Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cleanse

 

Swiftly on the heels of knitting small yarn with small needles came this; a speedy little cardigan in worsted weight on biggish (US 8) needles. It was done in a big hurry. This was kind of a palate-cleanse, if you know what I mean. Something plain and fast and already sussed out by somebody else. Just let me knit something easy. It was calming. Just what I was looking for. The pattern is here.

This yarn (I'm pretty sure it's Cascade 220 in some kind of Hershey Bar colorway--the labels are, of course, long gone) had already been knit into most of two other sweaters, and then unraveled again when I realized I didn't like either of them, and I actually wasn't sure I liked the yarn anyway, but there it was in the stash when I decided I wanted a small brown cardigan (to go with a dress I haven't made yet) and it's chocolatey-goodness seems just right for right now. It goes with a lot of my stuff. Which must be why I bought it to begin with.

 

I'm on a big sweater-knitting jag right now [thank you all, by the way, for your lovely comments last week--the Shelter, colorway "Hayloft", is going to be a Levenwick by Gudrun Johnston, and I totally rushed to finish this little cardigan so I could get started on that. It should be done in a jiffy, too--nothing but sleeves and button bands still left to knit!]

So many sweaters (that word, ugh) stacking up like cordwood has meant I've had to donate a some things, including some handknits, to make room in the closet. Manu (knit in the wrong yarn and, let's face it, gum-colored) and Marilyn (really too big for me) went in the bag and will hopefully make somebody else happy. Something deep inside me would love to KonMari this whole place and get rid of stuff so I could live an ascetic life of tea leaves and minimalism, but it just isn't my way. All the other somethings inside me would hate it. I am a collector, of yarn and clothes and folk art and bones and other oddities, and I like me. But there is limited space in the closet, and if I want to keep making things, I have to keep making room.

It's not that hard to give these things up, I find. Making them is most of the fun, and then if they never get worn, it's okay to say goodbye. There are so many things I still want to make! Onward.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunny Sunday

 

We have brunch on Sundays, because by the time we finally get up, it's way past time for breakfast. We find the darkest possible roast coffee and make a pot in the french press. He chooses two cups to suit the morning--today, delicate, flowery ones for the first day of Spring [Whoopee! Welcome, Spring. I have missed you so much] and brings it to the table on a tray, and we sit, sipping and mumbling about our dreams, sharing the songs stuck in our head (I can't remember any of it anymore) and laughing at my disheveled hair and his beard sticking out at a 90 degree angle.

Catdog gets a bath, which she loves. She sits down in the warm water, lifts a leg for me to wash, then lifts the other. Leans up with her damp muzzle to lick me in the face. Later, she snoozes by the fireplace, her face pretty much completely pressed against the glass. The sun shines on my knitting.

 

The sun shines on my life, really. On everything.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Nenna: a cardigan for somebody else

I don't do a lot of knitting for other people. I admire those who make hats for the women's shelter and baby blankets for the hospital, but it's never been my way, and after one too many comments from people I barely know along the lines of "You should knit me a scarf/hat/sweater/blanket" I developed a policy: unless I gave birth to you, or you gave birth to me, I will probably not knit something for you. It's nothing personal and it doesn't mean I don't like you, but I have a long list of things I already don't have time to do, and I knit for joy and it just isn't joyful to knit on command. I violate this policy occasionally to make things I feel like making for the people I really love, but it doesn't happen very often. So when my mama asked me to knit her a sweater, I checked the policy, felt around inside my grinchy heart to see if would bring joy, and said yes.

After what seems like an unusually long time--I started it right after christmas--her Nenna cardigan is finally finished. I found out that knitting something that somebody else picked out, even if that something is interesting, unusually constructed, made of soft and pleasing yarn and is otherwise engaging in almost every way, is a little bit hard for me to focus on. I guiltily knit the entire Antler pullover feeling all the while like I should have been spending that time on this, wondering if Mom was sitting around shivering and watching her mail, and worrying that it would be summer before I finished it, or that it would take me so long to get it done that she would stop caring or give it up for dead and buy a sweater at the store. Fortunately for some, it will snow again this weekend, so she might be able to wear it once or twice before the heat comes along. Looking on the bright side! I also worried incessantly that it would be too big/small/long/short/etc. but it fits her beautifully. Measure, measure, measure. And swatch. And measure some more. And block. It's your only hope.

 

 

 

I tried to capture the color, which proved impossible. This is Berroco Vintage DK in the beautifully bright "Elderberry", a pinkish-purple that's not strictly fuchsia, exactly, and not quite pink or purple either. It's an indescribable color, the color of elderberries, I guess. I've never seen an elderberry so I can only assume.

None of these are the right color. You'll just have to guess. Mom chose the yarn, and it looks great on her. She has that enviable rosy-cheeked coloring of Snow White, so she wears these jewel tones with the greatest aplomb. As for me, I'm a pasty little chicken and all my clothes are gray.
In fact, the startling discovery that there's hardly anything at all in my closet that isn't gray led me to start planning and scheming and buying All The Yarn.
Not gray. These colors will be the most wildly exuberant thing in my wardrobe. Some of it is already on the needles.
 
 
 

 

 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Antler, finished

 

I finished something! It turns out that if you work on stuff, it eventually gets done.

This is the famous Antler pullover by Ankestrick (pattern here). I really think this is my favorite thing I've ever knitted.

It doesn't hurt that the yarn is the sumptuous Madelinetosh Sock in "Charcoal" with contrast from Periwinkle Sheep "The Witch's Brew". I am so influenced by color names and would have bought that one regardless, but that color! So Lemongrassy. Get in my stash!

Look at that contrast color glow! So great. Gray with neon yellow is one of my most favorite combinations.

What I learned:

1. Knit with the Tosh. It is Worth It.

2. My hair is not getting any longer, just more coiled up. I only know this by looking at myself in a photo, and cannot see it in the mirror. Odd, this phenomenon. Also, the hair is still furzly, despite my treating it with all the tenderness and care you would give a human baby. Furzly hair is my fate.

3. Comfy, baggy, faded mom jeans should be recycled. Come on, self. This pullover deserves better.