Knitting Nirvana

Don't laugh, it actually happened, that feeling that all was right and proper in my very own knitterly world.

Some may describe it as obsessive, although I prefer to think of it as an enjoyable endeavor and diversion, but I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my stash and all its possibilities. 

Because I cannot cast on immediately with each of every skein of yarn in my possession, I swatch...a lot.  Swatching presents an opportunity for the yarn to speak to me and let me know what it wants to be.

When I acquire yarn, I think I know what project awaits each skein, but it only occasionally works out that way.

Thanks to the lovely and talented Kristine of Curious Creek Fibers, I have a beautiful batch of her Wasonga fingering weight in a soulful colorway called Old Kinsale.  This yarn and I, we have a history.  I fondle it often, as I daydream about a cardigan.  It must be a cardigan because I have the perfect funky-feisty buttons to go with it, you see.



I envision many delightful years mucking about antique shops, playing with my dog, and watching my daughter at volleyball while donning this cardigan.  Alas, there is no cardigan, as of yet.

I have swatched it singly, and I have swatched it with two strands.

Oh, the double strands on size US 8 needles create a wonderfully airy and light fabric, essential for knitwear in South Texas where it only gets below 60 degrees for a just a handful of days a year.

Type of garment and gauge selected, I immediately cast on, sometime a couple of years ago, the Cassidy by Chic Knits.  As sleeves are the bane of my knitting world, I knit those first, two-at-a-time.

The good news:  The fabric and feel were exactly what I wanted.

The bad news:  I failed to listen to the subtle marbling of the shades of blue, which completely camoflauged the cable detailing in the sleeves.


::sigh::

As such, Cassidy came to a sudden halt. Both yarn and sleeves were housed in a handwoven grass basket, prominently placed on the bookshelf in my office.  Every time I looked up from my desk, the sleeves stared back at me, mocking me, as the yarn continued its steady siren call to be knit into something more appropriate.

Soon, I have promised it...soon...just as soon as I discover a design that will showcase its beauty without competition from frivoulously dainty cables.

Earlier this year, I hand dyed some interesting yarn called Licorice Twist comprised of multiple strands of merino wool with one strand of superwash wool.  Curiously, the one strand of superwash took the dye much differently than the strands of merino.  The color I named Goblin Green.

Neither it, nor I had any idea of what it was to become, but I swatched it anyway.  The gauge I got was the same as double strands of Wasonga.  Did it want to be Cassidy?


Oh, yes!

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Lolly thought of me, as her local yarn shop was sadly closing its doors.  She graciously bought out their skeins of undyed yarns on my behalf.  In the bundle she shipped to me were three skeins of Kona Superwash fingering that actually looks more heavy fingering or sport. 

Feeling the need for a bit of red in my life, I dyed it a raspberry red and duly dubbed it: Feisty Red.


Again, I knew not what it wanted to become.

So, you guessed it!  I swatched, then swatched some more.

I checked my queue for fingering weight designs, but everytime I thought I had the right project, the fabric, at gauge, was dense and thick, not at all what I had in mind for fingering/sport weight garment.

Putting it aside in frustration, I opted a different tact.  I laid my many swatches before me and selected the ones that made, in my opinion, the perfect fabrics.  Then, and only then, I made note of the guage for the yarn had spoken and that was the fabric each wanted to be.  Arguing with a swatch is fruitless, I have found.

Once I had a gauge number in hand, I performed an advance search of my Ravelry queue.

For the Feisty Red, an unexpected find appeared:  Beekman Tavern by Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails. 

The pattern called for 20 stitches/4 inches or 5 stitches/inch and Aran weight yarn.

Feisty Red was, at most, heavy fingering, but once swatched on US 7 needles, washed and blocked, it bloomed to a perfect 20 stitches/4 inches. 

Wow.

Who would knit an Aran weight fisherman's sweater in fingering, albeit heavy fingering, weight yarn?

Me.

The results?



A wonderfully light and airy sweater that will certainly get far more wear in South Texas than even an Aran weight pair of mitts.

Delighted?

Absolutely!

The yarn has spoken.

For this project, at least, Knitting Nirvana has been achieved.

Pardon me, while I continue to savor the experience...

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