With the turn towards warmer weather, I'm working hard not to let knitting go by the wayside. There were several weeks that, for whatever reason, I just couldn't get needles in hands to work. Then, I resumed knitting with a simple scarf project, thinking it would be a safe bet because it was fairly mindless. Turns out it was too mindless, leaving me with even more knitting apathy. There is a Jo Sharp cardigan that has been calling to me for a while now, but I had never attempted such a big project. I kept looking at it online and waffling. After the Bali trip, I visited my yarn shop to give them some pre-ordered Balinese candy (if you go to Crossways, take them Fox's in the purple bag; Margaret must have those!), and a woman was trying to figure out color combinations over the phone for--you guessed it--my cardigan. I took it as a sign, selected a color combo, gathered all the yarn (and boy oh boy is there a lot of it), and I haven't looked back!
I have heard that there are different types of knitters: scarf knitters, hat knitters, blanket knitters, sweater knitters...it is entirely possible that I am a sweater knitter. Scarves, while lovely, bore me after the pattern emerges (usually less than 20% of the way in). Knitting this sweater is totally different. Creating a garment by hand, stitch by stitch, is enormously satisfying. It turns out that this pattern is really easy and quick to knit. It is knit on fairly large needles (10mm) with two yarns held together. One is alpaca; the other is cotton. Alpaca is really warm, so this will be a winter cardigan. I was drawn to a burnt orange color (a warm and cozy fall color in my mind), and I did my darnedest to match a cotton to it that wouldn't be too blah or too pumpkin/crazy. I settled on a dark purple, and forged ahead without a test run. I am not yet convinced this was entirely sane. There are some lovely colors in the alpaca that I completely ignored in my quest to match the orange. This is a lesson in swatch-making. Buy one ball of each and make a swatch! Of course, I didn't do that. I bought all the yarn I'd need for the cardigan, so there's no turning back. (actually, I think I would have done it anyway. I really like these colors together; I'm just a bit worried about it as an entire sweater)
Last night, I finished the bottom part. Today, I start the sleeves. Once the sleeves are made, I will knit them in with the bottom to form the back and collar as one piece. I promise to be back with photos of the outcome. I hope it won't be too freaky. Certainly, there's nothing like it available in any store, which is part of my goal.