The Summer Wardrobe/what to knit?

The knitting has been rather murky on this blog for a while. I have been revelling in neutrals, mushroom colours and (as is my penchant) many shades of green. A spate of FOs recently gave me much joy, but I suddenly ran into a wall where I wasn’t enthused or organised enough to proceed with ANYTHING ELSE. The UFOs that are hanging around are part of this malaise, so yesterday – after having an amazing dream in which I started and finished an intarsia* sweater IN THE COURSE OF A SINGLE DREAM – I resumed work on the impatient knitter’s sweater. This is a joyous thing indeed and I love how long and shapely it is going to be. I have also uncovered the previously buried DPNs that will make the sleeves so much easier to do. Also, the single Hopscotch Sock without a partner weighs heavily on my mind. Does anyone else get Sock Malaise?**

In other self-goading re: knitting, yesterday I got my box of delights (The Stash) down from where it was stored rather inaccessibly, and began to take stock. I took a peek at my knitting resolutions again too, to see how I’m doing in terms of my goals and I realised I’m not so far off track which was very cheering. I thought that in planning the next few projects, referring to the resolutions I began the year with would be useful. The articles plan is going well, I’m not exactly on track with either the Zine or the podcast, but there has been plenty of EZ experimentation, some Debbie New reading and I exhibited plenty of knitting at Love is Awesome, where it made sense I think in an Art context. I haven’t done anything with my veg-knitting workshop – sadly – and I haven’t even looked at the colourwork course I downloaded. But there are many months of this year left, so this isn’t too sad. I haven’t saved any yarn-related income towards an SLR yet and I’m not sure if my writing has improved or not from regular practise, but I’m certainly enjoying it.

Re: my first resolution and the buying of yarn, there has been no buying whatsoever of yarn so far this year, from independant UK retailers or otherwise. I have purchased buttons aplenty, but not yarn. I have acquired yarns, however, as very happily received gifts from treasured and generous friends and in terms of re-enthusing myself about knitting, what better to knit with than gift-yarn? I am super excited about the wool I have been given since January, so in tackling the stash, let us begin by surveying the lovely yarn here for Project Potential.

From left to right we have Ruth’s gorgeous lime green handspun yarn of dreams (about 200m in 4-ply/fingering weight) which I have yet to determine an end use for.

Any ideas what this could become?

Then on top we have the lovely berry-toned yarn that Lisa Busby dyed for me as a Christmas gift. I suspect these deep jewel tones would make a lovely pair of Natalya Gauntlets. What do you think? Under this is the bright yellow Yarn Forward magazine yarn that I got free with my subscription. I have an insane desire to turn it into a joyous, bright Belle. What do you think? Could I get away with a jaunty yellow beret? Next to the yellow is a small selection of Buffalo yarns donated kindly to me by Rachael in the hopes that I will be able to devise some awesome, bovine-themed knitterliness from it, and I think it goes well with what is left over from the Slim Shady meets Pill Up Headigan experiment.

Here are Emmylou and myself in our matching Hourglass Sweaters and Pill Up / Slim Shady Headigans. Ravelled here. On the right are yet more gift yarns of joy. There is some beauteous purple/green laceweight mohair which I plan to knit up in a vintage sock pattern with another yarn which will match it perfectly. I love the idea of super-fuzzy purple joy scrunchy bedsocks of dreaminess. I think they shall be very consoling to my feet, which are in a bit of a rubbish state to be honest. I am off to the lake district this week with Rachael and she assures me that bedsocks are a necessity in her parents’ house, so these need to get onto the needles very quickly! Above the purple loveliness one can see a small skein of red cashmere, acquired at the same Oxford Bluestockings Yarn Swap as the lilac mohair. I plan to integrate this into some version of the Lia Sun Shawl, which I find to be perhaps the happiest thing I’ve ever seen on Ravelry. I would leave out the dark edging but I have orange, yellow and red in various fingering-weight quantities and I think this would be a joyous garment and a great stashbuster. The other shawl that I am planning is going to be knit in the amazing Orkney Angora yarn that Kate gave me when we met in Newcastle last week. She also gave me some absolutely gorgeous yarn that a friend of hers dyed, which looks like sweeties and which needs to be a lovely fairisle detail on some mittens… (must drag out colourwork booklet.) Let us take a closer look at the loveiness:

Mmmmm… asuch asexy angora…

Sweeties…

I was thinking of knitting this with the angora. That may be superbly ambitious, but it would make me sooooooooooooo happy if I could do it. I would strut about in my yellow Belle with my giant pink shawl of lace achievement and feel good about everything in my life, at least that is the thing that I feel about this shawl.

Finally, on the very far right hand of the photo of the gift-stash, one can see a glimpse of the wondrous red Noro tape that Sara got for me in her travels. I think the idea was that I could make an incredible Valentine’s-day themed walking stick cosy from this wondrous red, as I had been speaking of this for sometime at Sticks’n’String meetings. But when she gave me the yarn I instinctively felt that it wanted to be paired with my habu cotton tape, to become a cool and summery Clapotis. Yes, it is time for me to make one. I am concerned about doing it in stripes… I wonder if there is a clever way for me to do it with two colours that doesn’t result in 80,000 ends to weave in? If not, I will have to revise… but look how lovely the yarns are together:

I am quite sobered by the realisation that if I knit up the yarn I have been GIVEN let alone the yarn I already possessed, I am looking at a massive and ambitious project-knitting list that probably takes me to the end of the year, unless I get insanely focussed. I have started booking trains everywhere, I have started squeezing extra knitting moments into every day, but none of this is any use unless I am totally excited about what I am knitting, which – after writing this post and thinking through the stash – I totally am.

Thank you so much everyone who has given me gifts of lovely wool over the last few months. It has been a strange, difficult time and the gift of wool is the most consoling one of all because it belongs to the self invention, recreation and celebration that are making ones’ own clothes. Thanks to all this beautiful wool my life is filling up with bright colours again, the murkiness is on the way out, the future is bright, the future is yarn.

*It gives me great confidence in my ability to one day master intarsia that I seem able somehow to do it in my dreaming state, if not when I am actually awake…

**This is a knitting-related impairment by which an acute case of Single Sock Syndrome rapidly turns itself into a much more chronic condition where the sock project not only languishes but somehow quells any further sock-related inspiration. I am in a deep, deep state of Sock Malaise. Hopefully the bright sunshine will bring me out of myself and get that second sock done before the end of April! That way it will have taken less than a year for me to have finished the pair.

2 Responses to The Summer Wardrobe/what to knit?

  1. Knit Nurse says:

    The angora is beautiful! I would be cautious of using it for lace though – you will probably lose the beautiful stitch pattern in its soft fluffiness. A swatch would definitely be in order for this project!
    I’m sure you could do a stripy clap without having loads of ends – just carry the yarn you aren’t using along at the ends. Or is this the kind of thing that seems simple in my head and once it becomes a practical reality, it becomes blindingly obvious that it can’t be done – that’s what usually happens to me!

  2. Felix says:

    I thought the same thing about the stripey clap, though I am wondering now if I don’t need to unvent my own scarf pattern, as I’m not certain that carrying the ends will work in the desired manner with the clap. The trouble is that the bias pattern won’t necessarily work well against closely positioned stripes…

    Angora – this angora anyway – looks beautiful, beautiful in all the shawl patterns I’ve seen it in, but you may be right about the one I’ve chosen not looking so amazing in this colourway… we must see. Otherwise it might be time to make an Ishbel.

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