Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I feel like every time I finish a big project I declare, “This is my favorite handknit ever!” So of course my latest project is my favorite thing ever too. Still, I think a better declaration is in order in this case: “This is the most epically awesome thing I have ever knit!” And it really is.

This project is special in a lot of ways. First, it’s my very first handspun sweater (yarn blogged here). Second, it ended up being something of a mother-daughter project (more on that in a moment). Third, the final sweater fits me perfectly. Fourth, it’s just a really lovely garment from a really lovely pattern, Strokkur. Finally, the pattern's designer Ysolda featured my sweater on her blog! Head over there to see the full story of this sweater and get a coupon code (until Sept 4) for knitting your own Strokkur.

Wow, I'm still getting over the whole "Ysolda featured my sweater on her blog" thing. Where was I with this blog post again? Oh yes, mother-daughter crafting.

I didn't realize until recently how big of a hand that Mom had in this sweater. Not only did she give me the wool but she helped me set and de-grease the yarn. She also played a key role in determining the colors for the yoke, as she both consulted on color choice and dyed the skeins for me. I may have done all of the spinning and knitting, but this sweater would have been very different without Mom's input.

Mom and I often chat about our current projects but I really relish the opportunities to work on something with her in person, whether it is blocking lace or degreasing handspun. She has taught me a lot about working with fiber and always adds to the projects she helps me with. So thanks, Mom, for being a big part of my epic sweater project! And thanks to Ysolda for featuring it on her blog!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Sweater-Sized Lot of Yarn

Like many knitters, I have a significant amount of stash. Some of it is oddballs, left over from a project, and some of it is yarn set aside for a particular project that may eventually be made. And then there are the sweater-sized lots of yarn; I have just a few of these. One lot belongs to a sweater that I started but haven't touched in 6 months, the second is hanging around because I didn't end up liking the pattern it was originally intended for, and the third has been waiting for just the right pattern.

The third sweater lot is something really special: 1500+ yards of handspun that I spun up almost 3 years ago. My original idea was to make it into a Cria sweater, but I decided that a fair isle yoked sweater would be even better. So I had my mother dye 2 of the 8 skeins, one olive green (it came out more golden green) and one brown. Then it became a matter of finding the right pattern.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I ended up picking out a Ysolda pattern for this yarn, her newest pattern Strokkur. I'm still not sure if it's my ideal colorwork pattern, but I don't want to have to come up with my own pattern and I know that any Ysolda design will be a good knit.

So this week I've set to swatching. I'm really happy with how the handspun is knitting up, though I do wish there was a little more contrast between the green and brown in the colorwork section. I guess that's the downside of using hand-dyed yarn, for all of its beauty. But judging by how the rest of the swatching has gone, I can't wait to get started on this sweater!