate, how I adore you! And my math-challenged boobies are so happy that you have sized this up! Now to find perfect yarn :)

  15. Love your new purple owls! I just made a shetland owls, too, in J&S Chunky (what wonderful yarn!), and my owls and I just got back from a tromp in the woods as well. A perfect sweater for this time of year and such a fun pattern to make and wear.

  16. the purple version is lovely and it looks great with your skirt. I am glad to hear you are outside getting some fresh air and sunshine.

  17. Lovely sweater! I’ll have to put it in my queue. I do love the amethyst color. Very cheery. We just had more snow here, wet and heavy. Sigh.

  18. You look great in purple and those owls make me smile!!!! I only wish my knitting was proficient enough to make this sweater.

  19. I too feel great getting out into the sunshine with a new purple owls sweater. In my case it is the ‘owlet’ sweater worn by my daughter (9 weeks old).

  20. I love the new color! It must liven up the winter a bit. I must send you a link to my own o w l s i completed last year. Glad that you were able to get outside and hope the fatigue passes soon.

  21. Hi Kate,
    Great lookin’ sweater, that! The purple is perfect.
    Coincidentally, I just finished reading about a young woman, long time knitter, who has always knit for others, never for herself. She has always been quite obese, no patterns large enough to meet her needs. She has lost over 80#’s and she knit her first garment ever for herself: your owl sweater in soft brown and includes a photo.
    Sweet story, sweet sweater, sweet designer.
    I hope this helps renew your spirits a bit. You have touched the World.

  22. Love the colour! I’ve been wanting to knit this sweater for aaaages, but I’ve also been pregnant for aaaaages. Only a few more weeks and I’ll have shrunk a bit and can justify casting on.

  23. Ha – you’ve been converted to the joy of purple! I read longingly your description of the yarn being soft enough to wear next to your skin …….. unfortunately all wool, no matter how soft, makes me itch. I have to wear cotton roll neck sweaters under wooly jumpers – not always an elegant look!

  24. Youn look very dressy yo be just going to the woods.
    You are so good at accessorising you knitwear and clothing. Luv the purple owls.

  25. Love the new purple owls. I’m not sure why but I haven’t received an email about the update. I’m embarassed to say that I can’t remember if I bought it directly or thru’ Ravelry.

  26. oh torture!! I really want to knit myself another owls, but knitting sweaters for myself right now is out as I’m PREGNANT. ok, it’s a good reason not to, but the thought of cuddling into the chunky cosiness… It’ll be my autumn carrot for knitting. In the meantime manu is working wonderfully as stylish warmth :D (still unpictured-sillily!)

  27. I’ve just finished my o w l s! I started in – ahem – August but had to take breaks to get other birthday/Christmas knits out of the way. I am so in love with it! I’m still hunting for the perfect eye buttons though…

  28. What a stunning jumper! The eyes set it off perfectly, and what a gorgeous colour. I’m so impressed because my knitting stretches to k1 p1 at its most complicated ;) As for the tiredness, interestingly I was reading a study on PTSD after SAH, and it said this about the fatigue that I experience: “Using standardized measures, we found that fatigue and sleep problems occurred significantly more often in SAH patients than in a matched control sample. Fatigue and sleep dysfunction were persistent problems for SAH patients, with more than 30% of patients being afflicted by each difficulty more than 1 year post-haemorrhage and no significant improvement in these domains being detected between assessments.
    Alarmingly, the fatigue in the SAH population was, at times, in fact, even higher than in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, a group known to experience incapacitating fatigue”. (I’m pretty sure that this applies to ischaemic strokes as well).

  29. It looks fabulous in purple! I think the dark, rich colour really works well with the pattern. Hope that is the last of the nasty fatigue for a while.

  30. The purple owls look wonderful, especially so with that jaunty skirt. Heathered purples so please me that I actually wear them less than I would like to, just to avoid a one-note appearance.

  31. I recognise your ratty days by the ‘silences’ and it grieves me when I think you are having bad times. I am so sorry you have been so low and hope you get a good stretch of up days.

    I hope you ‘feel’ the vibes of us all silently sitting with you when the fatigue hits you.

  32. Oh Kate, thank you so much for the TWO updates! They were quite timely since I’m just starting my owls in red alpaca, still looking for the buttons…
    I’m sure the nice weather will help with the fatigue. Here in Quebec, we’re buried under tons of snow, but, the days get longer every day and the sun gets stronger, so there’s hope in the air!
    Love the sweater in purple!

  33. You look fabulous in the purple owls and I am glad to see you out in the sunshine. I made an OWLS from your very first pattern and it was a staple in my wardrobe during the cold days of feb. I got a lot of compliments too thanks to you.

  34. Oh, if only I’d already knitted an owls for myself! We were doing the letter H in my kindergarten class and the sweater would have been the icing on the cake. (It is a French immersion class so owl is actually hibou, hence why owls would have been an appropriate sweater.)
    The purple certainly does look fabulous on you.

  35. HI KATE — bummer those bad days eh — nice to see you up and walking and with your lovely new owls

    – every time I see another one of your creations I think ‘ LOOK HOW FAR THIS GIRL HAS COME “—

    – we spring forward with the clock on sun night – I just hang on till april at this time of year in ONTARIO ,and know I have made it through another winter [ not the best for me ]

    – am staring to love purple more myself and was just sitting here planning a stranded white and purple pattern , or maybe with a little grey too ,in hand spun for fingerless mitts
    best –pat j

  36. You convey the pain of the frustration of exhaustion so well… and to be too whacked to knit has always been a benchmark (bad, obviously) for me. Has anyone suggested audiobooks already? I still don’t have the wherewithal to read even when not exhausted, but find audiobooks a really soothing way of helping to accept not-doing. Also during attacks of what might be a sort of reverse – the frustration of insomnia. More controllable than the radio, keeps my brain just sufficiently engaged to stop it self-destructing. Acceptance is the most difficult for me, it feels like “giving up”, being “defeated” but not accepting is sometimes less like victory and more like banging my head repeatedly against the walls of a castle as a way of overcoming it as an obstacle.

  37. I love this pattern! I made one for my owl loving grandson (who is 6) last month, and he is so happy with it. I’m looking forward to making one for myself as well — sometime soon.

  38. I’m currently knitting your o w l s pattern in purple. It’s my first attempt at a sweater (that is, one for which I care about the outcome). The update came just in time as I’m starting the yolk decreases after the owls. Thank you for further developing your pattern.

    I’ve followed your blog for about a year and a half but have never commented. So as I am posting, I also want to thank you for writing about your struggles post-stroke. Your insights have been educational and your determination and perseverance are inspirational.

  39. Hey! I just purchased a tiny, brown, hand knit button-up cardigan sweater with little owls around the neckline at a local thrift shop. It was the first time I had seen this pattern and it was sooo cute! It fairly glowed with the love and patience of the knitter. It fits my dog Chloe perfectly and she loves running on our cold nova scotia beach in it.

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About Kate Davies

writer, designer and creator of Buachaille (100% Scottish wool)