Friday, 31 January 2014


So while I was working on the Verchères pullover, I got to a point where I couldn't work in front on the TV without miscounting and having to rip out everything I had done in an evening. So I started something new. The criteria is that it had to be simple enough that I could watch TV while knitting, but not so dull that I lost interest.

It's a funny thing with varigated yarns - they always look so stunning in the store and I tend to buy them on spec. but when I get them home I'm stumped as to what to do with them. What can I make that will show off the colours but will still allow a pattern to show?

This pattern is CashSilk Fern by Sweet Georgia Yarns and is knit in CamelSpin by Handmaiden. I really like the 'hand feel' and drape of the fabric this produced; its easy to maneuver and tie, yet heavy enough to be a substantial winter scarf.

I used one skein to make this.  Finished dimensions are 10" by 66".
Best part is the pattern is free!  Get it here.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Verchères en violet

This has been a long time in the making, I bought the yarn for this (Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk, 85% merino, 15% mulberry silk)  in July 2013 and started working on a pattern in the Amy Herzog book "Knit to Flatter". However, by the second sleeve, I knew that I wasn't in love with that sweater (though I learned a lot about sweater construction and how to custom fit for me so it certainly can't be considered a waste of time). This is the sweater that is on the cover of the Winter 2014 Interweave Knits - Verchères Pullover.

Since I had a sweater's worth of yarn in a colour I liked, I didn't even try to get the suggested yarn. However, my gauge was different enough that I had to recalculate all the stitch counts. I consider it a small mercy that my row gauge was exactly the same.

I also discovered the zen of sewing seams. Because this texture or pattern is horizontal, it is very unforgiving of any errors in the side seams, or under the sleeves. The pattern must match at the seams exactly, or else errors would be highly visible.

The other thing I discovered is I'm really not as young as I like to think I am and I had to wait for a sunny day when I was at home in order to do this work. The dark yarn was too hard to see at night - even with a good light. I also learned the value of basting in the sleeves to set the location and then sewing properly after. What this gives me is a sweater that moves with me, and doesn't bunch up under the arms even though it has about an inch of negative ease.

Friday, 24 January 2014

In the Meantime

There has been no progress on the sweater because I'm having trouble finding buttons. More specifically, I have an idea in my head of what kind of buttons I want and I'm having trouble finding those. And to be perfectly honest it's too flippin' cold to go shopping for something as mundane as buttons. The fact that I need the sweater now, when it's cold isn't lost on me though - I may have to settle for "interim" buttons until I find what I really want.

So in the meantime, I've been working on something else. I've had this yarn for about two years now and have been wondering what to do with it.

This is Camelspin by Handmaiden and is 70% silk and 30% camel.  I'm not sure of the colourway (because it is never marked on the tag) but I think it might be Nova Scotia.  While I was working on the sweater I got to a point where I needed to do a lot of counting and to really pay attention to what I was doing and decided (after I ripped out three inches of a sleeve for the second time) that perhaps it was no longer suitable for TV knitting.  So I started a scarf.

Curiously, knitting a lace pattern in front of the TV was easier than what was essentially knit 1 row, purl 1 row and increasing two stitches every 4 pattern repeats.  The scarf is about 48" long now - the plan is to knit until I run out of yarn.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

One in Five...

I wasn't sure I was going to post about this but then at the last minute I decided to go ahead and do it.  I feel I owe you all an explanation for where I've been, and where all the knitting is.

I've been here since last spring which was the last time I was posting regularly but I haven't done much knitting. Or spinning. In fact, I haven't been doing much of anything. I'm not talking or participating in online forums (not even reading many of them anymore); I didn't take care of my garden last year after planting it so had a poor harvest (except onions - I had great onions). I'm not participating in much of anything anymore. Except sleeping - and even that has been of poor quality.

So it was with mixed feelings that I received a diagnosis today of severe depression and anxiety. Mixed because nobody wants to be ill or hear that there is something wrong with them, but now that I know what the problem is, I can do something about it.  And that is a powerful place to be - at least that is what I'm telling myself.

As for the knitting, I made socks for people for Christmas this year and a hat for my son for Yule.  And once all the obligatory gift knitting was done, I stood back and looked at what I had for myself.  If you recall, I had been working on Flutter by Amy Herzog.  I was finding the pattern to be a bit of a slog but I pushed through and was halfway through the second sleeve when I accepted that deep in my heart of hearts, I wasn't in love with the sweater (though I adore how it is constructed).  And then I received the latest issue of Interweave Knits and categorically had to have the Verchères Pullover on the cover.  So I took Flutter off the needles, unravelled the half sleeve and cast on for the new sweater.

And it's almost done.  I need a few buttons so I can place the buttonholes on the placket and then put the neckband in place. This feels like a bit of a milestone - the first thing in a long long time that I've cared about enough to finish.