Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

roughly the beginning

I think we've already established that I knit more than is wise.  I mean, whoa.  When I look back at the amount of knitting that I did this past winter it boggles my mind.  I'm still obsessed-- right now I'm knitting something that I likely will get to wear once before putting it away for the hot months, but still.

It all started in the fall when, while grieving Monkey's death I started knitting like a mad-woman (mostly because I was pretty unhinged, and the knitting seemed to help...) Since Clara was headed to school, we knew she needed a school sweater, naturally.

I had gotten this gorgeous yarn at the (now closed) Fresh Purls, Gradient from Shoppel-Wolle.  I loved it so much that we ended up getting it for the shop.  Clara's favorite color is green, and this was just perfect for her, so saturated and delicious.  I was inspired by a sweater that Cambria had knit with a gradient (I think in her case it was a noro sock yarn...) and a white yarn.  Skinny stripes, top down.  So I went about re-creating it child size using my old Tiny Cardigan pattern as a base, with the Gradient and another Shoppel-Wolle yarn, Naturbelassen as the white.

As many folks felt with my tiny cardigan back in the day, I wasn't totally thrilled with the results.  The neck came out somehow, much, much too big.  But Clara still loves and wears it, and I'm slowly starting to understand the draw of knitting things too big for kids, as she's nearly grown out of the sweater I knit for her after this one. 

But she wore it for school picture day (see how huge the neck is?)

Also, how adorable is she? 

I let Clara choose the buttons, and, well:

we have these weird (I think kind of scary looking) animal buttons and she loved them.  It turned out we had 6 buttonholes and 6 different animals, so one of each it was...

I did fuss around with the striping, using two skeins of the gradient so I could have a very smooth transition on the sleeves.  I mean, I normally don't bother, but my girl appreciates these things, and she loves and wears the sweaters I make her.  She is, essentially, a giant advertisement for my shop (whether I want her to be or not) so it behooves me to take extra care in the garments that I make for her.  They may not always be to my taste (ahem, buttons) but they will always be made with care!

As a side note: I'm pretty impressed with how well the yarn has held up after almost a school year of wear.  Both yarns from Schoppel-Wolle are single-ply, though lightly felted.  There are some pills, but far less than I had expected.  I also use my standard treatment of hand-washable yarns for this sweater... soak in a sink of water and Eucalan, squeeze out as much water as possible, toss in the machine for the spin cycle, lay flat to dry.  It may gross you out to know that since August when I finished this I may have washed it 4 (5?) times.  Clara is pretty careful with her clothes, so it isn't often dirty.  Usually when the cuffs start to look a little tan, instead of cream-colored, I wash it.  Or there was that time with the hot chocolate.  She wears one of her hand-knits nearly every day, so this has gotten a LOT of wear.   That it looks so nice in April, I think, is a testament to this yarn's durability.  I know most of you don't think that a hand-wash only yarn is a good idea for a 6 year old, and you know, it's probably not for a lot of 6 year-olds.  But this yarn has really held up!

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