I am talking about a recently finished garment, my first of 2018. First due to the nature of my newly single life (adjusting/managing/accepting) but also first due to the intricacies of what was on my needles. In all fairness to the publisher of Vogue Knitting, the pattern was marked as ‘expert’ which means a high level of difficulty to knit, so I guess I was warned. This post is mostly about the technicalities of knitting this particular piece so now I am warning you! Thinking if any of you want to take this on, my notes may serve as helpful. The rule for a project (truthfully, any project whether in knitting or otherwise) is to begin with the end in mind. Before I knitted the first stitch, I thought of how I was going to sew the pieces of fabric together that I would be creating. I decided right then I was going to crochet the sides together which meant adding a selvage edge (an extra stitch on both sides) on all the pieces. So, immediately …
This post nor this project is either big, nor fancy, but writing it is meant as a personal kick in the butt or more politely said, motivation to get MOVING with this adorable project. The always alluring patterns from Tiny Owl Knits are just that, alluring, worked up or just admired on the printed page, the forest themed animals always call to me. This is my very first shawl (and likely last) but that owl . . . could not resist her and will be a lovely addition to the set of forest creatures growing in my hand knits . . . bear (yes, I made two), fawn, and snake (look for cabling around the hem). Now, to get GOING!!! Look at how adorable! Gift yarn to boot! 21 feathers, I need 44. and, body is coming along. . . Let’s see if writing about this project is the kick I need to finish it!
It begins as a knitting project but somehow each garment ends up having a more involved back story. This project was all about finding the right yarn or should I say, the right yarn combination. Fur varsity jacket. As quickly as I could say those words, fur varsity jacket, I was smitten. Vladimir Teriokhin never disappoints and again here I was ready and willing to embark on another one of his designs.
I love pink, especially pale pink. Inspired by Rebecca Taylor‘s color palette as seen in some of her recent collections and the fact that I am making every attempt coordinating the pieces I knit with my existing wardrobe, I thought I would knit myself a kind of mini collection. With my eye on a knitted modern baseball jacket pattern (foreshadowing), I wondered if the other pink yarn I had in my stash might make the perfect complement as a hoodie.
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.
Since being home in retirement, I see, touch, and feel my yarn collection much more than when I was working. In fact, I might even say I avoided looking at my yarn as it seemed to yearn for my attention. Yearning yarn of yesterday has become quite the playmate for today. Corny, but true. Sorting, organizing, thinking, wondering . . . this is what we knitters fill our minds with. I am finding these scrap remnants a fun challenge in how to incorporate them into patterns I love. Here are some recent attempts in three different ways:
This past year, I have made a conscious effort to utilize the growing stash that is forming. I don’t mean the stash of yarn waiting to be worked on with particular projects in mind, I am meaning the remnants or leftovers of yarn from already completed projects. I call the first the stash and the latter, the remnant stash. To help me think how I could utilize these scraps, I have organized them into bins according to their weight. I do not necessarily remember the weight of all the yarn I’ve used therefore I rely heavily on the yarn bands that is full of information about that yarn. I never throw those bands out! When I come across a pattern whereby I think I can use some scraps of a particular weight, I pour those balls of yarn out onto my work table and play. It is in this way that this fair isle coat came to be.
As space is the constant, I continue to ‘play’ with different configurations on how best to store my hand-knits and how best to organize the stash. Consequently, the look in the yarn room keeps changing as I now use one room and its closet for both. Questions I ask myself: How can I store my obsession without looking like a hoarder? How can I see my full stash when it is time for creating? How can I treat my hand-knits to the best care for longevity? Light in the room? And, so forth. In drilling down for answers, I’ve been reading. Topics such as: How do you store hand-knits? Is there a special way to fold sweaters? What shelving and/or containers are best for breathability of natural fibers? I am asking these questions because my hand knits are my wardrobe. I am noticing that when I pull out a sweater I haven’t worn in a while, I am seeing fold marks. Do people steam out those fold marks? Is that healthy for the fibers? Is there a way to …