Fall 2011: Receive the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits. Instantly fall in love with the Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti. Early May 2013: Go to MD Sheep and Wool with a specific shopping list that includes yarn for the Dahlia Cardigan. Debate over several options…
Today for you I have a baby sweater that I knit and gave away more than a month ago: the wee Cria by Ysolda Teague. Some dear friends are expecting their second baby this month, and I wanted to get the sweater to them before they moved away in May. And I made it! But barely. 🙂
I knew I wanted to knit more patterns by Ysolda after having so much fun knitting the wee Envelope this time and this time. While those were knit in sport and DK, the wee Cria is in fingering. I knew I was pressed for time, so I knew I’d do the short-sleeved version. A hunt through my stash turned up some possibilities, but then the perfect one revealed itself: Unwind Yarn Company Journey Sock.
Speaking of dear friends – I was so grateful to make Dana’s friendship when I was home in the U.S. to have my son. Dana is the brilliant dyer and owner of Unwind Yarn Company and one of the two lovely hosts of the Just One More Row podcast. The day I was due to fly back to Kenya, I had lunch with Dana, and she very unexpectedly presented me with this skein of Journey sock in the “Fahoo Foray Dahoo Doray” color, reminiscent of the Grinch. She also let me know that only she and I had this colorway. And in fact, if you look it up on Ravelry, you’ll see that’s the case. 🙂
I have to confess that this isn’t a color that I would have necessarily gravitated to right away. However, as I worked with it, I realized it’s GENIUS. The yarn is speckled over an 80% superwash merino/20% nylon white base. The predominant color is a light turquoise, but there are flecks of Christmas tree green, a deep orangey red, and a hot magenta, as well. It shouldn’t work. Those colors really shouldn’t work. But they do. And this is why Dana is a professional dyer, and I am not. Every time I hit a fleck of magenta, which usually lasted a stitch or two, I got a little thrill.
Another thing is that, while knitting this yarn, I NEVER got the impression that it was anything other than soft. But then I washed it. And, oh, friends, it got softer. This yarn is perfect for knitting for little babies, and I can just imagine what it’d feel like on my feet.
So, the yarn was a joy and delight – what about the pattern? Even though this little cardi looks simple, once again Ysolda has thrown in an interesting construction when it comes to the shoulders. It’s not difficult – it’s just different. And I love that. I love knitting that makes me think spatially. In any case, once you get the shoulders sorted, you increase for little cap sleeves, then put them on a holder and zoom down the body to the end. Like with the wee Envelope, there’s no seaming, which is glorious. Because I was pressed for time, I went for 1) short sleeves, 2) three buttons at the top instead of all the way down the front, and 3) no pockets. I love pockets. Toddlers love pockets. Babies don’t care about pockets, but they look adorable with them. But I got this done really at the last second, even sewing on the buttons while nursing my son on my lunch break from work. I didn’t do the pockets.
I’m not much of a repeat knitter when it comes to patterns (because I want to KNIT ALL THE THINGS), but Ysolda’s are making me buck that trend. If you’re looking for a well-written and beautiful knit with a clever construction, look for an Ysolda pattern. And while you’re at it, knit it in Dana’s yarn. They both know what they’re doing.