Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11: A tale of two sweaters

It's barely mid-April and I've already made two more sweaters this year than I did last year. Of course, I didn't make any sweaters last year, but that's beside the point.

The first sweater was Stopover, which I knit as part of the Bang out a Sweater KAL hosted by Mason-Dixon Knitting. This was a fast, fun, frivolous project – it's Lopi at a loose gauge, fast to knit, light as air and very warm. It only took two weeks from cast-on to bind-off and I've been wearing it a lot. I don't do them often, but I really enjoy online knit-alongs. It's great to see what everyone else is making – there are infinite interpretations – and the excitement really spurred me along. I love this sweater.

The second sweater is Bedford. I actually started this one on my Christmas vacation – got the sleeves finished and the hem cast on before I dropped everything to make Stopover. Whereas Stopover was a quick knit, this one was a bit of a slog. It's made of Briggs & Little – a nice Canadian yarn, pretty rustic, with a fairly heavy grist and no small amount of vegetable matter spun in – knitted at a fairly dense gauge. The finished sweater weighs more than a pound. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's basically waterproof.

I've got lots of thoughts about product vs. process, fast and slow knitting, wearability and durability after knitting these two sweaters but there's some sorting out to do first. Which one will I be wearing in a year, three years, fifteen years? I have my suspicions...

Friday, April 1, 2016

March 31: Report from the Niagara bureau

Spent yesterday travelling, and there were so many modes of transportation involved (bus, plane, moving sidewalk, car on a boat, car, car in a violent downpour) that I didn't think about meeting my daily writing commitment until I collapsed into bed at the not-at-all dignified time of 8:50 p.m. In my defence, I'd been up since 5:30 a.m. and had changed time zones, so I'd earned my faceplant moment, but still. The end of the month arrived not with a bang but a whimper.

I'm visiting family in Ontario for a few days. Today I drove around my hometown with the windows down, listening to the songs of my youth on the radio (on the oldies station: woe!), and it didn't take too much effort to feel like I was back in university, enjoying one of those few precious empty days between the end of exams and the beginning of my summer job.

Spring is a little further along here, but not much: the grass is greener and the maple branches are heavy with red buds. Earlier today, thick black storm clouds rolled in across Lake Ontario, and I caught a glimpse of a stand of weeping willow trees, backlit by the mid-morning sun, glowing chartreuse against the sky. I've yet to see any real leaves, though, and I've spied precious few flowers: maybe I'll drive out to the greenhouse tomorrow to get my fix. Either way, I've got a date for a walk with my favourite two year old, and we'll see what we can find. Diggers and trucks and buses, probably, but the joy of discovery will be the same.

PS Thanks for accompanying me on my month of blogging. I appreciated all the comments. It's always great to hear from you!