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  • Deep breath. Ann, I think you need to shop for yarn. You can do it! We are going to make you buy more yarn. Just to improve the blog of course, it’s not about you.

    • Altruism. You’re right!

  • go shopping!

    • Enabler!

  • Just taking a wild stab here, but possibly, just maybe, you could check out your LYS for an appropriate worsted weight in a suitable color? Say, Cascade 220 in oatmeal?

    • Cascade 220! I haven’t Cascaded in a long time . . . hmmmmm.

  • Would denim work? And then stash bust the Berroco alpaca into quick and cushy neckwarmers to compensate for the denim buying………

    • Kay has cornered the world market on denim. I incredibly have no denim currently in the inventory. I don’t understand how this could have happened.

  • That Tosh is so gorgeous, but this is definitely not the right application for it. I regret to inform you that you *must* go shopping. For the good of the blog. It’s not about you, so you don’t have to feel guilty, at all. If you need someone to take care of that Tosh for you, I’m available. Then you really wouldn’t have to feel guilty!

    I wasn’t planning to do the KAL, but your post and pretty swatches are getting to me. Also, the posts coming from Fringe Association. Can I resist?

    • Michelle, YOU ARE SO GENEROUS. REALLY. My question: what WOULD the right application be for this sweater’s worth of MadTosh? I mean, it seems like garter stitch breaks it up in the most lovely way–stockinette tends to go stripey in a way I never really like. I’m frankly stumped. It’s lovely stuff, but it shifts just enough in shade and tone that ANY stitch pattern just vanishes.

      • Might I suggest Annabel Cardigan for the Madtosh? With some afterthough pockets lined in a very bright green or aqua. I think your only hope for the current KAL is a trip to a yarn store. Or let your fingers do the walking online.

  • There is a non-negotiable law out there somewhere that disallows any pattern ever matching up with our stash. It’s the law. It’s indisputable. And, it’s annoying.

    • I just don’t get it. It kind of makes me want to scrape off my stash and be like Kay, stash free, where every project is a chance to go find some great yarn. WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT? I LOVE MY STASH.

  • I see I am already outvoted, but I like the Mare. I think a bit o’ colour and a bit o’ texture is just fine. Or you could make a totally different sweater out of the grey, because it is very pretty, in a grey sort of way.

    • I’m with you, I like the colour and texture together, but hey, that is what makes the world go round. Great thing about knitting, lots of choices and possibilities!

      • I guess my thing is that if I’m going to make all those Edvard Munch Scream face stitches, I want every ounce of my labor to be visible to all.

  • I think you need to break down and buy some Shelter! I just made a sweater in Loft and after its soaked or gently washed it is to beautiful and soft. LOVE Brooklyn Tweed’s new patterns.

    • I have been waiting for somebody to suggest this. I have never bought any of that stuff, but if there were ever a reason . . . the shade card alone is kind of magnificent.

  • I’m so glad you are going to do a fisherman sweater! I’ve been in the mood for one of those myself. I bought two books over the summer– Knitting From The Netherlands: Traditional Dutch Fishermen’s Sweaters, and Patterns For Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans: Fishermen’s Sweaters from the British Isles– and enjoyed the history and the pictures. It might be just as much fun to watch you do one as to do one myself (armchair knitter?). At least I can learn from you before I try. Thanks for the discussion about how to pick the right yarn. I was going to be amazed if you DID have a sweater’s amount of suitable yarn in your stash. I like the stitch definition of the lighter yarn (but now that you pointed out “the scream” it’s all I can see in that swatch – ha), and if you’re not feeling the green – the yarn shown in the Spinnaker picture would look great on you.

    • DUTCH fishermen’s sweaters? Who knew the Dutch had fishermen sweaters? Now I’m curious to see how they differ from Irish ones or English ones. Thanks for the tip!

  • Shopping for Fall yarn!

    • Which implies there is also spring yarn, and summer yarn, and winter yarn. I like this kind of thinking.

  • I think the MadTosh would look great as a Spinnaker, but it has to please you, not me.

    I’m also laughing my head off at “This Photo of MadTosh Will Shock You”. Perfecto!

    • You know, it probably would, once there was a whole sweater cranking. MadTosh has the most amazing colors. But I just think about this sweater as a texturefest, and I’m thinking lighter is going to create more shadows and whatnot.

  • Ann, you are in a whole new knitting phase, if I am reading it right (and SO glad to to find you here again!). This seems not the best time to make do with pre-owned yarn (OK, so it’s pre-owned by you). Go forth and support the local economy, woman! Your first sweater after such a meaningful hiatus should be eggs-zackly what you want, not just something that will do.

    • Economic stimulus. That’s the ticket.

  • At the risk of self-aggrandizement, try at Happy Knits. Moonshadow, since Silverlight would be to scream-y. Or Inkwell or Peapod?

    • like the Mare but the Silverlight is lovely and probably will show the stiches better…shopping does seem the only recourse….other lovely things will show up for the gorgeous alpaca and Mad-tosh!

    • Beautiful yarns, Melanie! Thanks for the heads up on these gorgeous colors. Inkwell: wow.

