Having finished Leah’s cardigan, I have spent the last week casting around, so to speak, for a new project to cast on. In the first instance, I succumbed to an impulse buy. Milli of Tribe sent around an email with a large array of kits that she had put together for Tanis Lavallee’s Rock It Tee [Ravelry link]. Here is the pattern photo:
After some discussions with Doug and some texting back and forth with Emma, I decided it would be a good project to work on in the heat (we’ve been experiencing a heat wave here), and I ordered a kit. The yarn arrived, very quickly, in a lovely package:
The kit contained two skeins of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Caffeine and two skeins of Paca La Alpaca silk and merino blend in the shade Ramble:
It is hard to knit when it is hot, but a swatch is pretty perfect since it is small enough not to feel hot or heavy or to pool on your lap while you knit. And this yarn produces a very delicate fabric, light and airy and rather delicious.
It’s difficult to take a proper photo, since the background strongly influences the way the colours look, and the lighting is difficult too. Here is a shot of it held up to the light, which shows the shades a bit better:
Having knit the swatch, however, I am having second thoughts. Perhaps I am feeling washed out at the moment, but I am thinking that I should have ordered yarn that was RED, or maybe PURPLE, or BLUE, but at the very least BRIGHT and EXCITING. I am worried that this combination will just wash me out further, and I feel the need for something cheerier. It is quite beautiful, so it is going into the stash to wait. Someday, this will seem perfect to me, but now – not so much.
This reminded me that I had purchased some very cheery linen and wool yarn recently from Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh (blogged about here). I bought it because the idea of a linen and wool blend intrigued me greatly. The yarn has three plies – one is a very fine light fingering weight wool in grass green, combined with two plies of laceweight linen in a greeny-yellow. You can see this in the photo below.
This swatch was very hard to photograph as it looked very green in some photos:
and very yellow in others:
I asked Doug to photograph the swatch, and he must have taken 30 photos of it against different backgrounds. How can you not love a man who never tires of taking endless photos of your knitting?
One last one:
This yarn makes a lovely fabric which blooms in the wash and seems as if it will have all of the advantages of linen while still having some of the drape, and springiness, and integrity of wool. I had originally purchased the yarn with the idea of making the Tulpe Top [Ravelry link], by Lisa Hannes:
I am no longer convinced it it the right project for this yarn. I think that the pattern might not really pop in this yarn; it feels a bit busy. I might need to make another swatch, with the Tulip pattern, to see how it works. In the meantime, I have
wasted spent lots of hours searching through Ravelry looking for alternative patterns. Two that I have been considering are the Staple Linen Top [Ravelry link] by Joji Locatelli:
Or perhaps Yume [Ravelry link], by Isabell Kraemer:
So, the story here is that I have swatched for two sweaters, and ended up undecided about either. I think this may be due to the terrible lack of focus which I feel these days, presumably brought about by the pandemic, anxiety, and the never-ending bad news cycle (just mention of the T-word is enough to bring on the shakes).
In the meantime, I have been doing a bit here and there on my Match & Move shawl. I have incorporated the new colour (the deep purple) and I think it works very well:
Unfortunately, with less than 20 rows to go to finish the shawl, I noticed a mistake:
I only had to rip out 6 rows, but it does mean that this project is still on the needles instead of relaxing in the spa right now. I hope that you are all well, and finding some moments of peace and joy to tide you through.
So much for the eye to enjoy in this post. Thank you!
You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Yay Doug, happy to take endless photos of your knitting. The Joji top seems pretty popular on-line and looks good. Isabell Kraemer is one of my favourite designers and, if it’s for you, her T may be better than Joji’s pattern for all of us of a certain age, although if it’s for either of your lovely daughters then the sleeveless tank is nice. I’m working on a golf vest for my husband using Rowan Felted Tweed, hard to pick it up on our hottest days here in Ontario.
I know just what you mean, Beth. I love Joji’s tank, but it doesn’t have much coverage. If I did make it for myself, I would probably explore either adding sleeves or adding some ribbing around the armscythes. Keep cool!
