As some of you may know, I have a fairly large stash of yarn. Sometimes I buy yarn because I see it and must have it. Other times, I buy yarn for a particular project, but — in part because I have the attention span of a gnat — I find something else I simply must knit and the once-must-have-it-now yarn sits neglected. Sometimes, for years.
Last month, I ran across a sweater-quantity stash of a rich brown yarn. I vaguely remembered that I bought it for a particular project because I liked the color. Surprisingly, I remembered that I had wanted to knit Leaving, a lovely pattern by designer Anne Hanson. Susan and I are always happy to find patterns that are not only well written, but well thought out. Unfortunately, a pretty design doesn’t always mean a great pattern. Anne Hanson produces great designs and patterns. She is coming to Yarnover this year, and we are both looking forward to meeting her. (On a related note, over the next few weeks Susan and I will highlight a few other designers whose patterns are of similar high quality.) To see more of Anne’s work, visit her at Knitspot.
But back to my own Leaving project. The yarn I had in my stash is Berroco’s Vintage DK. It isn’t a yarn you might think I’d like because — gasp — it’s not a luxury yarn. Not only that, it contains acrylic (50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon). The horror! I knew this yarn because I knit Ysolda Teague’s design Vivian out of it for my daughter. I chose Vintage because it was soft and it was machine washable; I had specifically wanted a machine washable yarn since I wouldn’t be the one caring for it. Moreover, it had great colors with a little bit of heathering for depth. Nora’s sweater:
I liked the yarn much better than I had expected when I made my daughter’s sweater. It knit up beautifully and it blocked nicely. And it’s definitely soft enough to wear right up against my skin. My color is called Chocolate; I think the color in the first picture is truest. Because this is a well thought out pattern, I have made only the most minor of changes. First, I decided to knit it in the round up to the armholes instead of in separate back/front pieces. I didn’t want to break up the tiny reverse stockinette edging with a seam. Also, given my short attention span, it’s often a good idea for me to knit as much of a sweater as possible at once. The other change I made was to the first pattern repeat. One pattern is ending as the next is beginning, so that there were two little stockinette triangles (the top of the leaves) at the bottom of the first repeat. I replaced the stockinette stitch with reverse stockinette just on that initial repeat. (Susan’s idea.) It is a subtle, and probably invisible change to most people. I also think that this may be one of the few sweaters that looks better on me than on Lucy! I finished the body yesterday (except for the neck band) and I’ve got about 5 inches of the first sleeve knit. So this sweater goes relatively quickly.