First of all, thanks for all the wonderful comments about my Puff sleeved sweater! I’ll do my best to respond to as many as I can (especially if you asked a question) but I don’t want anyone to think I’ve forgotten them – it really does mean so much to receive feedback on my knits.
I’ve been thinking recently about why knitting has grabbed me the way that it has. I’ve always been single minded – my history as a musician sees to that. Years of classical training, days of practicing, perfecting each bar, each note – this leads to a determination to perfect techniques, and a certain large reserve of patience for the time it will take to get there. I have been called a perfectionist (I have also been called a “control freak,” but lets ignore those voices for now, shall we?) I use all of that training every day as a music teacher, and every weekend when I prepare the music for the many masses I play.
I could have gone on (as many of my peers and friends have) into apprenticeship programs and to artist diplomas, all leading to life as a classical musician (in my case an opera singer… this is what I trained my whole life to be.) But I looked at their lives – nomadic, unsettled, uncertain – and I knew myself well enough to realize that wasn’t what I wanted for my own. This took me years, and it is not without a certain amount of guilt that I write this.
So I made my choice, and I am very lucky to be able to work in music for a living while keeping my life the way I want it – settled, with a home, close to my friends and family. Unfortunately, it does leave me with tons of leftover energy from the years of practicing. I think that is why I knit. I love the sense of being able to create something. I love the colors and textures of the yarns, and the endless possibilities you can create using only two stitches. Before I knit, I loved to do counted cross stitch, but I was always afraid to deviate from a pattern.
I’m very interested in learning to design knitwear, at least for myself. Does anyone have a book on knitwear design to recommend? I’ve always loved fashion, and I’ve read so much about the history… and I have a lot of free time (hee!) so recommend away!
I do have some knitting related pictures for you today! Yarn from WEBs, and first look reviews (and I swear, no more yarn for a month – I can do it, so long as I stay away from the Yarn sale forum at Knitty!)
Valley Yarns Longmeadow in Linen, to make this Jaeger vest pattern. At first glance, the yarn is very soft, but not totally without structure. I was worried that it would be floppy like tencel yarns, but it isn’t. It is a cotton/acrylic microfiber blend. It has a slight sheen, but is by no means shiny – I think it will make a nice sub for the Jaeger Aqua called for in the pattern.
Jaeger siena, to make the Jaeger shell pattern above (without the unnecessary belting – enough already!) I have never made a pattern using 4-ply yarn, and for some reason I have a real desire to try. Isn’t the color lovely? This yarn is 100% cotton, and very soft and smooth. I’m very pleased I bought this Jaeger book, by the way – it has lovely large photos and very clear schematics for all of the patterns.
Berroco Bonsai yarn, probably to make this little sweater, although there are other possibilities. This is the drapiest yarn I’ve ever seen in the skein. The nylon wrapping the bamboo gives a really lovely shiny effect. It’s so soft, and I just can’t wait to knit with it!
Berroco ultra silk (on sale at WEBs) to make this sweater. I love this design, although like all Berroco designs it suffers from lousy styling. I love loose floaty tops like this in real life, although I don’t seem to knit them often. I think this will look really cute with a little fitted camisole and jeans. I am less than enthused with the color I got, but really I think that’s because I’m tired of brown after the last sweater. I will come around – brown is a very good color on me. The yarn itself is one of those tubular yarns, and I am interested to try it out!