August 19, 2019

Hello! I have a quiet morning waiting for the plumber to fix a leaky pipe, bummer, and also wait on the carpet installer to install new carpeting in two back bedrooms, yay! While I'm waiting there's chicken stock bubbling away on the stove and tomatoes roasting in the oven for sauce. So while those mellow things are going on in the background of my morning I thought I'd snap some pictures of my new and very beautiful sweater, Etude by Ririko. Before I rave about the pattern, I have to tell you about the yarn, Yoth Yarns Little Brother, a fingering weight wool comprised of 80% superwash wool, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. The whole idea of superwash is that it is meant to be easy-care, but in reality it does require it's own type of specialty care. I've always found that superwash wools must go into the dryer no matter what the ball band says. After washing either by hand or by machine, a superwash wool ends up drapey and soupy and if you ever want it to get back into any kind of shape at all it has to be put in a dryer. Here's what I did: Gave the finished sweater a soak in cool water for 20 minutes, then scooped it up in my hands and gently smooshed out some water. Next I plopped it on a few fluffy towels and rolled it up to remove more water, gently, gently. Then I carefully laid it on a table outside in the shade and let it dry until it was almost three quarters dry. I didn't even try to pat it into shape because no way will superwash be patted back into shape ever! When I felt it was almost dry, I popped it into a dryer on medium heat with a few other clothes to add to the volume of the dryer, then crossed my fingers and checked on it every five minutes. When it was 95% dry, I was confident that I could now pat in into shape. I took it back outside to the shaded table and patted it into the exact measurements I wanted. It worked like a charm and I have in my possession a lovely sweater. The yarn is super soft and is very similar to Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Little Brother is definitely super soft and perfect to wear right next to the skin but needs its own type of superwash care. The color is Rosemary and is more accurate in the first photo. 

Now on to the pattern. Etude was so very fun to knit. I'm afraid it might look complicated, but as with so many well written lace patterns, it actually looks harder than it is so please don't let that stop you. I think a confident beginning lace knitter with a little experience could knit this successfully. It is meant to be knitted in an A-line style with positive ease. I knitted it with less ease than the designer suggested and made the smallest size a little smaller by not adding on as many stitches after the sleeve separation, made less A-line increases, and did not make the sleeves as puffy. I'm very happy with it. The lace is charted and written out row by row. Do remember to put markers between each lace repeat. 

Here is the link to purchase Etude by Ririko of Hand Knit Life.
I bought my yarn at Purl2 in Walla Walla, WA.

I purchased this yarn last year when I was visiting my girlfriend in Walla Walla, Washington. If you ever find yourself in that beautiful part of the country (it’s the wine country for Washington State) you are in luck! The downtown is filled with friendly shops and great restaurants plus there's also beautiful vineyards to visit. But for us knitters there is a fabulous knit store, Purl2, on the main street in town. They have a beautifully curated selection of yarns and the gorgeous shop is right next door to an equally gorgeous quilting shop. 

I've got a few lazy things on the needles right now while I'm waiting for a test knit pattern to be ready that I've signed up for. One knit that has my attention right now is a second Flax Light in the next size up for my grandson who has outgrown the last one, this time in grays, browns, rusty and neon pinks and some purples. Don't be alarmed at my using pinks for a boy. Luckily my kids don't care about rules of color for boys and as long as it's not entirely girly, I can get away with knitting just about anything for my little guy. It's mostly scrappy leftovers and if I run out of pinks, I'll fade it back into some grays again; I have plenty of those.

On the gardening scene, the summer garden is fading fast but our routine is the same: weed, water, deadhead. The flowers remain steadfastly beautiful but close up you can see they are past their prime. The vegetable harvests are getting smaller; I think we may pick and eat the last of the green beans tonight and the cucumber and tomato harvests have both slowed down. I made what I'm sure was the last crock of pickles and I'll be saving that for my brother's visit next month. Our summer garden is a tremendous amount of work for us at our age, and as much as we love it and look forward to it each spring, it's nice when fall arrives and the whole shebang slows down. Oh, and that magnolia blossom below is from our big tree in the front yard. Two days after picking, it turned a gorgeous mahogany color. The next day the petals were on the table. Fleeting beauty.

This is Flax Light, a free pattern from TinCan Knits. It's perfect for a fade.

Last week Carter picked the last orange. He knows he needs two oranges to make a glass of orange juice and while he doesn't show it here, he was a little sad that he could not find any more. We showed him all the baby green oranges on the tree and promised him that next spring he could have his fill of orange juice again.

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