Monday, July 11, 2016

Laelia

Yesterday, I told about how I decided not to alter an old sweater I'd made for my sister, but instead to make a new one.
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This is the sweater my sister chose -- Laelia, designed by Hanna Maciejewska.

This was a fun project all the way through - it was fun to send my sister sweater ideas, and yarn suggestions, and then see what appealed to her.  It's always exciting to order yarn from the Plucky Knitter, and even more fun when it arrives.  I knit it just as written in the pattern.  I did run short of yarn, and ended up buying more via the ISO thread on the Plucky Knitter Forum on Ravelry. 

I finished the sweater last weekend while we were camping in the mountains.  We had plans to meet for brunch this weekend, so I had time for washing and blocking this week before giving it to her.  We had a lot of fun taking pictures at Bookwalter Winery yesterday.  

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I love how the lace from the collar descends diagonally all the way to the back.
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A sleeve detail
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Collar and raglan sleeve detail - this sweater begins at the center of the back collar.  It's knit in one piece and has no seams.  At all. 
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Even though it was July (though a cool day for around here), she kept it on for a while.  (We are playing Kubb,  possibly not according to the rules found at this link.)

I wrote this post about a sweater, not a sister, but this is a wonderful sweater for a beloved sister.  I'm so glad it turned out well.

Laelia

  • Designed by Hanna Maciejewska, pattern available in English, Polish, German, and French
  • Plucky Knitter Primo Sport, 75% extra fine Italian Merino wool, 20% cashmere, 5% nylon, color - starlet, 7 skeins, 275 yards/skein.  (This was one more skein than the pattern called for)
  • US size 4 and 3 needles
  • On Ravelry here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The better part of valor

"Discretion is the better part of valor."  This proverb has been around since 1477!  It's a version of "look before you leap."  It can be an excuse for cowardice, but it also can be an important corrective to the kind of careless bravery that does as much harm as good.

For a lot of my life, I didn't think of myself as a brave person.  I am risk averse, and more likely to be looking than leaping.  But over the years, I've learned that I can face difficulty without falling apart.  I complain less about the worst days than the ordinary ones.  I might be, in my own quiet way, kind of brave. 

And as a knitter, I'm brave.  I'm not afraid to take on challenging projects (see Am Kamin).  I'm not afraid to tweak finished garments to make them better.  If the sleeves are too long, or the fit too big, or if it's too hot with sleeves, I'm game to remodel.

Which is why my sister thought to ask if I could do something about a sweater I knit a long time ago that she never wears very much.
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So, I started thinking, and I even started taking the sweater apart.  (One of the seams is partly undone in the picture above.)  But then I kept thinking. 
"When did I make this sweater?"
" Was there anything I COULD do that would make it more wearable?  When DID I make it?"
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I made it sometime after the Fall/Winter issue of Vogue Knitting, 1987, was published.  There it is, in all it's late 80's glory.  Baggy pants (Anne Klein) and socks, and everything.  Check out those Brooke Shields eyebrows that have almost come back in style.  I used a yarn that my local yarn store suggested as a substitute for the Classic Elite La Gran Mohair called for in the pattern.  This was before the knitlist, and way before Ravelry. 

Discretion.  It was, in its way, a great sweater for its time.  Which was almost 30 years ago.  So, I called my sister and offered to make a new sweater - that she'll wear, now.

We chose a pattern.  I bought some yarn.  It's finished, and I'll show it to you soon --
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