I love sports speak. I use expressions that have become part of colloquial language, but the only way I know (vaguely) what they mean in actual sports is by reasoning backwards from what they mean as metaphors. I’m talking about expressions like “out of left field” and “calling an audible.” (Of course it’s audible—you call it—but I am not going to argue with fluent sports speakers.)
The only sports expression I understand from personal experience is “standing in the outfield praying nobody hits it in this direction.”
Anyway, I understand calling an audible to mean making a decision on the field of play that is not what everyone on the team thought they were going to do. And that’s what I’m doing with regard to the very momentous athletic achievement that I am embarking upon soon: knitting my first garment out of our forthcoming first-ever MDK yarn, Atlas.
(Preview for Atlas-curious readers: Atlas is a light worsted weight of US-grown, US-spun, and US-dyed Rambouillet wool, custom milled for MDK. It is divine: three plies with an airy twist, for a perfect sweater—light and warm—and great stitch definition. While we wait in Nashville for the final few colors of the full Atlas palette to arrive, the yarn is available only as part of the Skill Set Box of Joy, which contains three bouncy skeins of it.)
My Brain on Cables
My current project, Junko Okamoto’s Hana Pullover, has cast a spell over me. It’s been ages since I’ve knit a full-on cable project like Hana, and I’m absolutely loving it.
This is the kind of knitting you think about all day while you’re doing the daily chores that prevent you from knitting—you can’t wait to get back to it. The rhythm, the satisfaction of scrolling motifs that neatly divide themselves into the available stitches, the fact that every stitch has its place in the pattern and must be accounted for, and that every mistake is correctible—it’s an absolutely compelling kind of knitting.
After a few commenters expressed concern about how Rowan Denim’s shrinkage would affect the shape of the sweater, I broke down and washed and dried the finished back to test it out.
Bottom piece is pre-shrinkage, top piece is post-shrinkage.
Good news: it shrank exactly as predicted, and most importantly: it shrank evenly, so the overall shape remained the same. Since I made a bigger size to anticipate shrinkage, all is well.
See? After washing (the top piece), it’s smaller, but still sweater shaped. Everything is going to be fine.
I feel the same joy in knitting cables that I get from learning my part in a complicated piece of choral music. Little by little, I learn it, breaking down the tangly bits into single phrases and even measures and notes, until I can loosen my grip on the sheet music and just sing.
I’m having such a good time knitting cables that I don’t want to stop. So: I’m throwing myself a curve ball. I’m redirecting my precious first skeins of Atlas to making a Liberty Tree pullover.
The Liberty Tree pullover is in MDK Field Guide No. 9: Revolution, which contains a fresh and feisty mix of interchangeable cable motifs and sweater silhouettes, all from the brilliant mind of Norah Gaughan.
I’m about to tie up my Hana boat on sleeve island, so my cast-on for the Liberty Tree pullover is still on the horizon, but not too far off.
Here’s a wee sample of how the Liberty Tree cable motif works up in Atlas:
Legal notice: This does not count as casting on, and is not to be construed in any way as cheating on my hana pullover and/or my rhinebeck sweater. It’s just a swatch, gosh!