For all the time I spend making things, very little ever gets made (or mended) for me. I may sew for a living, but my wardrobe is riddled with holes, frayed cuffs, and is frequently held together with safety pins. In what was quite a departure for me, as well as an excercise in discipline, I decided to both knit down my stash and be the beneficiary of the enterprise.
My sweater is off the needles, though yet to be blocked— and it needs it. It is something of a bastardization of the beautiful Hiro pattern. I used inappropriate yarn, lengthened the cuffs and added thumb holes, widened the collar, eliminated any waist shaping. I still plan on adding pockets, but I haven’t decided where or what style yet. I made it ridiculously large to wear cross country skiing over leggings finished just in time for — ummm— spring.
A number of years ago I came across a pattern for a simple baby kimono. There were a lot of things I liked about it, but there were also a lot of things I didn’t. I’d been brooding over how a kimono I designed would differ for quite some time before I finally put pencil to paper and needles to yarn. The beautiful Cumbria by The Fibre Co helped spur things along. As soon as I had sample in hand, my head started whirring with the possibilities. Finally, after many stops and starts. Knits, tinks, knits, tinks, pencil scratches, recalculations, tear outs it has all come together and my newest pattern is now available in my shop.
I’ve always been a texture girl, and Cumbria excels in its stitch definition. I really wanted to create an interesting visual and I’m a sucker for a YO. After much fiddling, I devised an all over eyelet pattern I was happy with. The other thing that I really wanted to achieve with this piece was beautifully finished edges that did as they were told. No rolling or buckling or bad attitudes. I-cords came to my rescue at every start, stop, and turn. From the cast-on, certain bind offs, and all along the neckline I-cords were my design friend. It took a bit of re-work of the traditional I-cord edge to accommodate the quick decreases along the neckline, but tiny little short rows did the trick. I really couldn’t be happier with how the whole thing came out and am already working designs for companion pieces and variations for different skill sets.
I’ve also stocked my shop with three beautiful shades of Cumbria to get you started knitting right away!
The other day I was perusing a yarn store looking for a suitable candidate to mend a sweater for a client. While staying on task, my eye did not fail to notice a sample scarf knit up on the first display. Despite the fact that it was knit in the yummiest of cashmere yarns, what really got my attention was the stitch pattern. But I was short on time with things to do. I filed it away for further consideration later. That didn’t work. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and kicking myself for not spending more time examining the delicate lace. It’s at times like these that you head to Barbara Walker’s Treasuries. What would we do without them??
I’ve started an intriguing new habit lately. I know you are all shocked to hear that I spend a great deal of time knitting, but a whole new ritual has taken shape. I wake 5:30 or so, stumble to my coffee, and totter back to bed. Then the knitting comes out. Not the buntings on order, mind you. These precious morning knitting sessions are reserved for the projects on tiny needles requiring time and patience and the solitude of either early morning mists or slowly waking rays of rosy sun. The birds wake to the steady click, click, click of my needles and while the sun rises, my knitting slowly but surely descends from my needles.
It should come to no one’s surprise that when I say that I need to knit down the stash or de-stash it is really me just readying an excuse to buy more yarn. “It’s a mental illness,” to quote a friend. Yep. And I’m refusing therapy.
This week the studio is filled to the brim with my first shipment of Manos del Uruguay yarns. I’m thrilled to be carrying so many beautiful skeins and am itching to begin designing with my new fiber friends. Somehow I ended up grown up enough to be showing a little bit of restraint, though. I’m intent on finishing up the pattern for the Fisherman’s Bunting, a project that requires much counting and my wrists are filing complaints against cables, but even still my days are busy with no idle hands and my imagination is running wild with new designs to come.
Things happen when I’m home alone on a Sunday. Getting dressed involves an oversized sweatshirt from high school and leggings. Not feeling particularly well put together, I decided to accessorize. My needle doodles turned into leg warmers, and I can assure you that once my ensemble was completed, I was way cuter. You can be, too, because the pattern is ready!
New England winter Sundays are designed for cozying up. Leggings, slouchy sweatshirt, and socks so thick they have no hope of fitting into any shoe save my husband’s. It may not be my most attractive of days, but my soul glows in the quietude. I doodle on the the needles–my term for starting to tease out a new knitting design– I read, I ponder the wonderful delicacies I’d make for dinner if I didn’t spend so much time at my hooking frame, and I look forward to snuggling into my favorite chair by the fire tonight with my book, dogs softly snoring at my feet.