ok, you guys got me. all that talk about sweater making last week got me thinking. i really DO need some sweaters . . . some of mine are in a shameful state, especially my “everyday” ones. you don’t believe me?
this one shrank in a washing accident two years ago . . . i still wear it. a LOT.
you might not be able to tell from this picture, but it now just barely touches the waistband of my pants, and the sleeves are a less-than-stylish 3/4 length. the neck meanwhile is big enough to fit a watermelon through. but sometimes i just need a change of pace, you know?
i have a sweater on the needles for over a year now—it’s supposed to replace this one—same yarn, neckline, and shape, but a different color. all i need to do is actually knit on it.
then there is my beloved morehouse merino
it is old. it’s oversized and has lots of texture, but because i knit it with sportweight 2-ply, it is not bulky. i reach for it nearly every day. i only don’t wear it when i am embarrassed to wear it in front of myself again.
(okay, okay, i admit my standards for at-home wear are low. i think the bigger problem is that i am “at home” about 95% of the time now, and my wardrobe reflects that a little too much).
as you can see it is quite shredded at the cuff (it also has a few small holes elsewhere). so shredded in fact that i have to have a special system for wearing it at the computer, where the edge of my keyboard tray snags it if i don’t arrange things just so (it’s just so cozy, though . . .). yes, i know i can reknit this. it’s a matter of motivation . . . and you never know, some day i might do just that.
it looks a little felted there too, probably from kitchen work.
(why is this sounding more and more like my father talking?? . . . oh yeah, his “at home” wear fell along similar lines—worn to within an inch of its life, just the way we like it.)
oh, and there is more.
there is this ancient gray v-neck pullover. it is the perfect lightweight thing to pull on for cool spring and fall days. i’ve worn it at least twice a week for the last 15 or so years.
but you could probably have guessed that on your own.
i have worn this sweater so much that the fabric is literally wearing thin, and little holes are forming where the yarn has simply ghosted away.
look—you can see through it . . . i think it is safe to say that we have gotten our money’s worth from this one.
fast forward to my last post and everyone writing in to say “knit sweaters!!”, “yes i want to see you make sweaters”, and “we want sweaters”.
i think i understand you. you want me to knit sweaters, too.
don’t get me wrong, i am NOT going to stop knitting the lace stuff . . . that is knitting i really like to do. but let’s face it—from the evidence i’ve presented, you can see that the lace things are not serving my clothing needs—i don’t care much for lace sweaters on an every day basis, and as a rule, shawls are not practical for running around the house in (though i do wear them more now than ever).
so i got to thinking (oooh, danger of fire here . . .).
i really can’t start a new sweater this week, but maybe i will have a little window of opportunity later in the month. and if that were to happen, what would i want to make? (you see the treacherous zone i am approaching here, right?).
after i finished my deadline knitting, i decided to treat myself to some stash diving for yarn ideas. now, i am not as stupid as i sound (okay, well maybe i am, but don’t tell me, ok?). i know that the stash closet is a super-danger zone and that i should not go in there when i have other projects and deadlines to finish.
so i decided beforehand what i would look for. i narrowed it down before i even went in. i made a short list of the most pressing sweater projects (we are dreaming here),
- i definitely need at least a big, new,
bathrobeeveryday cardigan (big project, but i have the yarn and i have a handwritten pattern for the old one that i could just modify with a new stitch pattern and higher v-neck).
- i am yearning for a littler cardigan, something i can wear out if i want, but will also not be too fancy that i wouldn’t wear it at home (do-able in DK yarn in a fairly short amount of time, and i know i want it to be red. in fact i’ve been talking about it since last year).
- and if i don’t replace that lightweight pullover soon, it will disintegrate off my body (possibly a tedious project, in fine yarn on small needles; i have lots of fingering yarn but don’t know which one i’d want to use for it).
- a nice new turtleneck to wear with slacks when i do leave the house would be lovely (also very do-able in DK or heavy fingering yarn, since i’ve had something all designed in my head now for a couple of years and have my sizing down pretty well for this kind of piece).
and proceeded in to look for yarns i know will fit the bill (full willpower armor on; blinders for backup. you can’t be too careful). remember we are just scheming here.
we are NOT committing. (you can stop laughing any time.)
there is one more caveat to the yarn search. i need more color.
now that my hair is grayer, my skin is older, and i don’t wear makeup hardly at all any more, i need to wear a little more color to avoid looking tired.
the first thing i reached for (well, i had to move a lot of bins out of the way and actually dive in for this one) is the one i always take out and at least drool over while stash-diving.
my italian cashmere, purchased over ten years ago when david and i were biking there. every year i dream about making it into a sweater and every year, just at the brink of swatching, i pause, wondering if that sweater is what i really want to do with this yarn.
when, what i really need to do, is just get on with it already. i do not want to keep all twelve balls of it as trophy yarn. and the design i have in my head for the turtleneck keeps nagging at me to be made with this yarn. for like, 5 years now.
i think it’s safe to say that the idea is sticking. this one is a definite possibility, but not for the first sweater, which i think should be a cardigan.
speaking of which, i think my little red cardigan needs to be first on the list. i know exactly which yarn i have been planning with in my head.
this is a big batch of grandma’s blessing, custom dyed by briar rose that i have been sitting on for a year. it has been earmarked for the cardigan. for a while i waffled about making it into the replacement for the
bathrobe morehouse sweater, and i still wonder if i ought to use the red yarn for that. it’s washable, and cheerful, so it might be a good choice for an everyday sweater.
okay, this isn’t really decisive. let’s move on.
i have another choice for a cardigan. this batch i bought last year at the
whorehouse morehouse merino shop while were in rhinebeck.
i could make the little cardigan out of this, and save the red for the big cardigan (do you see how stash diving causes dawdling??). this yarn is just to die for—every stitch is a pleasure to knit. and it does NOT pill. even after many years, and machine washing, too, the fabric of my morehouse sweaters continues to be soft and lovely.
but i am torn aobut the big cardigan. i have another special yarn that i am dying to knit with.
handspun, from a lamb named baby spice. it’s DK, and wonderful. the drawback is that it does not have color. but i want it, i want it, i want it. maybe it would be better as a pullover, or a second cardigan, to make later in the year. i also spun some of this into fingering/lace weight, so i have both. but i am hoping to use the lightweight version for a shawl some time.
so now i have to return to my current knitting and think some more on sweaters while i finish up a few things. i am pretty sure the little red or rose cardigan is the one to start with. just have to come up with a definitive design. or maybe the cashmere turtleneck . . .