i know this looks like a pile of clutter i should clean up, but i’m pretending it’s a terrarium. i’ve never been able to keep one alive but somehow, i’m managing this time . . .
thank you for your nice notes to cardigan over the last few days; she is so tickled that you enjoy her posts. she is busy making notes for the next one . . .
her adopt-i-versary is this week—one year since we first brought her home. and every day since, i’ve been awed, charmed, and reminded of the power in positive reinforcement—even when progress is slow and frustrating, she is a patient, kind teacher who does not give up on me.
so, what has everyone been up to? i’ve been working on some secret stuff for the next installment of our pairings club, but also on some new designs for regular publication. i think i mentioned that we want to produce a small collection of spring and summer knits—a few garments, a couple shawls and some accessories—ideas i’ve been eager to work on for a while.
the red sweater i knit for david a while back is a prototype for a slightly lighter-weight version with a bit of detail he didn’t want.
i cast on for mine immediately after finishing his—i was excited to knit myself a casual pullover and to play with BNWs patchwork natural gradient yarn in fingering weight. we’ve had this yarn since late fall, but i’ve not had time to indulge myself with it.
i must excuse my lack of early project photography by saying that pullover this knit up fast as lightening—i’d knit two sleeves and started the body before i realized i did not have even one photo. the idea was to get the first sleeve on the needles in preparation for a road trip to see my mom for her birthday at the end of february.
(THERE are the sleeves!) but that trip got cancelled due to the first snowmagedden of march along the east coast and since i had finished up all my work on our 2018 ensemble collection in order to travel, i was suddenly in a position to give myself a four-day, all-expenses-paid weekend to stay home with david and cardigan, watch the snow fall, listen to audiobooks, and knit (well, that’s what i did with it anyway).
and by the way, i highly recommend this strategy for dealing with inclement weather. and also this yarn—it is the coziest, softest, most cuddly yarn; it’s the chubby, warm, roly-poly puppy of yarn. plus, it’s got awesomely interesting coloration; completely random, but so soft and gradual that it is easily nudged into a pleasing composition. i had chosen four skeins in a range of light print shades; one skein was lighter and more brown, two skeins had more gray and less white, and the fourth skein was a slightly darker mix of gray and brown (if you want some and need us to put a set together, just add a note to your order at checkout). my idea was that i’d be able to knit from the bottom hem in lighter shades up to the darker shades at the neck and shoulders, but you could also get skeins that “match” more closely for a more tonal, allover effect like the one i knit david.
i don’t like to manipulate these types of yarn a lot because i want to show a completely honest result—what you can expect when using it at home straight from the box, so to speak. but i do organize my skeins before i start and plan out a loose sequence. the one spot where i might wind off a bit to get an exact match is where the sleeves are joined to the body—i don’t want a visible line there to mar the overall effect (and that’s not cheating, just being practical). in this case, i had a naturally exact match at the top of one sleeve but at the other, a bit of a jog. but since i had left my yarn supply attached to each sleeve, i was able to alternate skeins for the first few rounds of the yoke to blend them and it worked out well.
in no time it was off the needles and blocking—i didn’t finish it completely that first weekend, but it was washed and drying by 3/15. with just the neckband and two short underarm seams in the way of finishing work, it really is a speedy knit.
(sorry for the smudged blocking photos—our third floor is seriously light challenged and well, the snowy skies don’t help).
here are a few better photos; we will, of course, get some much better modeling shots later on with actual models.
this is a sweater i’ll wear ALL the time—in fact, i am already planning a third one, this time a round-neck cardigan, maybe in stone soup fingering, color slate (but i’m considering ghillie sock as well; it would be so soft and durable in light, springy cheviot wool and i haven’t knit with that yarn in a while).
in keeping with the theme of my small collection i think i’m going to name it Sea Fret.
but before i get ahead of myself, i have one more finishing detail to complete on this sample—since i’m pretty sure i’m going to wear it a lot and that i’ll want o wear it for many years, i thought elbow patches would be a nice addition.
and with the plain stockinette sleeves, it’ll be such a cute detail if they’re knit in the body pattern. so while we were driving to dayton last weekend, i knit a couple, using leftovers.
yes, i like! i think these are just the thing; what do you think?
there’s a bit of interesting finishing work involved in getting them attached, so i’ve written up a post that i’ll publish tuesday with the details. don’t worry, it’s not difficult or even very time-consuming but i thought maybe a few of you might avoid trying these—even if you love them—because you don’t know how to get them attached nicely. and i’ve got some tips to share so meet me back here tuesday, okay?
dayton, by the way, was completely lovely—the dayton knitting guild is one of the most active and friendly that i’ve met, with a large mebership of over 200 knitters. they have stuff going on ALL the time and everyone is welcome—if you live in the area, consider joining; it’s great social and educational resource. ellen and i had a wonderful stay and enjoyed meeting about half the membership.
for this quick, overnight trip, i decided i would be disciplined and not bring the usual four or five different large-scale projects. i packed my supplies for knitting elbow patches and then a simple stockinette sweater that’s secret knitting (not secret from you, but from someone else).
after knitting my elbow patches (which took almost no time at all), i reached for the stockinette sleeves i packed, only to realize i had grabbed the wrong project bag and instead had the one with my nearly finished till cowl—just a few rounds to go.
oh for heaven’s sake. well, that took no time at all and soon i was without knitting.
seeee!! this is why i always overpack my knitting; mistakes are made in the rush of getting ready and i always end up unprepared for something—unless i’ve come prepared.
so i took the leftover bits and bobs of patchwork yarn from the elbow patch bag (which are really the last leftovers from my pullover) and i started a coordinating hat. i really didn’t have any intention to design a hat, but hey, it’ll be cute, it’ll fit someone, it’ll be a great way to swatch for the sweater, and it’ll use up the leftovers so they don’t become part of my terrarium. what’s not to love? and i think i’ll call it Haar.
ok, with that i’m going to tune out now so i can finish tuesday’s post and maybe even start on thursday’s. also time to take the dog out!