Wow, my knitting needles have been busy lately! I managed to knit, edit and test a new design and also finished a sweater for me. It's only been forever since I knit a sweater too - gosh, probably 7 years now or so. A part of me decided to stop knitting them because I wasn't a size 2 but WTH, right? Embrace your size and enjoy your handknits! If I wait until I'm the size I was when I was 20 I'll never get another sweater knit in this lifetime...LOL
So here she is...my February Lady Sweater. I chose to knit the sweater that's been knit by everyone else because looking through all the projects this sweater shape flattered every body size from tiny to larger and even looked adorable on the knitters who were expecting. I think it was a good choice for my return to sweater knits. The colourway I chose was Imperial Red in my own Serenity Worsted yarns and with anything handdyed there was variations between the skeins. Now, I could have opted to knit every other row with a different skein to mix the variations up a little more but I just threw caution to the wind and knit away and to my delight, the sweater ended up with a very unique flare to it that's unlike any other. Since the skeins are 200 yards each the variations are sectioned really and as the girls at my local SnB said "you can't see it unless you point it out!" so I will trust them and enjoy my sweater!
Raveled: Serenity February Lady Sweater
The whole "everything needs to match" when it comes to handdyed is something else I'd like to touch on...as a dyer, I do put my hands in the pot and with all the variables that need controlling for things to be exactly the same, I just can't achieve that no matter how hard I try! Some simple variables that affect the way colourways are dyed are (1) temperature (2) water quantity (3) acidity level (4) ambient temperature (5) speed of dye uptake (6) dye amount and even with naming 6 I still haven't covered them all. Now, if a commercial process has trouble making one colourway batch match another colourway batch, how in the world am I supposed to make all my skeins match exactly? It's very hard but that's also the innate beauty of handdyed - everything is unique! Sometimes it's hard to embrace that concept but it will permeate everything from the colour of the yarn to the finished knitted piece and this is where the artisitic quality lies too - nothing is ever exactly the same in art either. So if you're a knitter looking for perfectly matched skeins, I would suggest commercially prepared yarns but if you're a knitter who embraces a little adventure and loves unique, art-piece handknits then used handpainted yarns as much as possible!
And that's a nice segway into my latest design...Bacchus Shawl. I had a lot of fun both knitting this and designing it and I'm ever-so-grateful to my testers who were able to knit and give me fantastic feedback to make the pattern both as error-free as possible as well as make the knitting a little easier. To each of them - thank you for your valuable input!
Raveled: Bacchus Shawl
Hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather! It's finally turned a little nicer here in Ontario but I did manage to wear my sweater at least a couple of times before it warmed up too much. Have a great week everyone!