So, I'm going to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool festival for book signings in October. Yes, Rhinebeck. For those of you not-yet-annointed (that would be me as well), it is a sheep and wool festival held north of New York City in Duchess County. I have no idea what goes on there--except I hear there's the usual fried fair food, lots of sheep, goats and what have you, and yarn, AND that one should NOT bring suitcases on wheels or other wheel-y items because it makes people mad--further, I am told that it is de rigueur to knit yourself a "Rhinebeck Sweater."
The so-called Rhinebeck Sweater has this interesting lore, something that I've only touched on a bit because, well, I've never been there. I have noticed, though, that there are tons of pictures of knitters wearing their sweaters, and have heard many stories of finish-line knitting in time for the event. I have even heard that some wear their sweaters that are still UFO's.
So, being in the armpit of California--and you know I like knitting sweaters and all--it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to knit a sweater that I won't really ever wear but once. I know it sounds crazy, me being a knitwear designer and all, but I just don't wear sweaters. It's too warm. In fact, as proof, I will make a confession: You all know what I'm talking about when I say that there are a few items in my laundry hamper that keep getting passed over. You know, there's always a top or maybe some socks that get left behind time after time because I just don't need to wear them, want to wear them, or frankly don't want to deal with deciding to do with them. You know about this, right?
Well, when I did a couple of loads of laundry last night I noticed a sweater that had been passed over many times. So many times, that I think it has been there for at least two years. And that might be an understatement.
Oprah, I'm sure, would have a thing or two to say about me and my hamper.
At any rate, in keeping with the whole Rhinebeck Sweater thing, I decided that I'd make a vest instead. I looked around and I found this class on Craftsy, The Fair Isle Vest, by Mary Jane Mucklestone, and wow, what fun.
Even though I've worked this type of stranded knitting before and worked steeks, I totally appreciated the class. Mary Jane is such a great teacher. And the class is great because I was able to pause or fast forward to places where I wanted information. I confess I am not totally happy with my color choices because the actual motif gets sort of muddy and hidden with my version, but that's okay. My goal was to have a sunny feeling--sort of Southern California style--if you know what I mean.
I knit the second size up. My gauge is pretty close to goal, but because of my long torso, what I'd do next time (and there will be a next time because this is something I might actually wear), is make the smallest size and lengthen the body and work the armhole depth the same as the second size. Does that make sense?
P.S. If you want to know where I got the yarn (it's Jamieson's Shetland DK), I found it at Camilla Valley Farm Weavers Supply. They actually have a deal there where you can buy the correct quantities of the yarn for your particular size at a bit of a discount. My next one will be pinks.