Tuesday, March 27, 2018
this project knit by Clare Shaw, and also with some elements inspired by the Golden Wheat cardigan by Veera Valimaki (which I am also knitting at the moment, and which is almost finished now, too.) The buttons came from the stash, too, and were probably thrifted. As I was sewing in the [many jillions of] ends, Doc said, “Sometimes it amazes me how you can take nothing and turn it into something.” I made this with castoffs and leftovers. That feels pretty good.
Monday, March 19, 2018
Winter is really hanging around. For some of you, too, I’ll bet. Doc and I walk at night, trying to blow out some cobwebs, but we keep finding ourselves trudging into the teeth of yet another snowstorm, with a flickering, dying flashlight and our glasses completely coated with ice. Once, we had to navigate home by nothing but our farmer neighbor’s pole light, because we could not see the road we were walking on, and our outbound footsteps had already filled in. Another time, we both pointed at the ground and together said, “Watch out for that ice” at the same time as we both hit the ice and then flailed wildly for traction, grabbing each other and cartoonishly trying to stay upright. Funny, but tiresome, too. For me, snow fatigue sets in sometime in late December, but I still have to go outside. I just want to walk in a straight line on a dry path without fear for my aging bones. Wear grippy boots and all the handknits at once, and laugh; that’s all I can do.
I’ve been knitting like it’s my j-o-b. This latest finished sweater is a modified version of Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Branches and Buds pullover from the first issue of Making magazine. I’ve wanted to make this ever since it came along, and I had some—but not quite enough—of the required yarn, and nothing for the contrast yoke, so it kept getting shelved. Then my beautiful daughter’s beautiful girlfriend gave me some perfect yarn for Christmas—Acadia from The Fiber Co. in the teal/gray colorway “Butterfly Bush”—just right for the colorwork in the yoke of this design, so I decided to see if I could squeak it out. The pattern calls for Quince and Co. Chickadee, a sport weight yarn, and I had some (in “Frost”) in the stash, but was two skeins short, so I made every effort I could think of to conserve yardage, including saving all the long ends, and also making no swatch. (That’s right, you heard me. Flying without a net!) This sweater is worked top-down, so I made the yoke in the smallest size, and then made the body even smaller than that, and shortened the length in the body and in the sleeves. I measured obsessively, and watched the diminishing ball with mounting confidence that I would certainly run out. To my amazement, I did not run out, but only because this is the most abbreviated Branches and Buds ever. This is the barest minimum Branches and Buds I could possibly have made. It doesn’t even have the buds—maybe I’ll add them eventually. I kind of like it without them. It is a shortie top, good for spring, or for wearing underneath another layer. I’m thinking of it as a shirt.
I didn’t have much yarn left in the end, which feels like a measure of success. This is such a nice pattern, and these are both such wonderful yarns, and I’m so glad it finally figured out what it wanted to be. I’ll wear this a lot, eventually. I realize I am doing a lot of optimistic knitting. Spring will come, eventually.
Last week, I took a long look at the state of my hair and just snapped. Despite my giving those curls all the care and attention you would lavish on a human baby, and despite the protective measures against sun and wind and drying, and despite all the fancy products money could buy, they just looked and felt like straw and I couldn’t take it anymore. I loved them too, but guys, they were not serving me. So off they came, and I just feel So. Much. Better.
Monday, March 12, 2018
photo awhile back that made my wheels start turning, and this week I got out the sock yarn scraps and dumped them onto the table to see if I could do something like it. I love this part, the beginning of a project. The creative part.
This is my lightly modified Branches and Buds Pullover—modified because I don’t have very much of that gray yarn (it’s Quince and Co. Chickadee in—I think—“Frost”; this poor yarn has tried to be so many different things, and has been unraveled so many times. It is kinked up like an old Slinky. I hope this sweater will be its forever home). It’s no good counting all my projects in progress, because there are so many it would just be stressful, but I’ll just say this: there are a lot of them, way more than I would like, but there is always, and always will be, a fresh idea, just waiting to be explored. This is my medium, and for the sake of the creative process, I am willing to let a few things languish for awhile. There are at least four sweaters that I can think of, all at the same place—the plain part, headed down the body or awaiting stockinette sleeves. The fun part of all these is done, and now I just need a good Netflix binge to make some headway. Any ideas? What are you watching?
Monday, March 5, 2018
here) knit from my stash in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock “Gossamer” and Zen Yarn Garden Superfine Fingering “Kind Hearted”. The “Kind Hearted” says it’s a One of a Kind, but I see at least seven other projects on Ravelry using it, so I don’t know. Anyway, it is one of those sublimely beautiful multicolored skeins I always fall for but then don’t know how to use. This little sweater has solved that problem for me.
Watching those colors unfold and stack up next to each other was such a pleasure. This is the best use of multicolored sock yarn I can imagine. I am scouring the stash for more options now.