Thursday, April 11, 2013

Knitting update

Aran sweater

I've picked up the needles again, damned and determined to finish this Aran sweater. What you see in the--crappy--picture above is the back panel, the two arms (with a mistake in one of the seed stitch rows, which I let go because you'll only see it when I raise my arm), and the right side cardigan panel on my circular needles. And woo-hoo, I get to knit the button bands with the panel instead of picking up stitches. "All" that will be left is the left panel with its buttonholes, seaming the shoulders and knitting the neck ribbing, seaming the rest of the sweater, adding buttons, and I'll be done. I'm thinking traditional leather-look embossed buttons for this, though I may go for something non-traditional once I get to WEBS on Monday and am so inspired.

That's right ... the plan is a mother/daughter pilgrimage to Northampton while my son is on spring break. WEBS happens to be having its anniversary sale this month, and all their Cascade 220 is on sale. I want to buy enough in a blush pink for ... another Aran. Yes, I am crazy. But a. I've always wanted a pink Aran sweater after spotting one in Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting and b. I don't plan on knitting this right away because there's something else in the queue.

This. Isn't it lovely? Rarely do I fall in love with a knitting pattern, but I fell hard for the Modern Wrapper. I have small shoulders, which normally would have me running from a pattern like this, but the model seems to have a frame similar to mine and she looks quite comfortable in this. I even love the color and plan to knit a jewel-tone purple one for myself. Weirdly enough, I'm not a "purple person," even though colors with names like "eggplant" and "plum" are very flattering to my complexion/hair. I priced out the yarn for this, though -- 14 balls of Rowan Fine Tweed and 6 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze came to $130 and some change, not including shipping. Yikes!  So I may have to make a yarn substitution to keep costs within reason.

As a palate cleanser between projects, I plan on knitting a few pairs of socks. I miss my sock knitting dreadfully. My stepmother has been diagnosed with Reynaud's Disease, which causes loss of blood flow to her fingers and toes. She is now a big fan of my handknit wool socks, which keep her feet cozy warm. It's nice to have someone in my family I can knit for, especially knowing that the product will actually help her stay healthy. :-)

The second episode of the Great British Sewing Bee was posted on YouTube this morning, which I watched over lunch. Oh, I wish the show was longer than four episodes! I really like all the remaining contestants, but I guess I'm rooting a little for Ann because she's 81 and a total rockstar. One thing that bugs me about Project Runway here in the U.S. is the bias toward contestants, especially female, if they're over 40. I even noticed it with one of the most successful over 40 contestants, Laura Bennett, who was frequently called out for designing clothes that were too "matrony." I wish fashion designers would realize that not everyone wants to dress like an 18-year-old. Heck, not every 18-year-old wants to dress like an 18-year-old! Favorite line from Ann: "Can you imagine a boy in pair of jeans his mum made? No, thank you! Imagine the horror!"

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