Sunday, January 29, 2006

Knitting Projects: New, Old and Interminable

Here is my magnum opus: a top-down sweater knit in single stranded Koigu and using at least 25 different hand-dyed colorways.

Most of the yarn was bought as mill ends at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, an annual truffle hunt/gorge-fest for knitters and spinners. I designed the pattern myself, with copious problem solving from my friend and knitting's National Living Treasure (even though she's only 24 years old), The Magnificent Grace. For non-knitters, a top-down sweater is knit in one piece starting at the neck and then knitting around and around. That way you can try it on as you go to make sure you don't end up with a beautifully knit potato sack.

The colors are even richer than this; the camera flash bleaches them out. There's also some ever present construction dust on the lens. Yes, the construction IS STILL GOING ON.

A little Fair Isle on the sleeve. All the edges will be turned under and hemmed.

The trick with this sweater is that it is never, ever going to be finished. I keep ripping out, perfecting, reknitting ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I have only one more sleeve to go. But now I'm wondering if hemming the edges is really what I want...

Pause to wind a skein.

This is going to be a large wrap to use as a shawl at my freezing desk (where a pane of glass blew out last week). Or I can bundle it around and around over my coat as I stand waiting for the bus.

The yarn is Estelle cashmere, hand-dyed fabulousness. I'm making the design up as I go along, which will keep me interested until it's 7 x 4 feet.

I've got a long way to go.

Pause to cast on.

One of the main reasons for having a baby is the clothes. This baby adorableness will be put aside until one of my 4 god-daughters, currently aged 16 to 30, produces an offspring. I had originally knit it for a friend's baby, but decided after Christmas with the 4 girls and much boyfriend discussion, that I better start building up the baby knitwear stash NOW.

I got the greatest woven labels, surprisingly inexpensive and beautifully made. I live in terror that one of my painfully knitted garments will get lost and end up on an anonymous, unappreciative person, or worse, get left in the gutter to become increasingly filthy and then tossed in a city dumpster. So if any of you ever find a knitted object with this label, EMAIL ME!

Pause to count stitches.

This scarf design is by Mac & Me, a worthy design team of mother and young daughter (young daughter aspires to brain surgeon, or maybe Poet Laureate). The yarn is by Alchemy, 50/50% wool & silk, with no pills and a hand like cashmere.

I think of Alchemy as a couple of pantheistic, Northern California ageing hippies maintaining a religious fidelity to materials. Their hand-dyed yarn colors are out of this world.


Resume knitting.


Blogger rougeau26 said...

I LOVE that sweater! The colorways are so subtle and beautiful. Thanks for all the blogging advice. I've been slacking a little bit lately with updates and such but hope to start back up with it again soon.

10:17 PM  

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