If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see youย at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Make Your Own Kind of Music

Dear Kay,
Continuing in my frugal and stashbusting ways (ha), I dove back into my tar pit of yarn to find another unfinished object I could rescue from the slough of despond.
I’ll say it again: this unfinished object concept is VERY STRONG, y’all. You may think that your castaway, deeply unfinished sweater totally and completely sucks, but remember: at some point, you were all excited to be starting it. It was COOL. There was some mojo dragging you toward that project. The reason you stopped working on it likely had more to do with the allure of Project B than with an intrinsic problem with Project A. If you ditched Project A because of some crippling technical breakdown, it’s likely that at this point, you have forgotten how your soul was broken by it. Seriously! In these challenging times (and by the way, when were times NOT challenging? Have we ever had a non-challenging time? EVER?), an unfinished object provides you a jumpstart, a free pass, a drive from the ladies’ tees.
I unearthed the start of a project that I never even got around to blogging, moldering away behind a sizeable collection of rag balls. It was two rectangles knitted onto one needle, with some kind of shaping joined below. Huh? What was this thing? No wonder I ditched it!
Deeper in my closet, behind cowboy boots (the red ones) and a dress for a baby girl that I never sent to my niece (crap!), I found the rest of the yarn and pattern for this weird piece of knitting.
My old friend Rowan Felted Tweed! [Pauses to admire the current set of colorways I mean colourways. Look at 152 Watery. Sigh! Doesn’t that just say it all?]
The shade I’m using is a really great crunchy color. I can’t remember Rowan’s name for it, but we’ll call it Chaff. Or Hayseed. Or Dull. It has blue flecks and dark brown flecks. I really, really love this yarn. If you’ve never messed around with this stuff, you really need to. Merino/alpaca/viscose. Sort of felty.
The pattern is the Back Home in Vermont pullover, a pattern by Marjorie Moureau that appears in that most sheepy book, The Natural Knitter by the late Barbara Albright.
I think it’s the stitch pattern that got me het up about this one. It’s such a cool texture, the right twist stitch combined with ribs. It’s constructed in a clever way:
vermontschematic copy.jpg
1 and 2. You knit the saddles as separate little rectangles.
3. Pick up stitches on one side of each saddle and knit the front yoke.
4. Pick up stitches on the other side of each saddle and knit the back yoke.
5. Pick up a sleeve, which is going to end up being a set-in sleeve at some distant point in its future.
And down it will go. Any knitter would love the way the cables on the saddles continue smoothly down the arm. And I’m glad I’ll be able to check the fit as I go, because I’m concerned that the sleeves are going to be kind of full.
This is proving to be the PERFECT knitting to accompany my obsession with Lost. Like the series, this knitting is surprisingly slow, what with all the back n forthing from knit to purl, and all the drama from good to evil. At this point David is much farther along in the series than I am, and I can’t even be in the same part of the house when he’s watching–every single scene is so spoilerish, if I hear a character’s voice, I know that he’s still alive! I’m not going to admit how much I’ve watched so far, but let’s just say that the Mama Cass Elliott’s “Make Your Own Kind of Music” is now the creepiest song I’ve ever heard.
Aw here you go, Lost fans–go freak yourselves out:


Tags: , ,



  1. I just put together a CD mix as part of a little bloggy exchange and that’s the song I chose to close it out. Not because of “Lost”, though. Never watched it.
    I’ve barely knit a stitch all summer – too busy between work and school and my hands needed a break. As we’re starting to get hints of impending fall, though, I have a vest-in-progess that needs to see the light of day again soon.

  2. Dammit, Ann — I have too many UFO’s already, and now you show me a sweater from a book I own.
    I’m making the scarf from the cover of the new Rowan magazine — Felted Tweed is fantastic, especially in 11 colours! (Tribute to my British colleagues and friends…)

  3. What a glorious dress!!! I want one!

  4. I’m still refusing to watch Lost, but I do get a kick out of knitting to the Mythbusters. It is that good combination of geeky and sciency without having plot or characterization, so I can knit and look down if I need to without feeling like I’ve just missed everything!
    I forsee that September will involve unearthing a lot of UFOs and seeing what can be done.

