I know this will sound crazy, but I rarely allow myself to use my own yarn — well, not the good stuff, anyway. When I’m feeling itchy to cast something on, I always make myself dig through the seconds (we call them “Poor Plutos”… why? because just like poor old Pluto, they almost made the grade). I don’t know why but, even though I am practically swimming in beautiful yarn all day long, I feel incredibly guilty keeping any for myself. Isn’t that ridiculous?!? Yeah, I know, and yet there it is — every time I go to keep some yarn for myself, I end up feeling all guilty and putting it back.
But once the madness of March and April began to really heat up (oh, and it got so crazy, I can hardly tell you!), I knew I needed to cast on something relaxing and grounding just to keep my sanity. You know what I mean. And this time, I really really wanted to knit with the good stuff.
So when a little dyepot-experimentation produced an incredible blue-gray that made me swoon as soon as I saw it (and it was on Lyra too, a sproingy cabled 8ply sport yarn that I loooove), I decided right then to keep five skeins for myself. Never mind that little nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I had to stick to the Plutos, I wanted it and I was going to have it! And so before I ever had the chance to change my mind, I immediately wound one skein into a cake and cast on. Deed done.
Ever since then, everyone has been asking me to dye more of that colourway. Every time I pull my project out, someone says they’d like that same colourway. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure I could reproduce it because… I hadn’t written down what I’d done.
But when Mel of SingleHanded Knits told me she was using Lyra for her new design called Old Man and the Sea, based on the Hemingway book and being knit in combined KAL/RAL (knit-along/read-along, of course!) starting May 15, I knew this colourway would be perfect for it. Grays and blues, sea and sky, deep waters and deeper storylines… Spot on. I went back to the dyepots and began experimenting… again.
Y’know, I’m absolutely besotted with Old Man and the Sea. A straight-forward garter-stitch cardi with interesting touches of openwork and cables… What’s not to love? And the design elements represent something from the book. To hear Mel’s inspiration for the pattern and the details about the KAL, check out this video she put together.
Mel knit her cardi in Burnt Clay and, as you can see, it looks fantastic. There’s also some gorgeous Honey in the shop, and Dark Skies and Sage being tied and tagged right now. But recreating that amazing blue-gray… could I do it?
I did! After a couple of false starts, I nailed it — and I named Fathoms Down and put the first batch in the shop before I’d even had a chance to photograph it. And do you want to hear something fantastic? Two intrepid knitters jumped in feet first and scooped those skeins up almost immediately — a sweater’s worth of yarn each — even though they’d never even seen the colourway.
How’s that for daring?!? I loved it, to see knitters who were just so adventurous! It is the absolute essence hand-dyed, to just dive in and explore where-ever the colour takes you. Heck, it’s the essence of knitting itself, isn’t it? Knitters, crocheters, fiber-artists of all stripes… we take the raw materials and just go where they lead us.
Who’s in on this KAL with me? The Old Man and the Sea KAL starts May 15, and the pattern is at a special marked down price until May 10th. There’s Honey and Burnt Clay available in the shop, with more colourways (including Fathom’s Down!) to go up in the next few days. Keep your eyes open!