with the henley sweater all seamed up, i decided that, since it is knit with superwash yarn, i wanted to get it completely wet to see if that would cause any major sizing changes (it didn’t with this one, but it has been a factor in other projects). while i was at it, i threw in a few other sweaters that were due for a sudsing.
i don’t wash my handknit sweaters very often—maybe twice during the winter? some of my new ones though, had not been washed before, since i steam-blocked them at completion and started wearing them right away. everything came out lovely and i’ll go off to denver this weekend with fresh, sweet-smelling knits.
that’s the henley, face down in the lower left corner. bottom line on the fit, after seaming and a thorough blocking—the final size is a little narrower than i expected, though the length is spot on. it has a sexy fit, rather than the looser, more casual size i was expecting from the numbers i ran (i.e., the stitch gauge and fabric have more tension across an entire sweater than in the swatches). i would say this is a size smaller than i would normally make, and when i write the pattern, i’ll adjust accordingly, shortening the lengths to make it right for a more petite person.
the thing with a sweater like this (or like the upcoming sprössling), is that you could choose between two adjacent sizes, depending on the fit you prefer—with the fabric being ribbed, a larger size will contract enough that it won’t look too big and a smaller size has some stretch built in. you may have to adjust the lengths when going with the larger size, but that’s fairly easy to do. we’ll show some photos to demonstrate this idea on friday.
i just need some buttons (they are on their way from jennie) and the piece will be complete; i may even wear it this weekend, though it’ll probably be too cold in colorado for it.
with the henley off the needles, i’m finally able to turn more attention to that little shawl i started around the first of the year. i took it with me to california, but—surprise—it was really too complicated to work on while moving around and visiting so much.
since i’ve returned home, i’ve been able to settle into working on the next section above the hem and now have a rhythm established. it does have its tricky bits but i think now i could actually travel with it and be ok, at least when knitting alone in my hotel room. not sure if i’ll take it along or not, but maybe . . .
i’m heading for denver early friday morning to teach a weekend of lace classes organized by fiber experiences. i’ll only be gone for three days and i’m already traveling with a trunk show in an extra suitcase, so i won’t have lots of room for multiple knitting projects. i’d really like to keep it simple and streamlined, despite my instincts (which tend toward overkill, as we know).
of course i have secret knitting that is in progress and probably, one of those projects will go into my bag.
i have one tiny bag packed with a pair of needles and my little ball of fibre isle that i spun on sunday, to knit into a neckwarmer—i figure this could be a very good plane project.
and i think, just to be sure i don’t run out, i’ll take these two balls of yarn, with which i’d like to start a gift for an upcoming birthday. they don’t match, but they “go” really well, and i like that the yarn weights are different. i want to knit a hat that is dense and warm, so the springy, sundara worsted weight merino on the left will be perfect. that skein, in colorway crushed cherries was included in my goodie bag from the knitters review retreat and i’ve been drooling over it ever since. the other ball is some briar rose fourth of july, in colorway black cherries, left over from jackie. i like the lighter, softer hand and variegated colorway of this yarn for the neckwarmer project i have planned to coordinate with the hat.
remember back in december when kim from the woolen rabbit sent me a skein of her kashmir yarn, in a colorway (hanky panky) inspired by one of my summer squash photos?
we’re planning a sock project to be released for SPA in late february, celebrating this new addition to kim’s lineup of yummy yarns. well, i had in mind a certain stitch pattern i wanted to work with all along, and last night i finally got a chance to cast on and start the sock. the cuff is looking great there and the yarn is simply heavenly—silky and soft, but with a really nice density and spring to the fabric.
however . . . once i got into the patterned panel that runs down the front of the sock, i could see that this yarn and motif combination was not going to work. the nupps in the pattern didn’t show up well; they keep getting buried. the lace pattern is knitting up just a little too small—the whole thing looks a bit blurry and insignificant. to top it off, i think it would only be possible to offer one size AND it was less fun to knit than i thought it would be.
