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Tea with Jam and Bread 12

We finally had a sunny day last week, and I was able to take some pictures of Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater!

This is a terrific basic pullover pattern. The only thing that’s a little unusual in the design is that Heidi Kirrmaier adds some short-row shaping at the back of the neck to get a more pleasing fit. In the photo below, you can see the nice effect it has. I like this so much that I’ll probably start adding it to other sweater patterns in the future.

At Paul’s request I didn’t didn’t do the color blocking or add the pockets that the pattern calls for. The only other modification I made was to the sleeves. To get a slightly more tailored fit, I started the decreases early and worked them so that the cuffs fit close around the wrist. I also shortened the length of the sleeves a bit to fit Paul’s arms.

The yarn I used for this was Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in the “Cafe Au Lait” colorway. I got it on sale at Alpaca Direct. It’s something I’d been wanting to try for quite awhile because Brown Sheep seems like such a great company. They’re a family-owned business, located in Mitchell, Nebraska, and they’ve done all kinds of things to make their process environmentally friendly–things like coming up with a way to reuse 70-90% of their daily waste water!

I also really love a wool/mohair blend for warm, hard wearing sweaters. I’ve got a sweater’s worth of this in “Antique Mauve” I’m going to use to make something for myself.

Bottom line, I highly recommend both this sweater pattern and the yarn if you’re looking for a comfy, sturdy, well designed pullover!

 

Yarn Along 1

I’m racing a storm to get this posted before the power goes out, so I’ll just leave this with no additional commentary other than that I highly recommend both the pattern, Inlet, and the book, Michael Pollan’s Second Nature!

 

 

P.S. Doh! I’m a day early!!!! I’ll update tomorrow with a link to the Small Things blog where everyone else will be posting about what they are reading and knitting.

P.P.S. Wow . . . The Yarn Along has come to an end. I’m so sad. Take a look at this post for Ginny Sheller’s perfectly reasonable explanation of why she’s no longer going to be hosting it. I really do understand. But I’m still sad.

Help A Knitter Out 10

A couple of weeks ago I went to a class on small fruit trees hosted by our local Master Gardener group. I brought my knitting, of course, and this attracted the attention of a fellow class member. Turns out, this gentleman (my new friend David) had been looking for a knitter. Go figure!

David’s dad was in the service during WW II and spent a good bit of that time wearing the army issue sweater pictured above. Dad eventually passed the sweater along to David who still wears it. ALL THE TIME. (He also wants to learn to knit. We’re both happily married, or you know I would have been a goner.)

Anyhoo, the sweater is clearly a little worse for wear, and David would like to have it repaired. My question for you, friends and knitters of the blogosphere, is what’s the best way to go about such a thing?

This has clearly been machine knit at a very fine gauge, so while I could mend it well enough to stop the unravelling, I’m doubtful that the results would be cosmetically pleasing. I’ve googled hand darning machine knits and all kinds of WW II sweater things, but so far I haven’t come up with a good solution. I feel sure this wheel must have already been invented. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

On the homefront the rain has been unrelenting.

So I’ve decided to sit by the fire and knit until the sun comes out.

Or until I have to wake up and get back to real life. Ha!

Be well, my knitters. And please let me know if you have any advice about how to help David with his sweater.

Yarn Along: Inlet and The Yellow Birds 10

Reading and knitting are both turning out to be deeply rewarding this week. A good friend told me about The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. My godson was reading it for school, and my friend decided to read along with him. I should mention that she is one of the very few people whose reading recommendations I accept without question. She said the book was a must read and shared the following comment from the author.

“The impulse to write The Yellow Birds came from a desire to look for some truth that I hoped could be found at the core of that most extreme of human experiences [war]. I also thought that by placing the emphasis on the language, using it to demonstrate the main character’s perpetual, unbearable sense of awe and wonder, I’d have at least a chance of connecting to another human being on an emotional level. I wanted to engage with the imagination above all else, because I believe that empathy is an imaginative act.”

I ordered the book right away, and I started reading it today. As always, my friend was right. The first sentence blew me away, and it’s been like that every page since. The writing is absolutely incredible.

My knitting has been on Inlet. Peace Fleece is one of my favorite yarns, and this “Mourning Dove” colorway is gorgeous. It changes depending on the light, so every time I look at it, it’s like I’m seeing something new. I’ve just started the waist shaping on the back. Generally, I don’t do a lot of shaping, but it turns out I’m kind of enjoying it with this.

Be well, my friends! And stop by the Small Things blog to see what other people are knitting and reading this week.

Meet Franklin! 19

Meet Franklin!

A few Saturdays ago, destiny happened. Paul and I came across a local adoption event and met the orange kitty of our dreams. We’d been open to getting a second cat for a couple of years, ever since Augie showed up on our back porch as a baby and taught us that a cat really could be happy in a house full of dogs. When our eyes met Franklin’s, we knew he was the one.

It was meant to be. He rode the hour and a half home from the adoption event on Paul’s lap.

