Estelle Cardi

Look familiar? Estelle comes in two versions, pullover and cardigan, now I have both! Same mods as before to make a more fitted sweater: smaller gauge and more decreases at waist. Also added length and more traditional fitted sleeves with 3" of ribbed cuff. I love the buttons in the back. I used 3.75 skeins of Cascade Sierra, 80% pima cotton, 20% merino wool and size 7 needles. Lovely.

Now I will get cracking on my test knit, but slow going with my hand still aching after a bit of knitting. My husband is giving me a hand massage every night, bless him!

Betty Draper's Blues

I've been gorging on Mad Men repeats in preparation for the upcoming 4th season, so when I needed to order the yarn for a test knit I am doing for marymealittle, Madelyn Tosh's Pashmina in the colorway Betty Draper's Blues won hands down! While Betty's life dissolves around her, and when she is really blue, she can take comfort knowing she has yarn named after her and comfort knowing she has a perfect kitchen! Can she love that kitchen as much as I do? That era is etch-a-sketched in my memory and they are spot-on with the details. I can almost smell the banana bread and the Pall Malls. And the clothes...I can't even get started on that, I just don't have the vocabulary to describe HOW MUCH I LOVE the whole wardrobe on the entire cast. I did, in homage to Mad Men, make not one, but two St. James. I know the secretaries would approve.

But back to my new sweater, I did tell you it was a test knit, right? That means I belong to this tiny private club that's knitting up a super secret pattern that is yet unreleased to the public. We are the only ones in the knitting galaxy making this, so exclusive are we. Sigh. The pattern will be ready for purchase in October or before. I hope to have mine done before summer's end, if my injured (but healing) hand will cooperate. So far, so good, I've only just started but I know already it will be a fun knit. It is well written and uses a new technique for me, horizontal bust darts. The sweater is totally adorable and not so secret that I can't publish a picture of the very pretty Mary modeling her creation Celia.

Quilting for knitters

My Monday morning knit group is branching out. Now we're quilting!

Remember I told you about all the stacks of 6" squares I've been cutting and saving for years? I put the squares in color groups and asked, "Who would like to learn to quilt?" Eight of us got together last week, laid out the squares in our favorite color way and had our first lesson; how to do a running stitch to piece the little squares together.

These will be crib size, with possibly the most exquisite fabrics ever seen in a baby quilt! Everyone is so excited! This is fun!

Estelle as therapy

Here is the Estelle Pullover, size XS, knit with 7.5 skeins Rowan Handknit Cotton, in Turkish Plum, a dark navy. The only mods was to make quite a few more waist decreases and add inches in length. Also, my gauge was 20 per 4 in. instead of 17, so that also brought it in quite a bit and gave it an inch of negative ease. I love this, and have some white cotton worsted that might be made into an Estelle Cardigan. This goes fast and is a well written pattern available as a download. You receive both cardigan and pullover versions. I love the yoke and don't think my pictures give it justice.

After taking a few weeks off to heal my injured right hand, my physical therapist actually recommended I get back to knitting for hand therapy. I was stunned. Knitting as therapy? Perfect! Just my style, and the knitting does actually help to make my hand feel less stiff! Luckily, Estelle was over half finished before my surgery.

Next project will be Arielle in Rowan 4 Ply Cotton. Sexy Knitters on Ravelry are having a Kim Hargreaves knit-a-long and I will join in.

So excuse me, must get back to my hand therapy ;)