Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Relief and Relaxation

Do you experience January letdown? The holiday festivities and socializing are over, the long, dark, and very cold winter lies ahead, there seems to be no fun left in sight, etc. I used to feel this way. But this year, I'm experiencing relief. The need for that extra level of housekeeping because of visiting family members, the extra cooking, the post-Xmas decoration cleanup? It's all in the past. Now it's time to have fun!

I seem to be having a burst of creative energy. I don't think it has to do with the lack of snow, although being able to walk outside without winter boots is amazingly liberating. Odd that after that once-in-a-generation blizzard on Xmas Eve, our weather has been more like March than January. Look at the green grass. In January!

View of house on nearby Beverley Street.

I know my creative push isn't because of a lack of household duties. Our dishwasher broke just after Isabel left, and I've decided to forgo replacing it for now. Like most of my generation, I grew up without a dishwasher, and it feels strangely comforting to don rubber gloves and do the washing up by hand. No rush. Just me, the soap and hot water, and CBC radio. I think my current mood has to do with the lack of family responsibilities. It's one of those rare moments in life to savour.

So, I've gone back to a design I sketched and swatched last winter, the idea based loosely on Emily Foden's beautiful Soiree, first published in Pom Pom magazine and then again in her inspiring book "Knits About Winter".  My yarn is Cascade Eco+ knitted on 6.5 mm needles at 3.5 sts per inch for a nice, light drapey fabric. There are things I wanted to do differently, including a band of seed stitch above the rolled hem to deter excessive rolling, seed stitch and horseshoe cable panels instead of honeycomb and rope cabled ones, and short-rowed shoulders joined by 3-needle BO to prevent stretching of the dropped shoulders. My yarn is a lightly spun chunky instead of the fingering + mohair combo in Soiree. I do wish there were a gorgeous hand-dyed chunky wool out there. Maybe that's a future project...


No, you're not seeing the same yarn in different light. The swatch from last winter is in a pale grey while the actual sweater on the needles is in charcoal. It's not the colour I want to be working with at this time of year, but it's what's in my stash and I'm determined to use what I have. Yesterday I wet blocked the first five inches to make sure the size was accurate and that I really loved the drape and feel, so now I'm proceeding confidently up toward the underarms. See you in a bit.