Thoughts turn to spring…

I visited a few yarn stores in Chicago while Marc and I were on our honeymoon. At one of the stores I was waiting for my purchases to be wound (so that I could knit socks on my honeymoon… yes, I have a problem!) several of the ladies asked me if it really gets cold enough in Louisville for wooly sweaters. I, of course, defended the icy weather of my hometown. When I was growing up I imagined that our winters were much the same as everyone else’s. Then I moved to Indiana, experienced a few winters that I thought were really dreadful, and promptly moved back, at which point I started to consider our winters less icy. Marc, who lived for years in Wisconsin, doesn’t even bother to wear a coat half the time. So maybe… just maybe I’m willing to consider that we have neither the longest nor the harshest winters here.  Although it’s still pretty cold to me!  And to my best friend, who moved to Florida a few years ago, visiting here in December is torture!

This is a long way of saying I have been thinking about spring. It won’t be here for awhile, but we’re beginning to see Spring knitting patterns coming out. Rowan 43 will be out February 1st, and my Spring IK says it will be shipping January 24th! I am very nearly through the heavy winter sweaters in my queue, and now I can happily knit cardigans and boleros for awhile. I am naturally very cold natured, and I can rarely be found without a sweater on indoors in the summer. I’m also planning on continuing my newfound love of fingerless gloves, which I now realize are perfect for playing the piano in my overly air conditioned studio! I have actually finished the first transition glove and have started the 2nd. It fits perfectly – I made the hand a bit short so that it would not impede my fingers when I play, but I love it!

I’ve been sick the past few days, which I blame on the newly repealed smoking ban in town (for the non-natives, the law had an exclusion for Churchill Downs (ie the derby) and so was overturned.) I am so very unhappy to have to breathe in smoke again, and I hope another law is passed soon (there has been talk.) This sickness led to an impulse cast on – I kept thinking about Moda Dea Fashionista swatch. I felt like I wanted to knit more with the yarn, so that I had a better feel for it, and so I cast on for Briar Rose.

I have to say that I am loving this yarn more and more. It really slides through the fingers nicely, and I like the slightly velvety appearance. The color here is more accurate than the last photo. I’m making the 32-34 inch size, ignoring my impulse to knit the very smallest because I don’t like tight boleros. I am going to make the sleeves less large by knitting them down a size or maybe even more. The pattern is just lovely so far! I want to wear this for Valentine’s day with a black dress of some sort. It will be finished in lots of time, the gauge here is pretty large!

I’m thinking this bolero will be a good transitional garment as we move out of winter. I have several nice boleros and cardigans already in the queue, but so many nice designs are coming out this season that I am very tempted! Berroco has their spring collection up on the website, and it looks very nice. In addition, their new yarns look lovely and I am glad to see lots of sophisticated colors in both new and returning lines. Spring/Summer doesn’t have to be all about pastels, and I like to see companies agreeing with me! I like three of their booklets – Norah Gaughan vol 2, Seduce/Lumina, and Naturlin. Now… I’m about to say something heretical, so you may want to close your eyes… I’m not sure I always “get” Norah Gaughan’s designs.  Let me explain… I do admire her designs.  They look fascinating to knit, but I don’t think they’re always flattering on the body. Or at least not my body, which needs more fitted shapes. Having said that I quite like the first cardigan below, although I would like to see the model in different poses, and I will not buy this book until I see some knitted up (I did buy vol. 1, but I haven’t felt compelled to knit from it yet… maybe someday!) I do love her hexagon designs in the Naturlin book. The hexagon doily and blanket will be mine, and I love the filet crochet table runner as well. The seduce/lumina book looks nice because I think the yarns look interesting, and there are several crocheted designs that look nice, and I am always on the lookout for nice crochet patterns.

Much to my surprise, Classic Elite has a booklet I want to buy this year. In general I have ignored them, because of their tendency to start their designs at a size 37 bust, but this year there is one book, Make it Modern, with several pretty designs in a larger range of sizes. I especially love this feather and fan cardigan!

I recently purchased two designs from Angela at Knititude, both of which suit my personal style really well. She’s the designer of the Lutea lace shell and Dragon Skin Wrap from IK.

And finally, everyone’s favorite Drops Designs have their Spring/ Summer designs available. They are still being translated, but should all be up relatively soon. There are still far too many oversized looks for my taste, but they are better than the winter designs. Here is my favorite, a simple t-shirt that would be nice for summer in cotton, perhaps lengthened by one lace repeat.

I cannot wait for the IK and Rowan spring issues!