Hooray for sunshine! And the return of knitting mojo!
After the craziness of the beginning of 2018 (but mostly February/March!) it's been wonderful to slide into April and take a breath. It's also been amazing to finish a few things. There's nothing quite like finishing a project for helping to recharge your joy with knitting.
In my case, I finished two projects over the Easter holidays - so really kicked this quarter off right! First up: Winter Dawn by Tabetha Hedrick. This pattern was originally a bit of an MKAL as the pattern was provided in snippets as part of the SweetGeorgia Yarns Advent calendar last year. The calendar came with 20 x 10g mini skeins and you just kept joining the new colours as the old one ran out. Very meditative once I got into it but I was a bit stressed initially about make the pattern come out "just so".
My gauge did end up being a bit off so I made some adjustments later on by doing fewer garter ridges before the eyelet border so that I would have enough for that and the bind off. It meant I had to fudge a bit on the first eyelet row but I don't think it's noticeable and I had more than enough yarn for the bind off. Win!
When I initially saw the various colours that were coming out of the Advent calendar boxes I was a little uncertain how it was all going to come together, but I have to say I've been thrilled with the finish. I love that it goes with everything, but especially my second finish on the heels of the shawl, the Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller from an old issue of Knit.Wear.
Looking back at my blog, apparently I started swatching for this sweater over three years ago, in March 2015. Not sure what happened then as according to my Ravelry project page, I didn't officially cast on until the end of December 2015.
This project has been ages in coming. The yarn is Porpoise Fur handspun, dyed and spun by Rachel herself. This was a sweater quantity that she gifted me as a "coupon" back in 2013 but then between the two of us it took another year for me to decide on a pattern, fibre base and colourways and then for Rachel to spin the yarn!
I chose the Gradient Pullover for it's simplicity. It had long been in my queue/favourites on Ravelry and I thought something without a lot of embellishments would allow the handspun to be shown off in all it's glory. Happily, the original pattern calls for a sport weight yarn which is Rachel's spinning default. Handy!
The fibre base that I settled on is a 50/50 Merino/silk blend that is SUPER snuggly and soft to wear. I've actually noticed a slight amount of friction pilling already where the sleeves brush against the body. But to be fair, I've barely taken the sweater off in three weeks! I love it so much! The project languished while I had second sleeve syndrome but with my unspoken WIP reduction resolution that I make every year I was determined to get. it. done. Now I'm just sad that the weather has warmed up enough that I don't really need it. Roll on September!
Finally, with all these finishes I wanted to keep the instant gratification going so on Easter Sunday I cast on for this ridiculous hat. Pattern is Pull the Wool Over, a freebie by Espace Tricot and the recommended pattern for this kit that represents my only yarn purchase at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC this past January.
While I was seduced by the hot pink pompom I loved that this kit had a new-to-me dyer, Lambstrings Yarn. Adding to the instant gratification the hat was finished in two days (the fingering weight yarn is held double and a strand of Shibui Silk Cloud carried alongside). The hat is wonderful and soft and I love how the really wide ribbing comfortably covers my ears. The mohair silk adds extra softness and if I had to do it again (goodness knows there's enough yarn left for a second one!) I'd probably also double strand the Shibui Silk Cloud.
It's nice to have the knitting mojo back! I've even jumped into a new MKAL too and have been keeping up (wonder of wonders!). More on that next time!