January 3, 2012 § 4 Comments
Elizabeth Zimmermann begins her Knitter’s Almanac with an Aran sweater (“a challenge,” she says, and promises “Simpler projects will follow”), and this sentence:
“Once upon a time there was an old woman who loved to knit.”
This is one of the most simple, pleasant, and memorable opening lines I know of (“an old woman’s knitting, ἄειδε θεὰ”).
Setting out to follow, this is the shape my beginning has taken:
Several Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries, the 2010 reprint of Aran Knitting, a buried sketchbook, open Ravelry page, and, of course, Knitter’s Almanac itself
(also pictured: camera battery charger, wallet, chocolate bar, US 4 circular needles, WOOL.)
The wool in question is Cormo Rusticus, a unique and one-time woolen offering from JMF (you read, didn’t you, that we’d all set some aside for ourselves?). It’s creamy, luscious, and utterly unlike anything I’ve ever knit with before. It really is exactly identical to the stuff that the sheep out there are covered in– although that’s obviously no surprise.
In lieu of reinforcing the so-often-imposed dichotomy between softness and scratchiness/sheepiness (and the perhaps concomitant moral imperative– to which I so often fall prey– to choose the sheepy and scratchy over the silk/alpaca/mass-produced-merino and soft), I won’t be telling you that this wool is “So cozy, yet so sheepy– it’s a perfect marriage!”, because I think that’s the easy way out, and that’s boring.
Really, the adjective that comes closest is creamy. It’s like the inside of a perfectly-cooked bean. Tender. With substance. Coherent. Two ticks to the smooth side of gritty. It’s perfect.
Anyway, let’s talk about cables!
And, because I am, after all, in debt to the Divine Elizabeth, I can’t not put a Fishtrap Cable on either side of the front.
There are two Sheepfold cables on the back (of course),
two Aran Braids underneath either armhole,
and two irresistably-named somethings that Barbara Walker calls Sausage Cables.
And there are two panels of Gull Stitch, flanking the 10 steek sts (I like to give myself lots of room).
If you’d like to knit along with me, I don’t think I can recommend Cormo Rusticus highly enough. I’ll be posting pretty frequently about the making of it here on my blog, so stay tuned– or, better still, knit an Aran with me!
ETA: Ravel’d here! How could I have forgotten!?