This is a difficult time for everyone. Some of us complain about it and others try to make productive use of their time. Maryann
Oh dear! I don’t know which category you would put me in! I try very hard to be positive in this space (and in other spaces) and not to complain over much. On the other hand, I am not being very productive, so I feel as if maybe I am teetering between the two! Keep well and safe in these difficult times, Maryann.
Your potential projects are all lovely! Regarding the pandemic, I am coping by cutting parts of my current WIP sweater, Seven Sisters, to replace bottom and sleeve ribbings and reworking the neckline so I am now happy with the end result! And don’t get me started …. as a Canadian, we have little tolerance for current state of affairs, as they are happening. Having an extremely hot summer here in Southern Ontario, so trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Kudos to your photographer and look forward to more updates from you Kelly!
Cutting into a sweater! Sacre bleu! That takes more nerves than I have at the moment. Good on you! Enjoy the lovely Canadian summer; I wish I was there.
You have some lovely projects lined up right now! I will be interested to see what yarn you wind up with to make the Rock It tee and what the linen wool blend becomes 🙂
In all likelihood, I will end up doing something completely different and putting those aside till next year. It is a mystery even to me how my mind works when it comes to choosing a project. 🙂
It’s definitely a process! Sometimes the right yarn and pattern combination takes a little while to put together.
I think Yume would be a lovely top in the spring colours, but I am feeling so similar…keep thinking about Projects, switching around yarns with patterns in my queue, coming close to swatching but not getting that far. So I’m just doing socks. Then I’ll worry about my next project. The beige colours have a warm tone, and perhaps paired with a bright shawl or scarf would lift the colour, so eventually it’ll be something lovely but there’s no rush.
Knitting socks sounds like a very good solution to this problem. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be a sock knitter (yet!). Maybe I should switch to knitting mitts for the next few months – small projects might well be the way to go.
All is well here. I love the yarn you chose for the Rock it Tee. If you had a nice bright blue cami to wear underneath, it might pick up the blue in your yarn and brighten up your face. I love the pattern.
This is a good idea. I really like those hits of blue in the yarn. In fact, one of the things I have been thinking of is swapping out the gold mohair yarn for a blue one.
That would be very pretty. I think you are on to something! Now get knitting!! 🙂
Both Yume and the Staple Linen top look excellent choices for your linen-wool yarn, so I’d flip a coin. Or you could decide whether you really want a sleeveless or short-sleeved top. But – swatching merino-silk and mohair-silk yarns in a heat wave? Not in temperatures like those we’re suffering in California right now, that’s all I can say. 😉
As a native Californian who has lived in Tucson and in Australia, I can say that a heatwave in England is not nearly the same. The official UK definition of a heatwave is three days in a row where the temperature is above 25C/77F!!!! (This really makes me giggle.) However, it really was hot last week with every day over 32C/90F, and two days hovering around 36C/97F. It does make knitting lose some appeal. Keep cool, Gretchen!
When I feel like you do – much of the time at the moment – I make blankets. I have got through lockdown making Marie Wallin’s Fairisle Club 5 and Lisa Richardson’s Elder throw which I started when I really couldn’t decide what to do next and turned into a major undertaking. As I mostly knit for other people the beauty of blankets is that I don’t have to worry about how they fit! As to your dilemma, you’ll know when it feels right.
This sounds like a great idea, Deborah, and I am wildly impressed that you have been doing Marie Wallin’s Fairisle club – she charts the most beautiful designs. But I am a really slow knitter – and feel as if I am getting slower every year – which makes a blanket seem like an awful lot of work. There are some great designs out there, though, so you never know.
all the choices! I can see that it would be hard to make a selection. I think that the first one (the kit for the T would actually look lovely on you with a soft blue skirt or jeans. both the other patterns are nice, and the yarn is interesting! I don’t think i would choose blue or red right at this particular moment, due to all the other things that you referenced. 🙂 Hang in there, 67 days to go…