I did some gorgeous mittens in my first year back at knitting called Fiddlehead Mittens By Adrian Bazilia. I had so much fun doing stranded knitting that I was sure I’d be churning out sweaters and more of those great mittens for the rest of my life. However, like a kid in a candy store I was attracted by all the other pretty things and I’ve done very little colourwork since then. Lately, I’ve picked it up again and it’s delighting me as much as ever. I was reinfected with the bug thanks to a Celtic Cast On podcast I watched awhile back. In it, Kelly was wearing a gorgeous sweater called Sundottir and I thought, I have to make that!
Shortly thereafter, I happened to be scrolling through my Instagram feed (as one does) and a beautiful new yarn caught my eye, put out by Barrett Wool Co.. It was a pale pink Aran weight wool and I thought it would make a lovely colourwork sweater if I could find a nice grey yarn to contrast it. On impulse I ordered five skeins of it and then had trouble finding a sweater pattern for which that was enough yardage, until I remembered the Sundottir! The reason I didn’t first think of it was because I was really hankering after a cardigan and the Sundottir is a pullover. Whatever, I’m still going to make it and it’s going to be fab. Anyway, if I have the courage, I could always steek it!
Which brings me to my second colourwork project, also inspired by Kelly from the Celtic Cast On, the absolutely charming and well-named Merriment cardigan. It’s sized for a baby or child, and it requires steeking, so I can learn that skill on a little sweater and then see whether I’d like to try it again for my own sweater. For those of you not familiar with steeking, it’s the technique of knitting a sweater in the round (on a circular needle) and then cutting it down the center front to make it into a cardigan. For obvious reasons, lots of people are nervous about the idea of cutting their knitting, and I’m no exception! However, I love the idea of avoiding all the purling that a stockinette stitch cardigan knitted flat requires, so I’m determined to give it a try. Luckily, a friend of mine just had a baby, so I even have a recipient for the sweater. Yay! (This friend, Annie, has a knitting podcast with her husband, Alex, called, “Knittingitup” and if you haven’t tried it, you should check it out, it’s sweet!)
On the sock front, I’m halfway through making a pair for myself using the “Smooth Operator Socks” pattern by Susan B. Anderson. I really wanted to try this pattern with its afterthought heel and cuff-down construction after listening to Tracie from the “Grocery Girls” podcast rave about it. However, I’ve pretty much decided I prefer toe-up socks and will go back to that method once I’m done with this pair. There is much to be said for toe-up socks, if you enjoy Judy’s Magic Cast-on (which I do), and you like knowing you’ll have enough yarn to finish the project (always nice!) Plus, I am not a huge fan of the afterthought heel. It certainly is faster, once you get the hang of it, but I much prefer the look of a heel flap and I really enjoy knitting them, so back I go next time! It’s okay, I love trying new things and until you try them, you never know, right?