I was thunderstruck by how many of you downloaded Natasha the Red Sweater during its run as a free pattern, and hope that many of you will make it, let me know how it worked for you, and send pictures. For the many people who have asked about the beautiful Russian shawl: some of the sources you might want to consider are:
I’ve been working on things for spring: A vest for my sister’s birthday—rather feminine, a little dressy, but practical enough that I made it with two pockets. This is Paton’s merino, three balls, worked on #6s—I knit loosely--and is this month’s new pattern (link), with directions for sizing your own, though you need to have the figure for it.
Another vest, in Rowan’s discontinued Yorkshire Aran Tweed, this one a little sportier, and with v-fronts and no pockets. Also three balls, worked on #7s. This pattern is in work, and will detail a relatively easy technique for making the V fronts.
And I worked a summer long-sleeved shirt that could also be a winter first layer. It’s a slender fit, and won’t provide much bulk when used as a first layer. I like the yarn, Cascade’s Pima Tencel nine 50 gm. balls balls in a lavender grey, a great spring shade. You’ll find it as this month’s Tips & Tricks.
In this pattern, of two rows garter and two rows k1, p1 rib, it took forever on #2 needles. The swatch, edged with garter stitch, made the pocket. I really like it, and may put myself through one or two more.
With curved, patterned seams on both the front and back and straight but patterned sleeves, I paused before assembly, trying to think of a good way to match it all perfectly. I’d read about a way of picking up stitches and doing a two needle bind off, so I did that, picking up three in four edge stitches, and counting to make sure they matched, then oriented the needles, turned the right sides together, and got a wonderful seam—knitted, so it matched the character of the fabric; strong; neat; and with all the pattern repeats matching. I found, at Mason-Dixon, a brief demonstration about a third of the way down the page of this link: with the line of the It has the bindoff facing the right side; I like it better done on the wrong side, but this will get you started:
A last production is merely a different way to do a winter hat, with a strip of patterned knitting, joined, and the crown worked up from there. Not hard at all, and cozy in Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Bulky, for an event that asked for a hat for the homeless as admission.
And my friend Shannon did this Caroller’s Hooded, Scarf for a friend, in great, warm colors. Like everyone else here, she is currently busy cleaning up her garden for spring and summer, and she’s learning to play the piano, which cuts into her knitting.
Is everyone else pleased to see Eunny Jang, just appointed as editor in chief of Interweave Knitting, get this kind of recognition, at age 23? She’s a terrific designer, with great color sense, and a real respect for the classic craft and the modern twists that keeps it fresh. Congratulations and warm wishes are in order.
Oh, and Cascade (http://www.cascadeyarns.com) has revised and redesigned its retailer’s newsletter, and is taking subscriptions for a consumer newsletter. I’m writing columns for both, and will work out a way to put them here on HCK when Cascade newsletters that originally carried them have expired. The knitter’s newsletter promises to be a little unconventional, and the retailer’s newsletter already is. Okay, we all subscribe to too many newsletters, but this might be a really worthwhile one.
I don’t know how many of you made scarves for The Orphan Foundation’s Red Scarf Project, but I did, and was pleased to see a recent release on the success of the effort to get gifts for Valentine’s Day to college students coming from foster care. It is at http://www.orphan.org/docs/red_scarf_info.pdf
If you didn’t participate this year, I hope that you will plan for next year. It’s a small way for the knitting community this small way to help young people who are struggling for their educations, on their own, without family support.