I've knit a lot of things over the years, so it's hard to choose favorites. I could write out a list of most-worn items or items that stretched my skills the most at the time. But this project may be the most in-depth knitting project I've tackled to date, and when the temperature cools down again in approximately 5(?) months, I anticipate it will be heavily worn.
I do have a little previous stranded colorwork experience with a hat for Nicholas, a Modern Colorwork Cowl, and a Glacier Park Cowl, I had never knit a top-down sweater, or a yoke, let alone a stranded colorwork yoke.
But I loved the pattern and I was determined, as was my friend Molly, to do this. I remember the day I cast on asking myself, Can I even do this? And the answer was "Yes," of course. If I committed to practice and time and awareness that trial and error is part of the process, then it could be done. And what I found was that knitting a stranded colorowork sweater yoke is a lot like knitting a stranded colorwork hat, or a stranded colorwork cowl in the round, except you add in a little shaping and a greater diameter. And it was so fun to play with color on a larger scale!
Since the weather heats up rather early here in Texas, I was worried I'd have to settle for taking pictures of it inside. However, on our trip to Maine, with temps in the 50's and 60's, I found an opportunity to wear it and for Nicholas to take a few pictures of me modeling it down by the water in Bar Harbor. We took these after our last seafood dinner downtown with his family.
This sweater is like wearing a hug. It is SO cozy. And the yarn, despite being 100% wool is quite soft. I think it will be durable as well. Despite it being more of a "trendy" shape, a hybrid of a sweater/poncho, hence the name, I think the colors make it rather classic looking.
And when my friend Molly finishes her's (she's nearly there!) then there will certainly be some pictures of both of us in our Swonchos together.
For even more details, you can see my ravelry project page
Yarn: Cloudborn Fibers Highland DK (100% wool) in the colors Grey Heather, Autumn Heather, Stormy Skies, and Dolphin Blue.
Pattern: Ninilchik Swoncho
Needles: US size 4 and US size 5. I sized down for the larger needles which I used for the colorwork sections, as is my usual for my loose tension.
Specifics/modifications: My gauge was more compact both in rows and width, so I made accommodations along the way. I still knit Size 1, but anticipated that I would have slightly less positive ease than the pattern specified. Also, since my row gauge was more compact, my yoke was a bit more shallow, so I needed to add 2" to the length of the body and also several additional inches to the sleeves. The original design is already a bit cropped, but I wanted to make it a bit longer and also make up for my gauge. In the end, I'm thrilled with the fit.
I love baking. I truly do. The difference between a bad afternoon and a good one can be as simple as a baked good. I love the slow process, the premonition of preheating the oven, sometimes playing around with different flavors. My favorites are your typical "home bakes," nothing couture. Cakes, cookies, brownies, etc., are all my go-to baked goods to make in my own kitchen.
Some projects come along at just the right moment, and this shawl is one of them. After several rather hectic months, I wanted to get back into the rhythm of knitting, but wanted a fun, low-pressure, but still creatively inspiring project. I love knitting socks, but I wanted to knit something with more colorplay and this shawl was just the thing.
It's that time of the year when typically, as a born-and-raised Northerner, I'd be yearning for spring. That yearning isn't quite so pronounced here in Austin, but nonetheless, February is a month of almosts. Winter is almost over, spring is almost here, etc. And so it has been timely for me to indulge in a few self-care practices (and treats) while we're living in the almosts.