Needless to say, there will be sewing and knitting and this summer, my express goal is to learn new skills. The leather bag is one sewing project (techique: sewing with leather). Completion of the Rosie top (one that fits) is another (technique: fitting woven bodice sloper).
As it happens, I am overwhelmed with creative ideas. Maybe it's on account of moving from the kind of dead winter that wracked the back off of my century home (let's not talk about what that entails and how much it's likely going to cost to fix) into a spring that still feels a bit like winter (but with more light). Maybe it's because I haven't had a headache - of any description - for 3 months, the longest I've gone without being addled with head pain in more than three years.
I'm loath even to mention that because I cannot bring myself to get attached to a pain-free head. But just to keep it real, in the exact moment my headaches disappeared (on a dime), I discovered a new symptom on the bumpy road of perimenopause. I've been dealing with rather wretched digestive issues that impinge on my physical freedom in a totally new-to-me way. Estrogen balance influences serotonin levels and serotonin lives mostly in two places: the brain and the gut. On the plus side, everyone agrees that it's better to go from having crushing migraines to digestive misery than the other way around. And we have a game plan for dealing with the latter.
But I digress...
Here's the sweater I'm knitting right now:
|Aisance by Kristen Johnstone|
This is another yarn hog pattern - one which I have not cheaped out on. I've gone with this silk-merino blend:
|Shibui Staccato in Caffeine|
On the topic of local sourcing, the three of us got this yarn from Ewe Knit (our LYS) which stocks an array of colours (intriguingly, at the best price we've been able to find for the brand). Claudia, the owner, has special-ordered out-of-stock colours for Andrea and Sara, which is why I've got the head start.
A couple of things I'll say about the Aisance:
This pattern is delicious to knit - a bit interesting, but not overly. Perfect for TV or chatting with friends... I will say, however, that I wish I hadn't followed the directions at the start - those for making the neckband. As far as I'm concerned, provisional cast on is a terrible method to use with rib - as, by nature, it always creates a jog in stitches (see this useful post for information about why that's the case). You won't notice it with blocked stockinette, but this method is totally observable on the rib back-neck of this sweater - in much the way a seam would be. Mind you, at least a seam would make the join strong! Furthermore, this method means that one creates two different slip-stitch edges on each side of the cardigan - something that offends my sense of order completely. I've strongly recommended to Sara and Andrea to simply seam the centre back,which will mitigate both of these issues. Too late for me, alas.
Re: provisional cast on - and I taught myself to crochet for the privilege of completely irritating the crap out of myself - I can imagine that there are times when this method is just the thing. However, I think those times are far and few between. I've used it twice in the 3 years I've been knitting and I've been unimpressed both times...
Having said all of this, I do appreciate the way the sweater comes together - not dissimilarly to the Svalbard in its construction (though FAR more easily). You don't need to knit the band at the end - a very tedious way to finish a sweater, I assure you - instead you knit it as you go. And the back of the sweater has both rib stitch and shaping, to give it an excellent stability and an elegant line. I'm really hope I called the size right, and that this finished garment will become a summer staple.
Today's questions: What are your thoughts about provisional cast on (doing it, the result it achieves etc.)? What do you think of this sweater pattern? And have you worked with Shibui yarns? Thoughts or feelings? Let's talk!