  5. Nice, informative post. But the thing that just swirls around and around in my head is the “het up” part!! I haven’t heard that phrase since my Alabama friend spoke it in 1973.
    Ann, you’re inspiring hundreds of folks to dig through the unfinished/neglected/half-loved projects to turn them into the lovelies they are meant to be. Thanks.

  6. A public service announcement for the stash cupboards behind us all. We just finished Lost Season 4 cliff hanger in anticipation of the last season DVD delivery.

  7. Wait until season 3. Lots of good music moments in that show, but especially that season.
    I love watching people discover stories that I love. It’s taking everything in me not to spoil it and let you find out things for yourself, but it’s better this way.

  8. One of my LYS recently closed and I scored 58 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed, half in Aran and half in Chunky. What’s a girl to do when faced with 50% off besides scoop up as much of one dyelot as one can?

  9. Hoorah for finishing UFOs! My summer knitting has taken me to UFO land also, with good results, I’m pleased to report. One thing that happened earlier this year was that I moved — and in the process thought, gee, since I’m sorting through everything, I could put all my UFO’s together into a bin. Errh, make that two, no wait, ah, three bins! Yikes! Well, I’m down to a very large bin still full and a bit in another bin. Progress!

  10. just wanted to let you know that once again, Corn Souffle (aka Corn Casserole) is a HIT!
    Since I’m at a higher elevation now and things take a bit longer to cook, I omitted one egg and it turned out FAN***TASTIC! :o)
    it was a side dish to a platter of fried green tomatoes from our garden and a nice bowl of sauteed okra…yum…

  11. Shoot~
    I have Mama Cass singing that song on one of my walking playlists!
    the thing and start a NEW UFO! (I love using my swift!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Oh, to be discovering LOST for the first time…..

  13. Oh no! How can anything by Mama Cass be creepy?! (No, don’t tell me. An episode of “The X-Files” about 13 years ago turned Johnny Mathis’ “Wonderful, Wonderful” into a creepy song, so I guess I understand.)
    Love your sweater, though! And the Rowan Felted Tweed! I’m partial to “Maritime” myself.

  14. Ahhh, I love knitting to LOST. I can’t wait to finish buying up the seasons on DVD so I can hermit it up for a few weeks with LOST and knitting…

  15. So, I just finished watching Project Runway (and the evil Gretchen) on my ‘puter and had to check in. I read “stashbusting” and “swashbuckling.” What does that mean? I do not look at my UFOs unless I feel like ripping them out. I have quite a few right now…

  16. I’m trying to get through my UFOs, but I might have to add this one to my ravelry ‘q’, I never did a saddle shoulder before….

  17. I am totally impressed by your use of the phrase “slough of despond.” It reminds me that it’s about time I re-read “Little Women.”

  18. Ok, I watched LOST when it was on TV and I couldn’t remember when “Make Your Own Kind of Music” made an appearance, so I looked it up in “Lostpedia”. You may find the article interesting and even more creepy: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Make_Your_Own_Kind_of_Music

  19. I never saw Lost, so the Cass Elliot reference is “lost” on me (now I wish the tune/words to the song were because they’ll be running through my mind all day…)
    Fascinating sweater; I really llike it.
    Knit on!!

  20. Way too funny! I just started this sweater yesterday and recognized it from the first picture.

  21. Duck’s egg. I might be Lost.

  22. Eeeeek as someone who is midway through season 4 of Lost, I know exactly what you mean about that song. BUT, I am watching it with someone too young to know who Mama Cass was (and he’s 19!) so I had to explain that that really was a famous song that had been appropriated and now, instead of evoking pleasant youthful memories for me, would forever evoke the weirdness of the Island.
    And I can only knit plain stockinette during the shows because I can’t look away from the screen for a minute.

  23. I love Mama Cass. I love that dress. I want that dress! What if we all wore shiny pretty dresses like that? Wouldn’t we all be happier?
    And just after I cancelled my netflix account because I so rarely watch TV or videos or movies, you’ve got me wondering about Lost. I might have to rent it now. Thanks, I think. ๐Ÿ˜‰


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)