Having finished my gorgeous Mesmeric Cardigan (I will show it off soon, promise. I'm still looking for buttons.), I set myself the challenge of finding a pattern that would work with yarn from my stash. This is, ahem, harder than you'd think. I have a BUNCH of sweaters that I'd LOVE to make for myself....but I don't actually own the right yarn for any of them. Instead, I have a drawer full of yarn from my random yarn buying days, and I'm fairly committed to NOT BUYING ANYTHING ELSE until I've used up at least half of it. My goal for the year was to work down my stash, and I'm sticking to it!!! Or Else!!!*
Now, the truth of the matter is that at least three sweater-quantity batches of yarn in my stash are being saved for something special once I my body settles down to a size it likes. I'm not there yet, so that yarn is just going to have to wait. At least three other batches are variegated (shudders....I know, I know...past mistakes that will have to be made right...). It's a motley collection at best, and it's going to require some creativity.
I could have started more socks, or a shawl, or something else from the stash...but darn it, I wanted to start another sweater post-haste!
So I turned to the one option that made sense. Years ago my mom and I bought kits to make Anna Zilboorg's sweater, Rosemary. The yarn - Anna's Yarn, now produced by The Unique Sheep - is a hand-dyed wool/mohair blend that works up beautifully, but pills like a son-of-a-gun under regular wear. I actually knit my Rosemary, and I wore it several times. It was pretty, but ultimately I decided that the pattern aged me. Several years ago I gave it to Mom...and was delighted when she tried it on because on her it was an elegant, lovely thing. (I admit, this was a tad annoying....) In return, Mom gave me her kit so that I could make something else for myself.
Over the last week I've had several sessions with the pattern search on Ravelry. I narrowed the search as much as I possibly could, and ultimately came up with three or four options from my own library which I knew would work. The big trick was in finding something that was simple...but that would look good and wouldn't be boring to knit. The fact that I had worked with the yarn before, and knew both how it would knit up and how it would wear, was a huge influence on my decision.
The winner is Hannah Fettig's Gooseberry Cardigan, from Interweave Knit's Weekend 2009 Special Edition, pictured above. (Bonus points to me for using a magazine I've been hanging on to for six years!) It's a perfect, timeless cardigan to add to my wardrobe, with a little bit of waist shaping and top-down construction that will help me get a great fit. At the same time, it's a shape that will be forgiving if my size continues to change!
My swatch is perfect, and so today...today the fun begins!
*I don't know actually know "or else what." I do know that my continuing health journey has left me in a position where any extra money I have has to be spent on actual clothes right now. Seriously. I cleaned out the closet last week. There's not much left.