12 April 2013

Green moves through the tops of trees

Spring is finally here: there are daffodils and pink chionodoxas blooming in the garden, fresh green on the trees, blue skies and warm sunlight overheard.
So clearly it's time for me to finish knitting a wool cardigan.

I'm not going to suggest that anyone, even long-term readers, remembers this project because I'm sure you don't. I had forgotten about it. I only found it again because I wanted my US 8 / 5 mm circular needles for something else and couldn't find them in their case. I went back through my Ravelry notebook looking for the last project that had called for them hoping that would jog my memory and ... hmm. Well. Look at that.

I found the needles, carefully zipped up in a plastic case, holding an unfinished project. But not very unfinished -- the cardigan in question was perhaps 2/3 to 3/4 done. As it turns out, I had even blogged about it back in 2011. At which time it was nearly half done.

What happened, as best I can guess, is that I'd set it aside to work on Christmas projects and then forgotten to pick it back up. Oops.

About a week after this discovery, I finished the cardigan, set it in a bowl of cool water to soak overnight, and went to bed. The next morning, I discovered that the mothball scent my grandmother had managed to imbue into the yarn had reactivated with a vengeance. The yarn was not dirty, the colour had not bled, but sweet sainted sheep in the sky, did it stink.

Fortunately, the aroma disappeared again when it dried. I have no idea what I would have done if it hadn't.

The overnight soak did help the yarn soften and bloom a bit, which means that the finished cardigan ends just at my hips (a good length) and has a nicer hand than it did before. It was a tad crunchy, possibly because it spent close to 50 years sitting in a cedar chest full of mothballs.


Pattern: DROPS 117-43 Short jacket with short sleeves knitted from side to side
Needles: US 8 / 5mm
Yarn: Unknown green worsted-weight wool

As mentioned in the earlier post, I cast on 100 stitches to make it longer and used the wrap-and-turn method for the short rows.

I also did not quite follow the instructions for the button placement. Instead, I put on the cardigan when I was ready to start the buttonhole row and marked the button placement according to what would look best on me, then worked the buttonholes.

The buttons are 11/16" (18mm) metal shank buttons from the local fabric store. They have a floral motif -- I want to say 'lily' though no lily I know looks quite like it -- and go really well with the green. They look like spring, even if it's too warm to wear wool.


Cole Swensen

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