Thursday, June 22, 2006

From Sheep to Shoulder

On August 20, 2005, I acquired a fleece from this charming sheep, Indigo. Actually, I paid the shepherd, Loretta Tennant of Tennant Farms in Greendale, BC, who is also charming.

After 10 months of spinning, overdyeing, pattern re-writing and knitting, I have finally finished the sweater!

The pattern Saranac came from Knitty (sorry I haven't figured out how to do links in the text). Designed by Rebecca Hatcher, it's a lovely, elegant pattern and fit Ian perfectly. He is very happy with it, I think. We have plans to do an arty photo shoot and if something turns out to submit it to the Knitty Calendar Contest. He seems to be quite intrigued by the possibility of his picture hanging on the wall of HYUK's across the land.

I did a few crazy things with this sweater. First of all, I bought the fleece less than a month after meeting Ian. I have tempted the boyfriend sweater curse before, but never quite so early in the relationship. I also decided that the natural grey/brown of the fleece didn't suit Ian's ruddy British complexion, so overdyed the yarn with an unreproduceable green, hoping, hoping, hoping that I had enough yarn and wasn't going to have to knit a collar in another shade. I must have made suitable offerings to the yarn goddess, because it all worked out. Except for discovering that I had an extra repeat on the back after knitting all the way up to the armpits, and having to rip it all out down to the ribbing. Just to keep me humble.

Technically, the yarn is a 3 ply sportweight. I spun about 1200 gms. (13 skeins) and had 3 1/2 skeins left over. Ian's a pretty big guy, the finished chest measurement was 50". I used Lanaset dyes and it was too blue halfway throught the dyeing so I added more yellow, and some orange, (without measuring) which is why I could never match the colour a second time. Note to self: Next time, take notes!