Being at Stitches for four days this year was crazy. We got there at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, and worked throughout the day getting the booth ready. While Blue Moon was just down the aisle, and Brooks Farm was right in my face, shopping was the last thing on my mind. Around 6:30, I went to get coffee, and noticed a long and winding line had formed outside the convention floor. Is Springsteen in town? I thought, and realized that everyone was in line - for yarn! It was crazy. We weren't even finished with our pricetags. There was a mad rush, a frenzy. And then, a calm. I calmly purchased my Brooks Farm yarn, knowing exactly what I was going to make (see Gertrude below). I eyed up the Blue Moon booth, but shrugged, eh, not this year. I don't need anything else, I thought. I'm done shopping.
Right. Every day something new caught my eye - Friday was Habu, Saturday I got sucked in to Blue Moon, Sunday, it was Lisa Souza. Skaska was in there somewhere too. And, of the Rosie's bunch, I seemed to be the only one accumulating purchases. Isn't anyone else going to buy something???? Am I the only yarn slut in town? And then it happened - it must have been just the right kick from Flippy, but Courtney finally got the bug - late Saturday - she had to have Shadyside Farm. Must Have Shadyside! Shadyside is a mom and pop kind of farm - the yarn is homespun and hand dyed. Kind of hidden by Webs, dwarfed a bit by the Yarn Barn of Kansas, mom and pop Shadyside had a lovely booth - and Courtney must have visited them ten times, trying to pick out her perfect fair isle combination. I admired the yarn - but frankly, I was broke - mohair and bamboo from Habu, laceweight from Blue Moon, Skaska and Lisa Souza, sweater quantity from Brooks Farm - I stepped away from the yarn - and was more than a bit jealous when Courtney made her final choices. Oh Shadyside, would we ever meet again?
Of course we would - at Rhinebeck - Pop Shadyside even remembered Kate and I - in the midst of conversation with Pop, I spied the sale bin - I swooped in - and grabbed the last five skeins of their homespun Alpaca - in a colorway called Pear. Five skeins, 220 yards a skein, 1100 yards. 1100 yards makes me nervous. I generally make a medium, and need at least 1200 yards. Anything else is cutting it close. But, rather than let my lovely Shadyside languish in my stash while I contemplated what to do with almost sweater quantity yarn, I hopped on Ravelry, and found Wicked from the very talented ladies at Zephyr Style
Wicked is a perfect pattern.
Knit from the top down, there's NO SEWING! And, like Ribbi Cardi from Chicknits, there are lots of options. Do you want long sleeves or short sleeves? Do you want to add extra shaping? Sure, throw it in! How about a pocket? Love it - love the options! And, of course, the ability to try as you go.
The collar is a faux cable, and the same detail is on the cuff. The cuff in the pattern is about 2 inches long, I decided to go for four. I intended for it to hit just below the elbow, but it turned out a little shorter than the picture in my head, but that's ok.
I debated the pocket. To pocket, or not to pocket? I pocketed, and I'm pleased that I did.
And the yarn, sigh. Isn't it pretty? And it's cozy cozy. For the most part, the twist is consistent, but there are a few flubs along the way - but I love them - it's like a homemade Valentine's card, or fresh baked cookies straight out of the oven. There's something very real about it - the flaws make it accessible. I once dated this sculptor - he made all of these crazy pieces in different mediums - wood, concrete, slab, etc. When he showed me his work, I had very little to say about the abstract constructs, um, it's nice? So, he pulled out a very small piece - a figure lounging on a rock. Smugly, he said, maybe this is more accessible for you. Obviously, this guy didn't last long - but that's kind of the way I feel about this yarn - nothing fancy, nothing pretentious - just pretty, homemade yarn. And yes, I'd take the little figure on the rock over the towering pile of rocks anyday.