spring in the air

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february first and among the things i never thought i’d think or say out loud in the dead of winter: spring is in the air.

with the east coast still buried under several feet of snow (poor anne marie tells me they are still digging out in eastern PA), and just coming home from the snowy mountains of utah, i found myself this weekend changing down by several degrees in sweater weight. hunh.

it all feels very confusing because it’s hard to know what to feature in knitting news, what with new IMMERSION club projects on the needles and all.

but no time to waffle, that’s for sure—i’ve got plenty of deadlines to get to, no matter what the weather would tell me to knit. there are several secret projects on the go that are set in stone at this point, but i’ve been sneaking in spring swatches wherever i can, sinking my fingers into skeins of hempshaugh, ginny, and stone soup fingering yarns, as well as a variety of laceweight options.


i knit up this delicious pile of springy possibility over the last few days and yesterday morning i washed the swathcesup in sudsy hot water to determine what the final fabrics would be like and whether i would need to reswatch anything (say, on a different needle size).


as my nana used to say, ain’t that grand? it really is amazing (yup, every time!) to see the change that comes over the fabric after a nice bath.


my ginny DK swatches were perfectly fine before washing, soft and cuddly, if a bit curly with slightly uneven stitches. a person might be tempted to say i’m not going to block this fabric because i don’t want to lose the depth


afterward, though, they are simply sublime; you shouldn’t skip the washing. yes they have slightly less three-dimensional depth but the stitch definition is now amazing. it offers the same or better “depth” without the distortion or funny drape. washed fabric will do lots more for your silhouette, trust me.


and that soft, delicious halo? shut the front door! i would wrap a bare naked baby in this fabric.


these are swatches for a cardigan and pullover. i actually think i’m going to do these in separate patterns, because the plant fiber swatches (upper two) are a different gauge and drape; i think they’d work best in a loose summer pullover. the bottom swatch in stone soup fingering yarn is perfect for a three-season cardigan, smock, and/or jumper, something like ivar, but slightly more femme.


then i took all three shades of hempshaugh fingering and swatched for a skirt i’ve been meaning to publish for years.


every time i wear this one i get lots of compliments and requests for the pattern. i just never felt like i could nail down the right yarn for it—til now. hempshaugh is perfect. and i would love another one of these to wear . . .

as you can see, i’ve got my work cut out for me over the next couple of months; plenty to dream on while i finish up my winter knitting deadlines. plus, i’ve got some color projects on the boards as well—i’m about to start a shawl in spirit trail nona, which i’ll tell you about as soon as i get it on the needles.


my stone soup physalis is progressing, though i’m having to alternate work on it with this deadline projects i mentioned earlier. still, a few rows here and a few there keep it growing.


i’ve started the short row pattern, which is so gratifying; this part grows quickly and is a nice change of pace from those longer hem rows. it won’t be long til this one is blocking . . .

well, time now to head for my knitting chair or i won’t be getting ahead for today. as i knit, glancing out the window now and then, i can almost see one of these in my near future.


11 thoughts on “spring in the air

  1. Don’t get too comfortable with Spring just yet…but isn’t a little mid-winter respite a treat?

    And those swatches take my breath away…once again I love the way you’ve dressed up your cables wth lace. Lookng foreard to that one for sure.

  2. Unseasonably, unreasonably warm here too – St Lawrence River valley in NY. And it is supposed to be mid 40s on Wednesday (again)! So almost no snow anywhere. Although I haven’t (yet) seen robins like the one in your tree. Love love the new swatches, especially the ones on the right hand side that you will be working up into cardigans! Your new skirt looks really fun! (and the running shoes really make the outfit – cough cough smile)

  3. We’ve been having the same winter here…very strange. Mind you, looks like we might get 10cm tomorrow. Love those swatches…can’t wait to see what they want to become.

  4. A Robin! Don’t tease me–I live in Vermont. Seriously, the swatches all look interesting. I’ve always loved that sock pattern, so a sweater with that motif would be terrific. And soon it will be time to get out the unfinished Hempshaugh project and give it the final push.

  5. Mmm those swatches! I just adore that pattern from the curling set. And spring… yea we still haven’t had winter here in Albany!

  6. I really like the pattern on the swatches. Has a sea-side feel to it. BTW Happy Birthday! Hope you had a fun day with friends & family.

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