Friend Kim and I picked up our state fair entries last Wednesday. The comments were thin, and many said, “Keen competition in this lot.” From what I have read elsewhere, this was a very common comment!!
I also had a chance to take some better pics of my Nightingale sweater. As I stated before, I cannot take credit for the concept, just its execution. Jettshin is the creative inspiration and Vintage Purls’ Nightingale socks the catalyst. This was a saga many years in the making!
I favorited Jettshin’s Nightingale Cardigan almost five years ago (along with over 8,300 others!). I loved everything about it – especially the colors. It percolated in my brain for four years. I kept coming back to it, trying to shape the concept into something that I could knit for myself. I sought out the yarn over many months – and even toyed with the idea of having it specially dyed for me. I finally purchased six very well matched skeins of Malabrigo Sock in Ochre, very close to her gold background color.
The blue was elusive. I bought a gorgeous blue from Sweet Fibers. Too blue. Too dark. No purple in it. (Some of you may recognize this as the yarn I am using for my daughter’s second Hito). Then I bought some Malabrigo Sock in Abril. Too purple. I finally had the brainstorm to try to find the Purple Soldier Fly that Jettshin had used and found some for sale on Ravelry. Yay! Yarn in hand.
Time to start the planning! Jettshin is a tiny person and her interpretation of the sweater very fitted. I knew mine would need to be bigger. Lots bigger. Positioning the repeats and getting them to fit perfectly around was a challenge, and it took a lot of pondering to get it worked out in my mind. I then recharted the Vintage Purls charts into Excel so I could manipulate them, and rework them as needed. I wanted the motifs to end logically, and not have “heads and tails” in awkward places.
I finally cast on in October of last year. I puttered around with it in between other projects, and was very naïve about the amount of work I had taken on!
Broke every rule with my stranding! Some floats are carried over 15 sts or more! There was just too much contrast between the yarn colors – every catch showed. Otherwise the body of the sweater went well, just very slowly!
I added a beaded lattice to the hem (as well as the cuffs and shawl collar).
I finally started on the sleeves and things stopped going smoothly for a variety of reasons, but I persevered. My husband would respond to every barrier/frustration with, “Why don’t you just put it away?” “Are you out of your mind??!!?? If I put it away it will never get done and I would rather cut it up and throw it in the trash than ‘put it away!’”
Am I the only knitter that ever feels that way?? I kept going just so it would not be hanging over my head any more. I had to get this off my plate.
The other difficult search (which we all know is a pain!!) was for buttons. I ultimately landed on Czech glass buttons with a blue glaze and floral motif (Susan Clarke GL-689). I used loops for the buttonholes.
So the saga is complete. Finito. Put to bed. I wonder what will strike next.