Here I am, all set to cast on a new knit. I’ve got the needles, I’ve got the book, and I’ve spent a productive couple of hours this morning winding balls of wool from skeins.
I’m pleased to say my shoulder didn’t grumble at all over its winding duties, which must mean my lighten-the-load efforts are having an effect. I’m pleased with how the yarn is looking now, especially that “magic ball” made from five separate mini-skeins. It was fun deciding which order those different sections should appear in. I chose the green based one to start the ball as it is the only one which picks up the pink of my chosen main shade.
I must admit I’ve taken care to do a little thinking up-front on this project. For example, before I started to wind up the magic ball, I worked out that I needed to wind the colours in the opposite order to how I want them to appear. So, whilst the green based shade was to be the first I’d use, it had to be the last one I wound up. Another example involved a decision about the hand-dyed pink wool. Now, the thing I love about hand-dyed wool is the variation in tones you get, even in a semi-solid colour like this one. However, the wool doesn’t take the dye evenly and I noticed in winding the balls that the inner parts of the skeins (which are the outer parts of the balls) are noticeably paler than the outer parts of the skeins (inner parts of the balls). I’m going to try and make sure that I don’t end up with a place on my finished garment where I go from the darker end of one ball to the paler start of the next.
The pattern will be loosely based on the One Thousand Sweaters book I’ve used many times before. I’ll be making the flared body shape and working a v-neck, then the multi-coloured band will form a scarf-style neck rather similar to the effect on the Norah Gaughan cable-front cardi I’m so very fond of. Only this time the wow factor will be the colours rather than cables.
Looking at this cardigan, which I still love and wear at least once every week, reminds me that I flirted briefly with knitting a cardigan this past couple of weeks which was a lovely yellow in the pattern photo. The stumbling block proved to be the fact that I didn’t like the wool I was using, so I abandoned it in favour of starting this sleeveless cardi. However, I fully intend to knit the yellow cardigan and I’m rather thinking when I do knit it I shall try to find some nice yellow wool.
That brings me nicely on to intentions as the spring-like weather seems to have me making resolutions all over the place. One such, decided upon this morning, is that I’d like to take a step back from garment knitting over the summer and instead put my knitting energies into finding a basic 4-ply wool which I actually enjoy working with. I’ve definitely lost my way with the yarns over the past couple of years and as a result I’m making a lot of bad choices. Finding a good, durable, cost-effective, everyday yarn is really high on my list and the only way I’ll do it is to try a variety and see what I really like. I’m pretty sure I’ve decided this before, but this time I’m going to do it.
Not a million miles away from that subject, I saw in the latest issue of The Knitter magazine that King Cole – very firmly placed in the budget yarns category of manufacturer with a preponderance of acrylic – has a new line called KC Collection using more natural fibres and aimed at the less price-conscious knitters. By which I mean rich, because the yarn is priced well into the premium end of the market. I was shocked because it seemed to me that they’d try to compete on a more luxury-styled but still competitively-priced basis yet they’ve gone all-out with a high-end, high-price yarn. I wonder how that will work out because there’s already plenty of well-established yarns in the higher price bracket and now would seem to be an odd time to be trying to get a foothold in that arena. I mean, most people are looking at their budgets with a lot more determination at the moment and probably looking to either knit from stash or buy more budget-friendly yarns for a while. I know I am. It will be interesting to see how things go.
Well, that’s a wrap on my woolly wanderings today. I hope everyone is well and enjoying the gradually increasing daylight hours.