Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How Did That Get on the Needles?

Turquoise Jewel jacket by Jean Frost in Summer 2005 KnittersMy next summer project was going to be Turquoise Jewel in KnitPicks sportweight Shine, 60% cotton, 40% model.

The pattern is designed by Jean Frost and published in the Summer 2005 Knitter's magazine.

Almost a year ago, July 30, 2005, I wrote: "Not only do I love the looks of this jacket, it is just the kind of knitting I love to do. As soon as a stitch pattern gets boring, it changes to another stitch pattern."

Turquoise Jewel has been on my mind ever since, even more so after I used Shine for the first time and discovered it would be perfect for this pattern except for the heavy lower border.

Swatch of new bottom for Turquoise JewelAfter swatching an alternate lower border in a variation of Feather and Fan, I was ready to cast on. Just needed to buy some yarn.

I couldn't decide which color Shine to order. Staring at the colors online and in the catalog wasn't helpful. Shine has bright, vivid colors. Laptop screens and printed catalogs don't do them justice. I was afraid to order enough for a jacket without seeing the actual color first.

I thought I wanted a purple/violet color but couldn't decide between orchid, violet, or hydrangea with occasional leanings toward cherry, grass, and cloud. Or I could pick turquoise and make it like the pattern picture. Indecision led to inaction. I needed a sample card.

Everyone knows that Knitpicks has free shipping for orders over $40, so I HAD to order some yarn with the Shine color card. Since I was planning to knit an alpaca sweater this fall and had all ready done some swatching with KnitPicks Andean Treasure, I ordered 15 skeins in Lagoon, a beautiful green heathered with yellow.

Sleeves for alpaca sweaterThe package was sitting in the mailbox Saturday, the day I got home from the wedding trip. I was tired. I wanted to sit. I wanted comfort. What's more comforting than knitting on soft, fluffy alpaca? What's more tempting than new yarn?

And that is why I'm knitting super warm alpaca in the summer instead of Shine. Makes sense to me. In fact, I'm totally happy about it. I love this yarn. It's a total pleasure to knit, especially after knitting with linen on my last project. (Yes, as soon as the temperature goes below 90 on a day it's not raining, there will be pictures of the shawl.)

Since I'm mostly making up the alpaca sweater pattern as I go along, I decided to start with the sleeves. I did play around with the lace border and frogged a few times, so I was glad to have fewer stitches on the needle. Once I got the first sleeve the way I wanted it, I cast on the second before forgetting what I did. The result: Two sleeves almost ready to start armhole shaping.

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