Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trust and Faith

Sweater pattern knitting is all about Trust and Faith. These are two things of which I am in constant want. Yet I am driven to knit sweaters. Driven, as in obsessively thinking about this and only this when I should be doing any number of things adults need to do to make money and keep a roof over their heads.

(Deep breath taken; slowly exhaled.)

My first two sweaters were disastrous affairs due to my poor choice of materials. They fit physically, but they weren't fit for public consumption. The third sweater was a success and saw many years of useful service until recent evolutions in color fashion have given it a dated appearance. My fourth sweater, though, is a minor masterpiece to me.


No, I had no clue on how to measure yarn gauge, so it does not fit my husband perfectly. And, no, I had no clue how to adjust the cable patterns to account for the shoulder decreases, so the cables on the shoulder look a bit odd in places. But, but, but, I designed the Aran panel myself and I totally winged the design and the construction.

I had, in fact, no clue what I was doing. I just did it. I threw caution to the wind and for all it's faults I will remain forever proud of this project because I took a chance. I put trust in myself and was given faith in return. If you knew me you would know that this was a minor miracle, and a minor miracle that begot a minor masterpiece.

Hubby has been informed he is only a lessee of this sweater. Ownership rights revert to it's knitter upon dissolution of the marriage. I totally reserve the right to be selfish over this garment.

So, sweaters, sweaters, sweaters, sweaters. I'm obsessed and yet I haven't been able to actually find a pattern to hitch my wagon onto. Ideas come and go, swatches are put forth. The swatches, omg, swatches; I am awash in swatches.

Back in September I splurged on a boatload of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Iceberg that had been calling my name for months and months. It is a lovely wool/silk/cashmere blend.


Having worked with a yarn of hers before, one which had the same fiber content, I was prepared to carefully swatch to adequately account for the expected growth. I was still surprised:

she grows and grows

OMG! This swatch is so soft and luxurious I kept it with me at all times for several days. I even fondled it while driving! That's not too crazy, right?

swatching silkroad dk tweed

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I have been musing over two things lately: My sock yarn appetite and my sock production. I'm a little bit amazed that I've knit 11 socks this calendar year.

socks2008 mosaic
1. mosaicfiller, 2. Town Meeting Socks mistake heel, 3. Sarah's Socks, 4. Embossed Leaf Sock, 5. Dad's 70th Socks, 6. Herbed Carrots, 7. Digitessa Too, 8. La Digitessa Socks, 9. Blue Wavering, 10. Christmas Balls Socks, 11. Cornucopia, 12. Seal Rock Socks

What do I see when I reflect back on all these socks? Memory is a funny thing, and the thoughts and feelings associated with each of these socks are no exception.

#12 Seal Rock Socks: I remember navigating the airport on my Christmas trip to Arizona with sock in hand. I remember a full, dull ache of homesickness while riding in the car on the way home after watching Sweeney Todd with my sister and her family.

#11 Cornucopia: I remember all the doubts I had on whether my Aunty Patty would love the colorway as much as I did. I also remember the crunch of ice under my feet as I photographed the socks out on the lawn.

#10 Christmas Balls Socks: I remember begrudging every time the steel grey section of this colorway came up while knitting and how dense the sock fabric was with the size O needles.

#9 Blue Wavering: I remember what a cutie patootie ham hubby was when he modeled these socks for me.

#8 La Digitessa: I remember thinking I'd never finish these socks. The yarn was not only splitty, but fluffy. A truly terrible combination of factors to tackle when learning how to cable without a needle, but learn I did.

#7 La Digitessa Too: I remember thinking I must be nuts because I was dying to knit this pattern a second time right after finishing the first. Once I got over that, I was keenly proud of myself. The first pair didn't get the better of me.

#6 Herbed Carrots: The orange and greens peppered throughout this colorway still make my mouth water. Very odd thing indeed. The colors evoke the metallic tangy flavoring of these vegetable flavored butter crackers I ate once or twice as a kid. Such a weird association.

The most important memory I take away from these socks is the notion that just because you can knit something doesn't mean you should. For example just because it is physically possible to knit a picot trim on a toe up sock doesn't mean it will be worth the effort when you do. Picot edges are better left to a cast-on cuff, rather than a bind-off cuff.

#5 Midnight Derby/Dad's 70th socks: I remember the clicking of my needles as I knit. I also remember sitting and knitting these while resting my sore feet at the Brimfield antique and collectibles fair. The smell of fried foods filled the air.

#4 Embossed Leaf Sock: I remember the powerful urge I felt in casting these socks on. I was not successful in fighting it. I am pretty sure this was the first time I had three socks projects on my needles at one time.

#3 Downpour Boot Socks: I finished these so recently, my memories are all budgied up. Maybe I'll remember my long lost friend asking me if these were my feet in these photo, as she felt she could recognize them anywhere. Considering she hasn't seen my feet in 25 years, the hyperbole was endearing.

#2 Town Meeting Socks: These, too, being recent, I am not sure which memories will stick while others fade. I remember the booth at the Vermont Sheep & Wool festival where I bought the yarn and I remember casting them on to help me get through our fall Town Meeting. The meeting was far longer and far more insufferable than I had expected. These socks kept me focused.


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