This year has been challenging to say the least but I decided to make the most of a holiday season that wouldn’t look like any we’d experienced previously. For the first time, we aren’t able to gather with our family and so, because we are able to have my mom be part of our household, she will be spending the Christmas holiday with us. Outside that, we will be home and spending the days quietly together. A quiet holiday season is not foreign to me – it’s what I grew up with and I take some comfort in the quiet to be honest.
To that end, I decided to manically knit a sweater for the Christmas season! I cast on December 10th after returning from my dear friend Katrina’s house with some of her Tough & Tender in the fingering weight ‘Au Natrel’ colourway. Worth the effort to run across the bridge and get it from her – Katrina and I are separated from one another by about 15 minutes and the Fraser River, which runs through the Greater Vancouver Area here in south western British Columbia.
I had spun Kinfolk Yarn & Fibre Organic Polwarth with my Bosworth spindles throughout the Summer and Fall, then rewound the singles onto storage bobbins and plied it on my Majacraft Suzie Pro. Simple spin and I absolutely loved the finished yarn – I also have tons leftover from this project! I didn’t strip the fibre down much – I wanted to preserve the colour on the original braid and decided to spin end-to-end to create long, slow transitions of colour.
It’s interesting to me that in the original braid, the red doesn’t appear to be as dominant as it became in the finished yarn but those hits of blue and light lime-green were actually quite short lengths on the fibre and the red was much longer so the finished singles were long lengths of red versus shorter spun colour of the blue and light lime green. I love this result and would have competely lost the blue and green if I had stripped it again and again. Those short lengths of dyed fibre would have disappeared into the finished yarn and paled against the dark, saturated red and greens.
I continued to come back to the yarn again and again so when Isabell Kraemer published her Jingle pullover pattern in November, I found myself thinking about it again and again. Almost obsessing. My primary concern was the 2 contrast colours needed in the yoke for the baubles. But as people knit the pullover, and projects were shared on Ravelry and Instagram, I noticed several people didn’t use 2 contrast colours. Instead, they just knit one contrast colour through the yoke and treated the chart as just MC and CC. Brilliant!
I made no other modifications. The fit is absolutely perfect for me – I cast this on December 10th and no, I didn’t bother doing a gauge swatch. I just cast on and knit! I figured that I would be able to check the fit as I knit the yoke and worked the increases. Throughout the knitting, that is precisely what I did and it worked out well. I think this was designed for me and my body – it’s just perfect.
The fingering weight yarn I chose was Katrina’s Tough &Tender in ‘au natrel’ – basically undyed. The creamy nature of the yarn worked well against the handspun. A stark white would have appeared jarring so I’m glad I chose this. I also love the bounce and sproing of this yarn. It’s perfect for a sweater like this one, which is knit on 3.5mm // US 4 needles. The fabric that is created is perfect – not too thin or holey, which can be a problem with fingering weight yarns knit with needles that aren’t the right size. It’s great for drape but I find they don’t wear well. This yarn plumps up after washing and fills in all those holes. As you can see, you aren’t able to see the green tank I have on underneath. Also?! Absolutely no itch factor!
Due to the spinning, I was able to create those long, slow transitions of colour that I was hoping to create in the 2-ply highly twist yarn. The results are exactly what I was hoping for because I wanted to see if I could create that colour transition without chain-plying. I have more than 3/4 of the skein leftover – I only used about 100 yards of yarn (if that to be honest) and look forward to knitting something else with this yarn! A shawl maybe?!
I knit the body to about 15.5 inches, which is perfect for my torso length. This sweater could be knit cropped if one were to style it with high-waisted jeans, a tunic length shirt or dress. it would be really cute!
Whatever is beautiful.
Whatever is meaningful.
Whatever brings you happiness.
May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.
I’m ready for our Christmas season – Happy Making! I hope you get lots of down-time to enjoy spinning,weaving, knitting, whatever you love to do!!