Last week my mind did more knitting than my fingers. One reason was that there was quite decent TV on and it eroded my evening knitting time. I actually sat and watched Mansfield Park, the new episode of The Wire, the airing of the movie Breach on HBO, and one of the Oscar-winning movies on the Turner Classic Movie Channel that I’d never seen—Gandhi. Luckily this coming week there is little TV of that caliber, and I can go back to my regularly scheduled knitting.
I did accomplish something noteworthy. I always liked the way Charlene Schurch knitted the heel flaps on her socks, and I managed to follow the very easy directions in Sensational Knitted Socks and do them myself. There is a 3-stitch garter stitch edge on each side of the flap. It gives a neat edge for picking up the gusset stitches and leaves you without the hole at the top. But this is about all I did.
And so my mind began to wander. It occurred to me that the person who has been waiting so patiently for her Norwegian mittens might actually prefer something she might wear before next winter, and in rummaging through my sock yarn box I found this yarn.
It is from Joslyn’s Fiber Farm. Long before I even knew blogs existed and about the time I realized that U.S. sheep farms and fiber artists were offering gorgeous yarn, I bought the book Handpaint Country (copyright 2002). Through this book, I discovered such vendors as Joslyn, Ellen’s Half Pint Farm, and Cherry Tree Hill, and I was able to see and touch some of the yarns at my first trip to Rhinebeck. We’re now so used to seeing yarns like these from so many vendors that it hardly seems possible that the book took my breath away. But it is still a great book to browse, and the vendors listed are still among the best for hand dyed and hand painted yarn. My problem with the yarn from Joslyn is that it isn’t exactly the right color for me (too green for my sallow complexion—I have almost no green clothes), but it is perfect for the person I’ll be knitting for. I also wanted to try one of Cookie A’s sock designs, and so if I get gauge, I’ll use the yarn for Hedera. (The Super Bowl is for swatching. I have to be reasonably quiet so I don’t say anything too dumb, and this will be perfect for tonight.)
But when I get as little knitting as I did this week done, I become dangerous and I drag out projects that really should stay in their plastic boxes. One that has intrigued me for years is this Susan Duckworth design, which I have as a Rowan kit.
I love the 1920s look of this sweater, but it has serious problems. For one, there is only one size and it measures 51 inches across the bust. These kits seem to be designed for someone who is a foot taller than I am and probably bigger boned. Reducing the chest to what probably should be 44” at most for me will require some tinkering with the pattern. The pattern is not set up for these adjustments, and I may have to rechart it. I also suspect the sweater is too long. And I’d prefer fitted or modified fitted sleeves to the drop sleeves. So when I examine the pattern, I see my notes from earlier studies and try to figure out if I’m up to the challenge.
What captivates me most about this is the fabulous yarn. It is a mix of Kid Silk and Rowan DK (this is not the Kid Silk Haze for shawl knitting that is available now—it is a DK weight, probably discontinued). The Kid Silk colors are on the left, and the DK is black and a deep red.
I’d like to knit one of my many Rowan kits this year in an effort to destash, but the amount of work on this one will be more than I’m willing to spend in the next few months. Plus I have Jean Frost’s Devonshire jacket about half done and I would like to get Elsebeth Lavold’s Thora on the needles. Then I know Ed will be asking about Ed-2 (the not-yet-designed sweater in three natural colors of WEBS’ Stockbridge).
Aleta restarted the February Is for Finishing KAL, which got me to finish two ancient UFOs last year. This year I’d like to do the Hedera socks—which although not a UFO is an outstanding obligation. And I’d like to finish Liv (fix the sleeves that are too long). Those are modest goals—or so they seem to be now. If I can only stay focused, I can probably manage it.