bummer. that’s just too many drawbacks for one project, don’t you agree?
this is probably a good thing though—i really need more practical socks right now and will happily search for something that is zippier to knit and shows off the yarn’s gorgeous sheen a little better. i think we all could use a sock like that instead of the other . . .
so that project may not be traveling with me, even if i get it worked out before i go. it will be better to take something that’s further along and finish it up so that when i return, i can focus on this new sock.
the day after we returned home from california, our week-long crate of mail was delivered from the post office. it took me a couple of days to sort through everything, then open the packages included and photograph the contents.
i think there are a few things here you’ll love . . .
our friend deb kessler at fearless fibers has a new smooshy sock yarn on offer—MCN luxury—that is a delicious blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon, shown here in colorway sublime. its 4-ply construction will make a wonderfully smooth, dense sock fabric that resists pilling and is sure to feel comfortable underfoot.
susan, AKA fleegle, started selling her hand-dyed laceweight yarns earlier this year in her etsy shop, the gossamer web and sent me this delicate, lovely skein for you to see. susan specializes in producing an array of fine lace yarns and in an unusual selection of fiber blends which are custom spun for her. here we have tribble, a 2/28 lambswool/cashmere/silk blend in colorway tequila sunrise.
to accent your lace knitting or finished beauties, julie at hearts of gratitude is always making something lovely—besides a variety of very pretty pins and pendants, which she creates using combinations of healing stones, she has a couple of new items to add to her store soon.
shown above, heart pendents to store stitch markers or a cable needle while working (i know i’m always looking for somewhere to put my cable needle!). hang one of these around your neck when you sit down to work and the third stick is unlikely to end up down in between the couch cushion . . .
and then there are the stitch markers themselves—beautiful stones with simple, snag-free fittings to slip on your needles in between repeats or to section off parts of a shawl or sweater. she also sen along a key chain charm, which i immediately put on my own key ring—as far as i’m concerned, there is no such thing as too much protection while driving these days.
remember when cookie was visiting and dangling that really fun skein of copenhagen yarn in front of us? well, now that jeanne at destination yarn has recovered from the watershed of orders for it, she and i made a trade for a couple of skeins of yarn. of course, i wanted my own skein of postcard yarn in colorway copenhagen, but one is never enough, is it??
i also noticed a dark, mysterious blue skein in her semi-solid series that i had to have as well. harvest moon is a great color for my “guy sock” stash, with the added bonus that it has 25% nylon in the blend—a must for knitting mansocks, in my book. a rich skein in gray-blue tones will have them fighting over the resulting sock, you wait and see.
last but not least, i made an acquisition from afar, back on new year’s eve, with the help of my dear friend gail, who was such a good sport to shop for me at the blue moon barn sale of rare gems mill ends.
i may have mentioned that my newest pair of holidazed socks in STR lightweight (you can knit them in mediumweight too) are the warmest socks i have right now. i need that in my life—our floors (and therefore, my feet) are perpetually chilly. when i saw that tina was having a sale of rare gems, i had to get my hands on some (you know, in case i run out of socks to knit). here and there, i hope to sneak in a new pair for myself so that by next fall, i will will be armed with an appropriate arsenal of warmth for my poor feet.
so anyway, did she do a standout job or what?? i love every single thing she picked out. PLUS, she got me an extra skein that i wasn’t expecting . . .
hahah, i bet you think that’s not me at all, right?? well, truthfully, i would be shy to buy it for myself, but when gail was knitting up something similar at sock summit last summer, i was completely smitten and she remembered how much i liked her “chiclet socks”. when she saw this skein at the sale, she grabbed it, yay! chalk one up for gail; this is just the thing to lift my spirits during this gray, gray week.
i think i’ll have one more short post before i go and we will definitely be ready to release the sprössling pattern while i travel on friday; look for it then . . .