Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Think Warm

Oh look! Another post right after the last one. Things are looking up. Heh.

The weather here has been ridiculously warm and sunny for the last couple of months. We’ve already broken a record that’s over 100 years old. Apparently that’s all going to end by Friday and we’ll be into the usual fall rains. Darn. The trees and plants will like it though. They’ve all been suffering from a lack of water unless somebody took pity and gave them a drink. So I’ve put another blanket on the bed, fuzzy slippers on my feet and am anticipating the cooler weather to come. If you snuck a peek at the Flickr photos in my sidebar then you got a preview of my new warm sweater:

Oakmeal Cardigan


For: me

Begun: September 4, 2012
Completed: October 4, 2012

Yarn: 2-ply woolen-spun 100% wool yarn, approx. worsted weight, unknown source, nearly 1 kilo cone, colour “fawn” tweed.

Needles: Addi Lace Clik interchangeables, 4mm and 3.75mm for ribbing on hem and cuffs.

OakmealCardi_backPattern: Quercus Cardigan by Julie Turjoman, Knitty, First Fall 2011. (Knitty link, Ravelry link)

Mods: I began with the M size and because I couldn’t get row gauge even after dropping down 2 needle sizes, I rejigged some of the lengthwise calculations. I also tweaked the waist/hip shaping to fit my body better and lengthened the sleeves slightly.

Comments: This yarn came out of deep stash, so far down that I have no idea where it came from originally. I had tried to use it for a sweater last year but was unhappy with the shape so I tried again. I skeined and washed all the yarn to get rid of the dust and the smell of spinning oil and mothproofing. It helped but there was still a lot of kemp and VM in this yarn though it’s surprisingly softer after washing. Still really rustic however and an excellent choice for this sweater.

This is an attractive and very clearly written pattern. My modifications worked out pretty well (with just a few revisions on the fly) and it fits great. It took me my whole September vacation and a few extra days to finish but I am much happier with this sweater than the last one I tried to make from this yarn! I hope to get lots of wear out of it this winter because it’s very thick and toasty. I’ve pinned it with a padauk stick that was turned by T-Man on his lathe.

The title reminds me of Milady Daughter when she was very little, not much bigger than her sprout, Rosebud. “Oakmeal” is what she used to call her oatmeal porridge which this yarn resembles. And since “quercus” also means oak, there you go.

Speaking of weather and plants, my Japanese indigo is flowering but I’m really hoping that frost holds off for at least another month because they aren’t nearly ripe enough to bring in to finish the seeds. I’ve collected lots of weld, marigolds and coreopsis seeds and will let at least one or two of the woad plants flower next spring. We also plan to dig up the madder bed and try to replant more root eyes to expand the bed. Ideally I’d like to have enough to dig part of the bed and allow the other part to develop for future years. They’re best dug up every third year which gives the roots enough time to grow big enough.

On another subject entirely, Elaine Lipson, author, editor and artist, has published a talk she recently gave at the Textile Society of America Symposium, Washington, DC. Lainie has given lots of thought to the idea of “slow cloth” and articulates it very well. The PDF is here. Enjoy.


Heather said...

Thanks so much for sharing Lainie's talk. Awesome words. And your cardigan looks fabulous! I must have seen it on Knitty but don't remember it. I'll have to go look again - I have the perfect yarn.

Sharon in Surrey said...

I love the cardigan. It looks very good on you so your modifications were bang on!! I suspect you're gonna appreciate it more as winter finally gets here. I'm working on my top down sweater in Briggs & Little Heritage & another that's top down, using the Ribbons-O-Round pattern from Knitters last year, Spring, I think. It's in handspun & lives in the car right now - I'm on the main body so it's mindless knitting for waiting or coffee shops. I think we're gonna need all the wool we have to keep warm this year . .

Louisa said...

Hah! I knew you could absolutely relate to Slow Cloth, Heather! And thank you both for your kind words about my cardi. Since we haven't kicked the heat up above 16C in the house yet, it may be getting some wear very soon.