Copper

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I have been very grateful for a little online thread on Ravelry set up by a fellow knitter and avid fan of Vogue Knitting, coilycurly.   This knitter, to honor Vogue Knitting’s 35th anniversary, has set up what she is calling the “Anniversary Challenge”.  According to the ‘rules’,  contestants are to knit one project from the VK magazines, from each decade since the publication’s start, from the years ending in 7.  That would be a total of four projects to fulfill the challenge and at the same time, honor the magazine for its longevity in bringing high fashion and current designers to the forefront.

I am particularly grateful for this challenge due to the fact that my knitting has been the one constant through this time of care-taking.  It’s portable, offers conversation away from medical talk, soothes nerves, and provides a bit of homelike atmosphere.  Where I’ve had to let scheduled activities go by the wayside (temporarily), the knitting is solace.  The Vogue Knitting challenge is perfect as it is motivating and the girls are talkative and supportive and are every bit the enthusiast I am when it comes to wanting to knit fashionably.

It was easy to pick out the four I would be knitting.   My choices came quite naturally and really reflect a range of skill (for variety of knitting) and are chosen with styles that are complimentary to me.

Then there was the Yarn Auction of the Buffalo Knitting Guild.  Over 100 bundles lined the tables on either side of our space for this very fun, annual event.  It’s like a win/win as it provides members a way to clean out their stash, and then re-build it with ‘new’ yarn for new ideas, through bidding.

As I perused the yarns, telling myself I was NOT going to make a purchase, this copper sport weight with vintage bands called to me.  No yardage markings, I thought it perfect for one of my four for the challenge.  Bidding came, $2.00 bid called out, no other voice was heard, the bundle was mine.

I was also drawn to this yarn due to these yarn bands.  Just look at them.  I can barely throw them out due to their vintage nature.  I remember in my early days of knitting, Brunswick was about the only yarn available.  And yes, the yarn is 100% acrylic.  I wonder if people ever actually used the edging of the band as their tool for measurement.

This was the perfect portable project.  Once your personal gauge is had and the stitch learned, you are pretty much home free.  Yards and yards of repeat, it really falls into the category of ‘tv watching knitting’.  For me, it was the project for the hospital visitations.  If this yarn could talk, it would be describing sights of the unfashionable kind.

On the project itself, let’s just say the size of people this designer was designing for were pretty teeny.  My project is a size L +.  I had to change needle size  to get stitch gauge however I did not get row gauge.  So, with the shaping along the side, I followed the schematic’s inches then had to create my own number of rows so the increases and decreases fell at points appropriate for my body.   Also, I re-arranged the neck stitches so the ribbed pattern was even on both sides (pattern was otherwise).

The zipper and belt buckle were amazingly found in my stash.  “The key to installing a zipper is to make sure you knit an edge around the opening where you are going to install the zipper,” says Deborah Newton in her Finishing School, A Master Class for Knitters.  The pattern had different directions.  “Different edgings will allow the zipper tape to show more or less, according to your preference.”  “Hand sew the zipper, with the right side facing you, placing your hand stitching in the ditch where the edging meets the fabric.”  I can’t imagine any zipper installation looking more professional than this.

With the kindness of a neighbor, knit-enthusiast, fellow Raveler, and friend as substitute photographer, Caroline and I trooped around the historic Darwin Martin House to catch the fine architecture of the building as it so reminded me of the stitch of the project.  I thank Caroline for her willingness to give time and skill in photography in helping me share this project with you.

The pattern is from Vogue Knitting Winter 1996/1997, designed by Hitoshi Okoshi.   It will serve as a fun item to wear in the Fall and is my first entry into this Challenge.

A tunic for jeans, as well I am imagining. . .

A bit of a view of the Buffalo landmark. . .

8 comments on “Copper”

  1. Absolutely fantastic. I love all of it – that you found this perfect challenge, that you made the sweater from vintage yarn that might otherwise have gone into landfill, and that the end result is so YOU! Chic and fun. The colour is perfect on you and goes so well with your hair. I look forwards to seeing the other three projects in your challenge, and I’m so pleased that your friend has proved to be a good collaborator for your photo shoots. I do hope things on the home front are getting just a bit easier, even if slowly. Onwards! (to quote Elizabeth Zimmermann)

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    1. Yikes! What a thought! Yarn in a landfill. So sad! Hey, Christine. . . I must tell you that on the state flag of New York, it says “Excelsior”. That is Latin for Onward and Upward so yes, recovery is in that direction and yes, slow. We’re not out of the woods however, every day shows a bit of progress towards life as we know it. Thank you for your kind words.

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  2. Holly, that is one of the best ones yet – so simple, so elegant, and all those little details – like a PERFECT zipper. It looks fabulous on you.

    As soon as I saw that band, I remembered knitting with that yarn from my grandmother’s supply. She didn’t really have a stash as we know it today, but she OF COURSE saved her leftovers, and that is what I learned with.

    And to think you got it for $2. :-) Did you get any other gems?

    I hope the caregiving is going better and that he is closer, as you hoped last time we wrote…

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    1. Yes, everything did fall right for this project. Thank you for your nice thought. How ironic when it was knitted in such a horrid time. I do not associate it with horrid, however but rather a symbol of a life change, when I can give back to another, and there certainly is nothing wrong with that! Yes, you and I began knitting relatively at the same time; those bands are priceless! No other gems as I really am not shopping for yarn at this time. Caregiving vs. care taking . . . now I wonder if I am using the wrong term. It is in full swing, whichever term you choose. Hubby is in strength and conditioning now but we are both tentative, guarded, yet appreciative of where he is.

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      1. As a symbol of a life change, it is a great sweater. Simple when you were dealing with complicated. Vintage yarn and pattern when you were dealing with new. I like it.

        So glad to hear he is at the strengthen stage of recovery. He will get home and another new phase will begin.

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        1. Sarah, I cannot tell you enough how much I love this comment, so thank you. I am always looking for the juxtaposition of opposites. My favorite photos are of beautiful soft yarns and stitches against cold stone, cement, or other debris of that nature. Color opposites, etc. So, I am thinking on how to ‘borrow’ your words in some kind of meaningful way.

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