Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Daily

The weekly finished sweater motif continues.  Honestly, I can't believe it myself, how fast these things fall from my needles.  I sit down to watch tv [right now, the Olympics.  Shaun White!  I love you!  Epic!  RAD!  I say things like "I want to see Shaun drop into the pipe, then we can go to bed"] and a couple hours later, there's a fully-formed entire item of clothing adding itself to my wardrobe.  I weave in the ends, block it, and cast on something else before the needles have cooled off, and whoo, it is intense, but I am so interested in it right now, and all the patterns look so appealing, and all the yarns look so smooshy and wooly.  My stash calls to me.  It looks like I'm going to have to think about knitting more complicated projects if I'm not going to end up buried under a well-intentioned landslide of handknits.  More on this later as I continue to consider, but thank you very much for all your feedback; it is always welcome.  If you can recommend a pattern that's not wildly intricate--I'm not looking for frustration--but that might take me a little while to make, I would love to hear about it.  Meanwhile, I've noticed there's a difference between something I can wear on a day when I stay home and a day when I have to leave the house.  On a stay-home day, when I can sit on the rug in front of the fireplace with catdog and cook myself until the hardware in my bra starts to heat up, I will be able to wear these ethereal and wafty things that leave half of my arms unprotected.   And I've noticed that when I can do that, I feel a little bit, dare I say, happier?  It's not just the staying home (though I do find that to be pretty wonderful) but the freedom of just putting on one thing, you guys.  I love it.  I look in the closet, think, ooh, here's a shirt.  Add some pants.  I'm dressed.  All the layering up for winter, ugh.  I like to be able to bend my arms and legs freely!  I like to show off my tattoos!   It makes me struggle.  Don't even get me started on socks.  If I had my choice, I would never put socks on again.  My feet wanna be free.  Anyway, this new thing--a modified Gilda, in Holst Supersoft, colorways silver, oatmeal, geranium, saffron, and burnt orange--which I was kind of knitting in anticipation of wearing in the future, is wearable for me now, if I stay home and can be warm enough, thankyouverymuch.  I really love it.  That Holst Supersoft is so compelling, I kind of want to work with it every minute.  The transformation it undergoes with blocking is so satisfying--I think I knit like the wind when I'm using it, just in a race to get to that moment.  So Gilda is good for cozy days at home where I can have the temperature the way I like it.  For other, less indulgent, more realistic days, there is this:
I could not be happier with or more surprised by this result.  Here is my Carbeth, knit in some unlabeled mystery date yarn I bought at Rhinebeck, possibly from Battenkill Farms?  Doc and I tried later to piece together where this came from, and I'm pretty sure that was it.  I have no idea about the fiber content, but it is gorgeously soft and tweedy with flecks (maybe the flecks are silk?  I wish I knew more about this kind of thing) and is a three-ply worsted spun natural brown wool.  It has a weight and density that is immensely satisfying, and I might suspect some alpaca, but since it doesn't make my bare skin feel like it's being chewed on by ants, I don't think there can be any alpaca in it.  If there is alpaca in it, I will have to completely revise my whole anti-alpaca manifesto, because it is a total dream to wear, and it was a total joy to work with.  I kind of like that its identity is a mystery, but in fact, if you were in the Battenkill booth on the Sunday at Rhinebeck, and you were the one who pressed that freebie extra mini skein of this wonderful yarn into my hands, and said, "A gift, from me," I want to thank you very much.  That little gift let me swatch my heart out for this sweater, without fear of running short of yarn. That's the real gift, isn't it?  This sweater.  Okay.  When I first saw the photos of Kate, modeling this new design, I thought, well now.  It looks so cute on her teeny self, but I can't possibly...I don't want to...won't my bellybutton get cold?...and I just kept thinking about it, and coming back to it.  What an interesting silhouette it has.  A lot of other people kept coming back to it, too,because there's a whole knitalong going on at MDK now [start yours today, you've got plenty of time and this pattern could not be easier.  I mean it.] So even though I had about forty reasons not to knit this sweater, I couldn't help it and I knit one.  The gauge of it is enormous, and it only took four days, and whoo!  I can't believe how much I love it.  I did add a little length to the body, in an effort to have the hem hit me at the same place it seems to hit the petite Kate in her sample photos.  I also made the sleeves super long, and the collar super tall, because I am still me after all.  I thought a sweater that was kind of abbreviated in all three of the coverage zones would just feel like a too-small sweater.  I think it made this one work for me, even though I know the cropping is what made the design unique, and mine is just kind of a little less interesting as a result.  As I've mentioned before, if something gets a little too interesting, I probably won't want to knit it or wear it.  This time, though, I was wrong about that, and I might just make another Carbeth.  Actually cropped, this time.  So much for slowing down.    

Monday, February 5, 2018

North Atlantic

That was fast!  I think it took longer to dry than it took me to knit it.  I am in the mania about sweater knitting right now, I don't know how else to put it.  I am so endlessly interested, and actually I feel a little bit driven to it.  I've been trying lately to figure this out, to find out where it comes from and why I am so consumed by sweater knitting, and while I'm not looking for a cure, I'm just wondering.  Because it does mean I have a lot of sweaters, and since I have just the one body and can only wear one thing at a time, it starts to seem like I have too many, and I end up giving a lot of them away.  I don't have a huge wardrobe of anything else, but the sweater shelf in the closet is burgeoning, with no end in sight.  I don't know what to make of this.  Anyway, it's something I'm thinking about.  Probably there will be more about this later.  It seems like this is a conversation a lot of people are having around the interwebs; capsule wardrobes, the 10 x 10 wardrobe challenge, Project 333, Sara Berman's Closet, etc. and I'm still trying to figure out where I'm going to land on all that, given that I really want to live with less, but knitting sweaters is my joy, and that with luck I have many more years of life in which to do it, and have no interest in slowing down.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this subject.  Meanwhile, here is North Atlantic, all finished.  I've worn it twice already, and it is pretty good.  
I used four unrelated yarns from the stash--Wools of New Zealand, Shepherd's Wool, Berrocco, and Patons Classic--and while that was a fun experiment and I love how the colors worked together, the (very slight) differences between them made a little bit of an accordion effect.  I worked the color bands on a larger needle, but they still pull in slightly, and the brown solid stripes pouf out a little around them.  It hasn't bugged me yet, but there's still time.  Anyway, if I were going to make this again--and I totally might--I'd be more careful to use the same base throughout.  
There's still a whole lot of winter left, and I'm glad to have this one.  It's snowing again.  I'm still knitting.