starting a new sweater before the New Year

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I cast on for a new sweater a few days ago, in two shades of Classic Elite “Mohawk” yarn:

Loving my Elle Melle (in progress)

What you’re seeing there is actually my second attempt, because my first attempt was turning out to be WAY too wide. It’s a grown-up version of Elle Melle, part of my mission to *actually* knit all the things I keep saying that I’m going to knit (seriously). (Note that I’ve talked about doing this in no fewer than 4 previous posts!)

Grown up Elle Melle progress.

The Elle Melle pattern obviously does not include grown-up sizes, but I’m only a bit bigger than the 12yo size, and I’m good at math. (At least, I’m good at it the SECOND time I do it!) Though I spoke of changing it from a raglan to set-in sleeves in those posts I linked to, I’m actually coming around to leaving it as a raglan, because while raglans in general are not necessarily the BEST design for me (given my broad-for-my-petite-frame shoulders), I kind of feel like the angle of the contrast sleeve is an inherent part of what I *like* about the look of the cardigan.

One thing I *don’t* like the look of, at least for me, is the somewhat “balloon-ish” hem in the original pattern – I think that’s a cute look on a little kid, but wouldn’t function so well on a person who has hips and a waist (not that I have MUCH in the way of hips or waist, but I’m curvier than a little kid!). But I also like for the hem to be a VERY firm garter stitch, so instead of using one needle size smaller for the hem, I used one two sizes smaller – a size 2! But I got the hem I wanted, over 230sts:

Elle-Melle bottom hem.

Then, instead of increasing (as the pattern calls for), I decreased down to 220 stitches (which should give me a ~36″ circumference) for the body. The end result is a hem that just barely pulls in from the body, which is exactly what I wanted!

Grown-Up Elle Melle in progress

I absolutely adore the texture of Elle Melle – the 2 color “corrugation” is just so delightful to knit, and it’s also very easy to keep track of (which I appreciate, because my brain still feels pretty fried). I’ve got 10 dark ridges so far, and I’m thinking that I’ll need around 25 or so to have the length I want for the body before dividing for the yoke. This is actually the first sweater I’ve ever knit for myself in anything less than worsted weight – a sweater at 6sts/inch definitely takes much longer! But I think it’s going to be worth it.

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winter solstice, 2016

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Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice, everyone! It feels a bit strange to say, “Brighter days are ahead!”, even though that is literally true (and thank goodness for that), because I think it’s hard to argue that we’re not headed for some metaphorically dark days. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you read this Sarah Kendzior piece: “We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump.”

Let’s be each other’s lights, too, in the coming year, friends. Support each other. Love each other. Hang on to what is true, and hold tight to our values. Fight the darkness. Resist it. Keep making, keep doing good. Remember that Winter, though dark, is not a time of death – it is a time when seeds lay in wait to bloom. Don’t lose hope.

Peace, love, and kindness to all. Shine on!