This is one of my current works-in-progress and, to date, an utter joy.
There’s some background to this one. Not very long after I took up knitting (2005), I saw a small photo in a knitting mag, advertising a Rowan pattern book. It was of a man and woman having an improbably lovely time paddling in a very grey sea, presumably on an autumn day because of the gorgeous chunky cable knit jumpers they were wearing.
It looked, in fact, exactly like this:
Readers, I fell in love. I wanted that cabled jumper for myself. I loved the pattern, and the bright flecky yarn, and the way it would apparently allow me to go wading in the sea without getting numb feet EVEN THOUGH IT’S CLEARLY WINTER those awesome cables. So I bought the pattern book (days before Ravelry, people), excitedly flicked to the relevant page, and discovered that the required quantity of that particular yarn (RYC Natural Silk Aran – long discontinued these days, I believe) would set me back approx £150. I couldn’t imagine making it in anything else, I wanted that look from the photo, so I put the book back on the shelf and tried not to think about it for the next decade or so.
Fast forward to June 2016. I’m having a chat with Alison at the knitting shop, as I often do on a weekend, and ask her what she’s knitting. It’s a lovely moss stitch jumper, but more importantly it’s using a beautiful yarn. Aqua coloured (though, mysteriously, the colourway’s called ‘grit’…). Flecky. Made of recycled silk, cotton and viscose (so robust while still pretty – and environmentally friendly!). Better hurry up though, because while there’s a fair amount in stock, it’s also one of the many newly-discontinued Rowan yarns (sigh). A little ping went off in the back of my mind, and that night I dug out my old pattern book. Tada! Not a perfect match, because this new yarn (Rowan Revive) is lighter than the Aran weight the pattern called for. But I got a ball and made a swatch, and discovered that the gauge wasn’t all that far out. And, in fact, the change in gauge would help to make the jumper a more closely fitting one, which would suit my 30-something tastes a little more than that big oversized original.
The rest was a foregone conclusion. Calculating yarn quantities, rounding up, adding an extra ball for luck (I now know I have too much, but much better that way round), buying the yarn, casting on, and continuing the love affair. Three months later and I’m making slow but steady progress (actually, it’s been quite fast for me, especially as I finished something else in the meantime) and I’m still in love with the pattern.
The yarn is perfect – I love the material it makes knitted up, and it is exactly as robust as it needs to be for those intensive cables (something softer would have snapped at a key moment several times by now, and the whole shebang would likely have ended up in the bin). I’m both sleeves and almost-the-back to the good, and hoping to cast on for the front soon to work on during an upcoming holiday (said holiday is on the beach, so knitting and that might not mix, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared).
Why Doomsday? Well, the only sad note in what would otherwise be a perfect romance, is that the day I cast on for this was the day of the EU referendum. But we’ll not talk of that for now. Instead, have some cable love.