It’s lovely to think of you wandering the rocky coast of Maine with a sock on your needles and a lo-fi hip-hop song in your heart. I hope you are getting plenty of fried fish and a daily soft-serve ice cream.
We are holding down the fort in your absence. Nothing to worry about, hen, nothing at all! [whistles cheerfully past Quickbooks]
I, too, have a vacation coming up, the second half of August. As far as I can tell, it will be a journey without yarn shops, so I have to go in loaded for bear, with no plan B. I’m also hoping to go with just the regulation carry-on bag and Personal Item, so I have to do something that is hard for me: Plan. Aim. Know what I’m doing, and then do that thing and not some other thing.
My last vacation of the going-somewhere type was in 2019. I channeled my inner Ann Shayne and took a few skeins of sock yarn, and I had a jolly time with socks. I really got into them. As advertised, they were portable and cool knitting, and I did a lot of single-sock display on sunny backgrounds. Highly recommend! Anyone who is on their way out the door on a road trip, and failed to make a knitting TripTik, just grab a skein or two of sock yarn and a copy of MDK Field Guide No. 11: Wanderlust, and problem solved!
But one thing I like to do on vacation is work on a big project. The last time I did this was in 2013, when I got very far on my Whitby Pullover while rambling around Germany and Croatia with the fam. That sweater is very special to me for many reasons, and one of the reasons is that I made it during that happy trip, and photographed the WIP in fun locations.
I want to do that this year.
So the question is:
What is that big project?
It’s not the Simple Swoncho, because look! I’m making swift progress on my Simple Swoncho! It’ll be done before I leave.
The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Worsted in the Palisades shade, my dream combo of cobalt and black.
knitting math: I’ve finished 17 of 22 repeats of the 4-round increase pattern. That sounds like a lot, but the rounds are getting so long that I’m not even halfway done with this portion of the program. For my tips on setting up increase rounds on the simple swoncho, here you go.
I’m getting really good at remembering that to get the garter stitch bands of my modified version right, I have to purl alternate rounds. Which means that I’ll mess it up any minute now. Pride goeth before a flub.
So, it won’t be the Simple Swoncho, but I’m pretty well decided that I want to make a sweater. And I’m very well decided that I want to make it with our forthcoming, brand-new, yarn-of-our-own, Atlas.
Atlas is currently available only as part of the Skill Set Box of Joy. more atlas (much much more) is on the way, with the official launch planned for this fall. Stay tuned!
I’ve swatched copiously with Atlas, and I’ve made the Skill Set hat with Atlas, but I want to really get my teeth into this light worsted, 3-ply, climate-beneficial, U.S.-grown-and-spun Rambouillet.
Photo: Sara Remington.
I’m leaning toward making Isabell Kraemer’s Petula Pullover from MDK Field Guide No. 10: Downtown. I will wear the heck out of that thing. In my mind’s eye, mine will be a dark color body, say, Barn Red, with a light shade for the yoke patterning.
I am dithering though, because in all my years of admiring and adoring Junko Okamoto’s stunning and inventive sweater designs (Ravelry link), I’ve not yet made a single one. I am filled with longing every time I see one. I just love what this designer is up to: the distinctive vision, the constant renewal and surprise, the modern-meets-folklore vibe. I’m particularly enamored of these two (Ravelry links):
An oldie (circa 2017) but a goodie, I’ve never seen a version I didn’t love. I also think Olive would rock a doggie-sized Twigs tribute, and she would not be the first. Is it too pattern-y for travel knitting? Maybe…but if it’s my only project, I’ll have to persevere!
When this mock-patchwork maze of cables blazed onto the internet last fall, I felt like it had been designed especially for me. This is my sweater! I also have a long and glorious history of traveling with cabled companions, going back at least as far as 2002, when I knit the first of two denim ganseys for my 6 foot 7 mate while traveling to China and back. I find cables easier, generally, than colorwork, and the gauge is an easy no-math match for Atlas.
It feels kind of right to knit an Adventure Sweater while having an adventure. But Petula is calling me downtown!
What would you do?
Photos of The Twigs and Hana pullovers: Junko Okamoto.