2016 was a peculiar year for my knitting. It was a year of odd whims and obsessive loops. I knit FIVE Littlewing baby vests; why such a simple little shape should have captivated me to that extent is a mystery, but I was determined to hone the geometry and somehow the prototyping never got old. I buckled down at last to write the Lalita pattern, which is in the testing phase now and ought to be ready to publish in a few weeks. I started my Bohus Stickning Wild Apple, completed the colorful yoke, and then had an uncharacteristic crisis of confidence about the short rows and set it aside. (Nothing an evening’s focus can’t resolve, but somehow when evening rolls around I find it’s easier to add a few rows to my Scalene shawl.) Just lately someone asked about my old Minaret sock pattern and I thought I really ought to overhaul it for independent release—and somehow that led to designing a whole new sock that’s similar but better. (And then knitting it twice at different gauges.) In the midst of it all, I decided to drop several holiday gifts of reasonable scale to bust out a sweater for my sister-in-law.
Let’s blame Michele Wang, who can’t seem to design anything I don’t want to knit, especially when it’s in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry. I mean, Snoqualmie and Auster in the same year? She’s killing me. Being BT’s copywriter, I get to see the new collections ahead of time, and on a total impulse I snagged six skeins of Quarry in Alabaster the day before Thanksgiving and cast on a sleeve for Mei on the drive to Cousin Walt’s house in Olympia. At this gauge, it wasn’t long before I had all the pieces of a sweater, and I just managed to sew them together before we left for a pre-Christmas visit to Texas. Luckily, making this trek involves many, many hours of travel. I tackled the collar, which is roughly the size of Connecticut, in the way-back of the minivan while my offspring sang “Charlie on the MTA” and quite a few self-composed nonsense variations for 220 miles. It took a couple of sessions of porch knitting (poor me) and late-night scotch knitting (while my in-laws did show and tell with their gun collection—I had the epiphany that this branch of my husband’s family loves their arsenal in exactly the same way that I love my knitting tools), but I finished in time to pop it in the mail for delivery in NYC on the 24th.
How about some pictures? The light was flat, the camera was my phone, and the wind meant business.
Next up? More Littlewing vests. I got my hands on a couple of skeins of Stone Wool Cormo (send me all the Cormo!) and I’m going to try a worsted-weight + smaller size hack of my own pattern. And I’ll introduce those new socks sometime soon. Tomorrow’s another travel day — the kind where I’m not at the wheel all the time — and the race to the toe is on.