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How to Get Busy October 7, 2010

RachaelHerron: “I have that feeling that I get in fall — that there’s not enough time to make all the socks/sweaters/shawls I want to own right NOW.”

I read this this morning with my coffee and went “that’s Me!”

I am infected. It has totally gone over to sweater weather here in the Midwest and I can’t work fast enough – the ideas and projects are just pumped up.

chic knits wip

For a few days, I have a little time off from ye olde day job so I decided to put that to some good use. No Matter what one has in one’s closet, there’s always room for

chic knits wip 2Chic Knits Big BlueThings wear out. Things feel different. Tastes change.

My wardrobe, for years, has been dominated by what I’ve called sassy classics, so it’s mostly sweaters that have seen better days that are the big good-byes over here, not some buried flash in the pan (except for this which gets worn about 4 times a year in the coldest weather in January. It’s made from vintage super bulky yarn and is very very warm…)

The new things on my needles fall into two camps: little cardis and little cardis. That’s two camps you say? And you’re right!

Camp One is my bonne forte: Stockinette St! I’m starting to wonder if there is so much generational knitting imbedded in my DNA that it just feels like something my hands should be doing at all times. I’ve read about family knitting in Ireland – where everyone carried around a sock-in-progress and knit whenever they weren’t in motion or sleeping. (I especially like thinking of the “guys” down on the “corner” with the pipes smoking in the cool fall air and hands busy on the needles.) And I love going round and round; I love purling back!

So it’s no surprise that two of my personal fall sweaters are St st where I’ll get plenty-o done in a multi-tasking kind of way (erm, is television multi-tasking?). The body of the grey sweater is done and so is the right side front band, with button-holes. I like to “bribe” myself with the finishing – will do the other band and neckband after a sleeve is finished, which is next in line.

My pet/reward sweater, the turquoise ultra alpaca, has an almost finished yoke. The fabric this yarn makes is awesome – rich in tone and dense to feel, but lightweight.

Camp Two: then there’s this slightly yellow sweater…

And this is something that is giving me great pleasure, although it is taking a bit of time to come together (meaning rippage, re-do, rippage) to get quite right. I don’t think folks realize sometimes how much time a designer spends ripping and re-doing. Even things that look simple can take many tries to get it right. For instance, I knit the Maximus cowl six times to develop the pleasing proportion needed when using a super bulky yarn. Stuff just doesn’t spring into being; it needs to be crafted and refined.

The sweater is made using some deep-stashed yarn from awhile back, a RYC offering called CashCotton, in the color Hessian. Now, this was also “reward yarn” that arrived for my birthday in 2006, and I remember being enthralled to the idea of this fiber blend, but mostly excited by its color: a heathered light yellow with an intriguing blend of fibers living within – 35% Cotton, 25% Nylon, 18% Angora, 13% Rayon, 9% Cashmere! How they do that???

In the knitting, it feels a lot like cotton (with some fuzzy from the angora) which makes a more crisper than expected fabric. (Which was a little surprising.) And, of course, it is discontinued…

So I’m on the lookout for a new DK yarn to try for this design that has a nice softness, (without the “cashmere” hoohah, snark) that has that combination of hand and silght drape that will make this design perfect. Is it out there?

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