2015: Cardigan Comeback is starting with a bang! I was so excited by the prospect of a new sweater (one that I could conceivably wear as soon as it's done--cardigans are much more forgiving of baby weight than pullovers), I started my Monte Rosa cardigan on January 1.
I've been knitting for 8 (!) years now, but this is the first time I've tried this construction--seamless from the top down with set-in style sleeves! The initial work on this style of sweater is a bit fiddly--provisional cast on, short row shaping over both shoulders, casting on additional stitches. But with that section complete, it's now more straightforward, working back and forth while increasing for the sleeves. I could probably memorize the stitch patterns if I put a little effort into it, but I'm saving my brain power for my own designs, and am content to flip back and forth between charts.
Speaking of my designs, the yarn for my Baltimore-inspired collection is starting to arrive! I can barely contain my excitement. Look at these beautiful skeins of Wandering Wool's Shenandoah sport weight:
Now that this project is becoming a reality, I really need to sit down and draw up a work plan. Hopefully this afternoon. Test knitting opportunities for these patterns will be available during the first half of the year, so if you're interested, be sure to fill out this form.
In other news, it's now January 19 and still no yarn purchases! In fact, I've joined a fun group on Ravelry, Knit Picks (and more!) Stashdown, to help me focus on working from stash, destashing unloved yarns and resisting the temptation to buy more. I am in no way opposed to having a healthy stash, but my stash has gone beyond healthy, beyond abundant, right into absurd. This group has 3 challenges running, and I've opted for the weight challenge: to use, sell, or give away 6,000g of stash yarn during the course of the year. Wish me luck! (Want to buy some? Go here.)
On that note, there's been a little controversy on Ravelry recently about cold-sheeping, AKA not buying yarn (I love the term cold sheeping; just brilliant). For every knitter that decides not to buy yarn, that's a sale someone's not making, be it a big retailer or a small indie dyer. And that's unfortunate. But the first quarter of the year is a slow sales season in nearly every industry, after the excesses of the holidays (I think I've sold 1 pattern in January!). The percentage of knitters cold-sheeping is likely relatively small, and the percentage of successful cold-sheepers even smaller--they cannot be blamed for slow winter sales. Regardless, no one is obligated to buy yarn, and any knitter can decide not to buy yarn at any time, for any reason. The vast majority of indie dyers and yarn retailers are continuing to tempt us with beautiful yarns and encouraging purchases through sales, deals and exclusive products, but a very few have chosen to try to guilt or shame cold-sheepers into buying yarn, and that's not cool. And probably not a very wise business move--there are quite a number of yarn retailers out there, and most knitters will choose to patronize the ones that don't send them on a guilt trip.
So if you've chosen to cold sheep, for whatever reason, I hope you won't be discouraged, and if you've chosen to go on a yarn-buying frenzy, that's awesome too. At the end of the day, we all love yarn, and that's what counts. ;)