 

 

And it turns out that he’s devoted to knitting.

 

 

Go figure!

I’m sure he’ll be making frequent appearances here, so I wanted to give him a proper introduction.

In knitting news, I’ve finished Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater. I’ll post about that soon. The plan is to take pictures one day this week.

And I’ve cast on the Inlet cardigan by Amy Herzog.

 

Do you know about Amy Herzog? I’ve been interested in her and her sweater designs for years. She’s all about sweaters that fit, and one of her mantras is that your pattern should match your gauge and yarn, not the other way around.

When you purchase one of her custom fit patterns, you provide your measurements and the gauge at which you want to knit, and her pattern generator comes up with the specific pattern instructions for your personal sweater.

I’ve always figured there must be something to her method because, unlike with a lot of sweater projects you look at on Ravelry where you see the sweater folded or laid flat or draped over a chair, when you look at the projects for her designs, people are actually wearing them! And they look great!

I cast on last night with some Peace Fleece worsted in the Mourning Dove colorway from my stash. Two words: twisted rib.

 

I might not ever knit plain one-by-one rib again!

Yarn Along 8

I really love the Wednesday Yarn Along. Ginny Sheller hosts this weekly what-you’re-knitting and what-you’re-reading photo op on her blog, Small Things. Stop by for links to what are usually close to a hundred blog posts on the topic. It’s guaranteed to give you a lift.

This week I’m reading If Nights Could Talk, a memoir written by my immensely talented friend Marsha Recknagel. The story reads like a thriller. Marsha is a poet, though, so she writes in a way that constantly startles me by offering up real and important things that I knew, but didn’t know I knew, because I didn’t have words to name them. Every time I come away from reading the book, my world is bigger.

 

 

On the knitting front, I’m onto the sleeves of Paul’s Tea with Jam and Bread sweater and am trying a new thing. I’m knitting seamless sleeves two at a time. I’ve done this a lot with sweaters where the sleeves are knit separately, but it occurred to me that it should work equally well when the sleeves are already attached. It was kind of fiddly at first, but as soon as I got a little length on the sleeves, it evened out, and now I’m really liking it. Does anyone else knit sleeves this way?

 

Yarn Along: Sweater and Coates 11

Here I am posting just under the wire for the Wednesday Yarn Along!

This week I’m knitting the Tea with Jam and Bread sweater for Paul and reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Both are substantial and important in a million million ways.

 

Be sure to stop by Ginny Sheller’s Small Things blog for links to what lots of other people are knitting and reading this week.

 

Things I’m Loving On This Monday 8

Since the ability to write meaningfully about ideas, even knitting ones, has apparently left me, here are some miscellaneous things I’m loving on this Monday.

These Chilean Men taking their needles to the streets:

 

 

The February #yarnlovechallenge happening on Instagram. I blogged about Lola’s short-lived sweater here:

 

 

 

Meryl Streep’s comment about knitting:

Streep admits that she spends much of her time on set knitting and finds the hobby to be therapeutic: “For me it was a place to gather my thoughts and understand the contemplative (life) … it’s a sort of clearing out place.”

 

This leftover Beef(less) Bourguignon I had for breakfast:

 

 

And most of all, my pink pussy hat, made with love by my wonderful Cari:

 

 

Wishing you peace, love, and lots of knitting, my friends!

 

My People 6

I’m lucky enough to call all of the people interviewed and mentioned in this article friends. During these days when counting blessings is essential, I consider this a big one.

Protests bringing yarn back to forefront

Yarn Along: Bees and Blanket 15

I’m joining in for another week of the Yarn Along today with a book on bees and a return to blanket knitting here at Casa Knit Potion.

A lot of the reading I’ve been doing lately has been pretty heavy, but I’ve just started Dave Goulson’s A Sting in the Tale. We have been keeping bees since we moved to Tennessee and are more amazed all the time by their industry and abilities. The current weather situation is especially perilous for them, so I’ve been casting around everywhere with the hope of learning about anything we might be able to do to help. I’ll keep you posted on the book.

On the knitting front, I’m back to knitting on my zigzag blanket, at least until the yarn for Paul’s new sweater arrives. Dana over at Yards of Happiness inspired me to knit him a Tea with Jam and Bread Sweater, and I can’t wait to dive in. I’m still loving the zigzags, though, so it’s all good until the mail person gets here with the box o’ yarn I got on super sale from Alpacas Direct.

If you’re looking for a mitt pattern, be sure to consider Raw Honey. I finished these yesterday, and the fit is perfect! This pair is for a friend, but I’ll be making some for myself soon. This is another Yards of Happiness inspired project.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the best card I’ve gotten in ages. This came in the mail earlier this week:

On the inside are words from Johnny Cash:”I walk the line.” For me, it should probably say, “I see the line over there somewhere in the distance and do my best not to lose sight of it entirely!”

Be sure to stop by Ginny Sheller’s Small Things blog for links to what lots of other people are knitting and reading this week.

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