I’ve been pretty sick for the past two weeks. Actually the last three or four days or so I’ve been on the mend. Earlier this week I came down with a bad bout of bronchitis. Which had me laid up in bed resting, taking antibiotics and drinking lots of “Breathe Easy” tea. I honestly think I can’t stomach the stuff anymore, and the smell of it makes me gag.
Yoke Sweater in Araucania Nature Wool
The Tweedy Aran cardigan was abandoned… and the project I remained anonymous to was a top down yoke cardigan out of Araucania Nature Wool (languishing in my stash) from Wendy Bernard’s wonderful book Custom Knits. I really adore this book. Aside from the sweater I just finished I’ve already cued three patterns from it. The instructions are very easy to follow and I like the fact that she give you permission and even instructions on how to adapt the patterns to your desires and needs. This is the kind of Knitting Designer I adore.
I was probably monogamous to this pattern during my illness because it was easy to knit, requiring very little mental strain. Eric joked that a week of sickbed time and I end up with a sweater.
I meant to post my latest raglan earlier but never got around to it. Here it is:
I made the yarn at Yarnia. It’s actually a blend of bamboo and wool. I really did enjoy knitting this sweater. The think about stranded yarns is that you have to be very carful with your tension while your knitting. Adding a strand of sticky wool boucle to this yarn blend actually gave it more of a grip. Also, I have enough of the stuff left over to make a nice scarf or cowl for someone.
Yarnia Raglan Sweater - Wool & Bamboo
Close up of stockinette
I know I said I was going to write about swatching as part of my process in the whole “Raglan Sweater Series” of posts. I lied.
I know a lot of knitters don’t like hearing the “Sermon on the Swatch.” Maybe it’s just part of the lesson. Knitting a whole sweater that doesn’t look or fit right. I’ll be honest. I have had this happen to me… more than once. As a result, I now swatch.
That’s all I’ll say on this subject for now.
I did have time today to swatch a few yarns I’ve been wanting to try… some yarns for spring: a cotton/hemp blend, Silky wool, and a mystery yarn from Yarnia that I purchased at last years Knit & Crochet Show (Fall). It’s a mystery because I lost the tag.
I’m a little worried that the Coto Canapone (cotton/hemp) is a bit heavy and stiff, but I think it will soften up after washing and blocking. I’ve heard some really great things about using hemp and I’ve swatched some pure hemp before. It was a bit too harsh for my liking, and I realized that it would take many washings before I could get it to the softness I wanted. Though perhaps I should think of this as a trade off for the fact that hemp takes a lot longer to wear thin than cotton. Apparently hemp had quite a history as a much used textile until recent times. Perhaps with the economy being as it is… more people will turn to having durable clothing items rather than disposable ones they replace or trash every year.
I’m quite charmed by the Yarnia yarn. Unfortunately the photo of the swatch I took doesn’t reflect the different greens\ and purple shades in this gorgeous yarn. Some people have noted that they find the loosely spun plies difficult and splitty to work with, but I’ve always felt that if you take proper care, even splitty yarn can make nice fabric as long as your knitting on the ‘snug’ side.
From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'
I was also able to finish my pair of Heritage Paint socks for the shop model for my “Toe up Socks” class coming up. I have to say, this yarn is pretty fantastic. I think it’s pretty durable and still fairly soft with no itch. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive and the yardage is huge… 437 yards a skein. I found that the solid colors of this yarn are quite a bargain at around $12-13 dollars a skein. That’s a good price for yarn for handknit socks that should last quite some time.
My "Blueberry" socks in Heritage Paints
Filed under Fibers, Hemp yarn, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Lace, Portland, Portland Knitters, Socks, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Teaching, Techniques, Yarn