Finally, progress.

Yesterday I spent some real time knitting and I am reassured of three things.

1.The only thing keeping me from prison is knitting.

2. The reason I wasn’t making any progress is because I wasn’t knitting anywhere other than in my mind.

3. Progress in my knitting makes me feel like I have progress in all things. This is inaccurate, but lovely.

As soon as I sat down to knit, this literally jumped off the needles.

cowlalone 2014-07-03

It’s my Oatmeal Stout cowl. (The “extra cozy” version)  I designed it, and the mittens and infinity scarf that go with it for Clara Yarns.

mittenscowl 2014-07-03

Do you know about that? Clara Parkes, who’s the longtime genius behind Knitter’s Review and The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool, has started making yarn.  With a resume like that, I don’t think anyone thought the yarn would be bad, and it isn’t – it’s actually fantastic, and she’s making it in a really unusual way.  Clara Yarn is born when the lady finds some great wool, a small batch, and has it produced exactly the way she wants it. It’s small amounts, not repeatable, and as each batch has been finished, she puts it up for sale, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, and she sets about making a new kind.  I love the idea – commercial, repeatable yarn is cool, important and I wouldn’t give it up, but this kind of simply curated yarn that’s the fruit of someone’s experience and brain? LOVE IT.  She sent me some of her most recent batch, an outstanding CVM/Romeldale in three natural colours, and I designed this set, and then I launched the pattern and she launched the yarn, and then the yarn was all gone before I could even tell you about it. (When I say small batches, I am not kidding.)

cowltwice 2014-07-03

I know it seems unfair, telling you about the thing when it’s all over but the crying, but you could still knit this if you wanted to – there’s a couple of other yarns I’d suggest if you wanted the same look, like Green Mountain Spinnery’s Weekend Wool  or KnitSpot’s Confection.

cowllook 2014-07-03

There’s others too – what you’re really looking for is a worsted weight yarn that’s soft, deliciously bouncy, and would feel like a million bucks on a blustery cold winter day. Something with lots of air and cush to trap air and insulate you against the forces that conspire to make you cold.

detailthree 2014-07-03

I had three skeins of Clara Yarn, each about 270m per skein, and I was able to make the mittens, the infinity scarf and the cowl – the extra cozy version.  (The cowl and scarf have two versions each.  The cowl shown here is extra cozy, the scarf, regular cozy.)

threesome 2014-07-03

I loved this project, and despite how long it took me to cross the finish line, it’s a very quick knit, and easier than it looks. There’s only one colour used per row, thanks to simple, but fancy looking slipped stitches, one of my favourite tricks for doing colourwork without… well, any real colourwork skills.  There’s no stranding or floats to catch, none of that. It’s simple enough for a beginner, I think.  I like it so much in the natural colours, but I can’t wait until someone (that might be me) does it in some colours. Oh, the possibilities.

The funniest part of this project is that the whole time I was knitting, I thought I was getting ahead on a Christmas present, but now that I”m done?

selfiecowl 2014-07-03

I’m keeping it. (And yeah, that’s a particularly bad selfie.  Sue me.)


PS.  I haven’t forgotten that I promised you prizes today, and I had them all queued up and ready to go when something went very wrong with my mail client.  I’m receiving mail, but can’t send any. Ken’s working on it, and we’ve tried everything, but it remains a hunk of inert crap at the moment, which means gifts have to wait.  Cross your needles for tomorrow.  My apologies.  I assure you, both Ken and I are using enough expletives that it should be fixed soon.