I can’t believe we’re two weeks into the new year and I haven’t posted here! I have so much to catch up on.
Wrapping up 2009, while it was not the best year I’ve had, I feel pretty good about things and very hopeful as we look toward the future. I’m a combination of cynical and optimistic generally speaking. This past year had its downs, but it’s also the year I finished up what I hope are the last of my college requirements for transfer. I discovered that I like math. And on the knitting front, I feel like my skills improved and that I have a better plan for going forward.
My birthday was on January 6th, and as a birthday present to myself, I dropped everything I was working on (more on that later) and cast on for Liesl. I am a huge admirer of Ysolda’s work, but I have to say that I did not fall in love with Liesl right away. I thought it was pretty and then thought no more until Emily posted pictures of her Liesl and I knew that someday, I would have to make one, too.
After Clothilde went live, I put aside a little money for some Sundara Aran Silky Merino. At the time, the only way to order it was in the mass updates that sold out pretty fast, or from the Year in Color, and I was waiting for the perfect color, which showed up in September. Arabian Nights, the most gorgeous brown and purple yarn you’ve ever seen. I ordered two skeins and then waited the long wait until November, when it shipped. But it was well worth the wait, and I was so so glad I chose that particular shade when it arrived. It is amazing in real life, all these deep shades running into each other and each more beautiful than the last.
I was going to swatch, but I’d only ordered two skeins, and I was worried about the yardage. I decided to order another skein for swatch purposes. That took a while, because I am the Indecisive Queen of Indecisiveness. I wanted a color that I could use for gifts, so I dithered and dithered and finally ordered some purple and blue yarn. Then there was the wait for that to arrive. Once it got here, I swatched using my size 10 needles. I have begun to think I’m a loose knitter, so I thought perhaps I’d need to go down in needle size. But no, size 10 was too small, and 11 too big, so I had to order needles, which I did, in several sizes, from Knit Picks. Then it was the waiting game again.
The needles arrived on my birthday, so I dropped everything and swatched immediately. I had purchased 6.5 mm needles and also the 7 mm needles called for in the pattern. Lo and behold, I got gauge on the called for needles! I was glad of the 6.5 needles, though, because I wanted a neckline between the ones shown on the pattern. I cast on for the wide neckline using the 6.5 mm needles and switched to the 7 mm after 22 rows.
I was ill for a bit, so I didn’t knit as fast as I usually would, but even still, the sweater was done in four days. And even that would have been three days if I hadn’t been so tired. This is a genius pattern. It breezes along like you wouldn’t believe and it’s never boring. The lack of waist shaping isn’t a problem because of the stretchy lace, but I was surprised to find that the bottom belled when I blocked it and it essentially created a waist. Oh, and I used about 1.75 skeins.
I love this thing. My first FO of 2010. It’s not really the right weather to wear it yet, but I like being prepared. This will be a great spring cardigan.
The pattern is very easy to follow, as written and this yarn? It is amazing to work with. Although it is single ply, the silk content grounds the merino, creating a very soft and warm fabric with incredible drape, and thus far, no pills.
I have a very long torso, and this hits just where I wanted it to. Again, I’m plain shocked that this is possible with so little yarn. This is the perfect pattern for a more expensive yarn because you need so little of it. And if the Sundara ASM is a little rich for your blood, Blue Moon Fiber Arts offers a very similar yarn that’s $32 for 500 yards, Luscious Single Silk.
This is my first Liesl, but it will not be my last. This pattern strikes me as great for gifts. More detail on the yarn and knitting on Ravelry.
Goals for 2010 next time!