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To Birch? Or To Kiri? That is the Question!

Okay, so, at Norma’s insistence suggestion, I headed over to and bought myself The Classic. I’ve got this wedding to go to on October 15th and I need something to wear and this should be perfect. Well, it will be perfect if it fits. But I’ll worry about that later.

So this wedding? It’s in Portland, Maine. It will be chilly in Maine come October. This means I’ll be needing a wrap of some sort. Or a knitted shawl, perhaps? Hunh. I just happen to have 2 skeins of lovely black lace mohair that I bought from Knit Pixie a few months ago. That’s enough to make Birch. Or Kiri. Or Birch. Or, maybe Kiri. Do you see my problem? I can’t decide which one to make. So, while I’m waiting for the right needles to arrive from The Knitting Zone, let’s talk about it and decide.

First, there’s Birch. The Birch pattern is in Rowan #34, which I have. It’s lovely and has been very popular among the knitblogging community. But, you have to cast on 299 stitches to get started. That’s a lot of freaking stitches, dude. Of course, once you get all those stitches on, you’re continuously decreasing, so the rows should go faster. And, it’s lovely. Have you seen Stephanie’s? Just lovely. Also, the pattern isn’t charted, which isn’t a big deal, but isn’t ideal. Did I mention that it’s lovely?

Okay, then there’s Kiri. Kiri photos and the free pattern are available from All Tangled Up and you can see awesome photos here. Sigh. Isn’t it pretty? You start with a provisional cast on (blech) and then you increase with each row. Basically, the opposite approach from Birch. Also, Kiri has a line down the center from the yarn overs, which Birch doesn’t have. I honestly can’t decide if I like that vertical line of yarn overs or not. However, the pattern is charted and charts are good. Oh, and it’s quite pretty.

Can you feel my pain? Oy, the dilemma!

Shall we bring this to a vote?

Please, provide your wisdom and guidance, my friends! Besides voting, I’d also love to know why you voted the way you did and, if you’ve got experience with either one, please share. This means comments, people! Let’s hear from the masses. (pretty please?)

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. They are both beautiful, I think Kiri has a better defined lace pattern. I haven’t knitted either, just looked at the pictures. I don’t think you could go wrong with either one. Enjoy the decision.

  2. Here’s the deal, I don’t know the yardage on the yarn that you bought, but if you only have 2 skeins, the thought of casting on 299 sts and knitting until you run out of yarn……….. Are you sure you will have enough? On the other hand, with Kiri you can knit until you run out and finish. The lace patterns are the same on both I think. I have knit Birch and I love it, but either would be nice. I’d be more worried about running out of yarn after all of that knitting.

  3. I can’t vote, because I don’t do lace. BUT. Jeez, Carole, you make it sound like Maine is the frozen tundra. It’s only October. In Portland, which is barely Maine, anyway. 😉
    (Sounds like a wonderful time/place for a wedding.)

  4. I haven’t knitted either one, but I have been dying to get my hands on Mag 34 and if I had it, I would give a go to Birch-granted my knitting knowledge encompasses 4 months, but I would definitely knit birch. I printed Kiri and the provisional cast-on doesn’t sit well with me. Another big plus with Birch, once you start, it gets smaller, so each row goes faster ;). I can’t wait to see which one you make, both of them are beautiful.

  5. Okay… first off, I’m a definite Birch girl. I’m almost done knitting it myself, and trust me, you actually don’t need a chart. No really. I wanted a chart and even made a chart for this. Didn’t need it one bit. I absolutely love this pattern – it’s so lacy and delicate – and I am a fan of the no line down the back look.
    That said – I’m with Theresa – are you sure you have enough yarn?? For Birch – you want to make sure you’ve got approximately 700 yards of laceweight for Birch. I don’t know the yardage on Kiri – so if you do have enough for her but not for Birch, your quandry may be quite simply solved!!

  6. I absolutely vote for Kiri. I did Birch, and while I have no problems with the enormous cast on I actually think in retrospect that Kiri makes a nicer shawl. It has a self edging, for one, while birch is just a really simple triangle.

  7. Kiri. I’ve been wanting to knit Kiri but mohair+Louisiana summer=one miserable knitter. I did co for Birch many moons ago and lost interest. Missed the charted pattern and those co sts almost killed me. That said, they are both delicious and lovely :O)

  8. I voted for Birch, but I think that Teresa and Cassie raise good points — I’d freak if I ran out of yarn after casting on all those stitches!

  9. I haven’t done lace either, so I will, like Liz, exclude myself from voting. October should be perfect shawl weather, but you might want to pack your long underwear just in case. As long as the legs don’t stick out from under the dress, you’ll be all set! You can always go to LL Bean and stock up. If you do, give me a holler.

  10. how come “both” wasn’t an option? *weg*

    haven’t voted yet (need to look at kiri again) but i’m inclined to say birch if you have enough yarn…i just like the look of it, and there’s definitely something to be said about decreasing towards the end rather than increasing! 😉

  11. I looked at both and I’m thinking Birch. Of course, I don’t know if I’d have the courage to cast on all of those stitches, but the end result looks like it’s worth it.

    So, you need this by October 15th? Really??? Is that enough time?????

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