Siar - Westward by Mona C. NicLeòid

Siar - Westward

October 2015
Aran (8 wpi) ?
26 stitches = 4 inches
in gauge is not really relevant, see notes below!
US 8 - 5.0 mm
180 - 200 yards (165 - 183 m)
adjustable to any size
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Are you a fellow spinner? Start a project page, link it to this pattern, add a photo of your handspun yarn, and contact me - I’ll send you the pattern as a gift :)

Siar is Gaelic and means “to the west” or “westward”.

West means rain and autumn and mud, and what better than to have something warm and cosy for your boots so the rubber edge doesn’t chafe your legs and the wind doesn’t get in.

Try a bunch of exciting techniques in one manageable, quick little project: Crunchy cables combined with stranded colourwork, and two-coloured linen stitch. And if you don’t feel up to this, simply knit it in one colour and it will be just as amazing.
Use up your small amounts of leftovers, or of precious handspun or handdyed yarn, and do not worry about gauge or sizing! These boot cuffs are made to measure while you are knitting them.

The pattern contains detailed photo tutorials for all the tricky techniques involved. The page layout makes it easy to decide which pages to print (the actual instructions are just 2 pages).
The cable pattern is given both as a chart and as written instructions.

Yarn advice: I used three different yarns for this project, Aran Tweed by Studio Donegal and a comparable hand-spun wool for the outer layer, and a handspun alpaca yarn of similar weight for the inner layer. The outer layer requires a sturdy yarn with good stitch definition. The inner layer calls for something soft and fluffy to produce a warm and pleasant fabric. If you want to keep it simple, use a basic wool yarn or wool/alpaca blend for both parts.
If you want to use different yarns for the outer and inner layer, they should be of similar thickness. In the case of wool and alpaca please note that the latter is a heavier fibre, so it will not have the same skein weight to yardage ratio as wool. If possible, compare the yarns by holding the actual threads next to each other.

Yardage/meterage: For average woman’s boots 160 to 180 m = 180 to 200 yds will be sufficient, if you do not make the inner layer much deeper than the outer one. In this case the outer layer uses about 60% of the total amount.
In the inner and outer layer together, the background colour uses about 40 to 45% of the total amount, and the contrast colour about 55 to 60% (because the cables use up a little more yarn than the background).

Tension/gauge: Not really relevant! :-)
The cable pattern in the outer layer is knitted over 18 sts and the resulting band is about 6 to 7 cm / 2 ½ to 2 ¾ inches wide. Technically this is a gauge of 26 to 30 sts = 10 cm / 4 inches, which sounds surprisingly tight for yarns of this weight. The cables combined with the colourwork pull in quite a bit and create a very dense fabric.
If you want the outer layer to be a very specific depth, you will have to experiment a bit with needle sizes. For most boots this will probably not matter a lot. The circumference is determined while knitting, and the inner layer is added by picking up stitches along one of the edges.

Needle advice: Use a needle size slightly larger than recommended for your yarn, most likely 4.5 to 6 mm / US # 7 to 10.