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 …
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.
It began with wanting to knit my daughter a Christmas present. Not being a fan of surprises, I did not want to present my daughter a knitted garment she hadn’t seen. Having to start somewhere in the investigation of what to knit for her, we began with patterns I had saved over the years. Our tastes are different as are our lifestyles, so I did not think she would actually choose any one of these yet I did think these patterns would lend some inspiration. Well, I was wrong. The bear sweater by Tiny Owl Knits stopped her dead. In my queue for a few years, she fell in love with it and visualized hers to be in the colors that are seen in the pattern. I found a great visual to help with the face. The knitting of it was quick and easy; sending it off to her was another matter. She promised me a photo shoot (one day, maybe) so these are the only pics I have of it now.
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 …