      • Thanks. Wish I could spell and/or use grammar correctly. Wish I could blame it on my kids hacking my laptop, but alas…

        I dye quite a few solids, though they don’t seem to stay in stock extremely well.

        Happy knitting, and can’t wait to see what yarn you decide on for the pattern! It is quite lovely (as with about 1/2 the rest of the lookbook).

  • you are a crazy person. That Mare is perfect.

  • Am I the only person that loves the striation and the patterning together? I think the finished sweater will have a gorgeous depth and vintage-y look. I think a flat solid-color yarn will be just all one dimensional in comparison.

    • Brenda, you are not alone. KMJ just called me a crazy person, so there you go.

  • If you had to choose between the two yarns, I’d vote for the Madelinetosh. However, I can see why you think it is not the best option.

    But Krispy Kreme donuts?!? I know a preference for them depends largely on where one was raised, but honestly. . .those things are best used as fishing sinkers. Try Dunkin’s or, better yet, those from a neighborhood bakery with a great reputation. Your stomach will thank you.

    • Oh, man, are we going to get into a donut debate? See, for me, there is no such thing as an inferior donut. If it’s round, and fried, and has a hole in the middle, I am going to eat it. The only ones I disapprove of are these newfangled donuts with a tower of glop on top. Too much! Nobody needs an entire piece of bacon on top of a donut.

  • That Mad-tosh blue is SO beautiful — nonetheless, I think shopping is called for. For the good of the knitting economy. To maximize the rightness of this sweater. Because it’s the right thing to do.

    • So noble.

    • Definitely the right thing to do.

  • This is a big investment of your time – why “settle?” Get into your car and go to your LYS – go on, you can do it…and you know you want to, right?) Let Madeline shine in a project made just for her to strut her stuff (which is just beautiful, by the way!). Happy knitting!

    • I keep thinking about how I have knit so much at this point that it never occurs to me that a project is a big investment of time–you know? It’s just an endless stream of knitting, chain smoking, with occasional breaks when you get to the end of a second sleeve and realize, oh, I guess I need to start something else. My time away from knitting made me realize what a HABIT it is. What a LOVELY habit.

  • I’m just excited you’re in!

    • Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus over in your parts. I love the comprehensive nature of your knitalong. How could anybody resist?

  • The Mare is great. But I’m also thinking of the universe of stash. If there’s a different yarn that you like the color and grist, try searching the Rav stash for sale or trade. You could find the perfect yarn and help a knitter out at the same time. It takes a village sometimes, y’know?

    • Maybe we should set up a National Go Shop On Ravelry Day. The stashes of the world are basically a giant yarn shop. We should totally do this!

      • I’m in! Jan. 1 is already Hooray-we-can-knit-for-ourselves-again Day. It tends to coincide with But-nothing-in-my-stash-looks-appealing Day for me.

  • Oh come on, the answer is easy….BT Shelter!!!

  • I just started an Aran sweater in Paton’s Classic Wool. Also cast on Brooklyn Tweed’s Zenith sweater (actually it is Veronik Avery’s pattern) in the same wool. It is absolutely delicious. How did I not know about this yarn? Even my boyfriend keeps squeezing it.

  • P.S. I recently referred to the Aran pattern that I am using as being much like a good Irishman–incredibly charming but vague.

  • I’m late to the game on this, but am assuming that you have already headed out to purchase the perfect yarn for this new project. If not, daylight’s burning!

  • Sometimes the stash is just plain wrong. You need a crisply plied yarn here, or at least crisp-er than what you have on hand. Happy shopping!

  • Yep, you have to change the rules and buy some yarn. When things don’t work, always, always change the rules.

  • Ann. Question authority. Even if it is your own. I’m going to go ahead and guess you’ve already acquired yarn by now.
    (also cluster f#$% stitch? snort).

  • errm, i know this may seem like a heinous crime to berroco alpaca wool, but as i really feel the mare is wasted on the spinnaker, have you thought of overdying it? the other question you have to ask yourself is will you really be using that colour/wool for anything else the way it is (in which case overdying is out)? i’ll leave now before anyone gets annoyed at me for suggesting this.

  • Totally agree that the Berroco does not have the body for this sweater and I see what you mean about the Madtosh. Please buy the Shelter and then let us know how it is. Think of it as a public service for the 3 or 4 of us who haven’t tried that yarn yet.

  • Dear Ann,

    I think you guys had that picture “The Scream” here in “found objects” a few years back…

    I like the sweater pattern that you chose, and think it will look great on you. I Iike the idea of choosing your own pattern. There has been a lot of information about gauge for this project. It has called to mind some of what Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote in her “January” chapter of “Knitter’s Almanac”. The project was an Aran sweater ( it also happened to be a gorgeous pattern, IMHO). There was something about swatching for the cables by employing the garter stitch and measuring those stitches, and also about working out gauge/size by first casting on for a cable “swatch” that would end up being a cap, measuring over that, figuring out if some purl stitches that go between the cables should be added/sutracted for fit. EZ wrote about knitting so well; but I digress.

    I hope you enjoy the process of choosing the yarn for this project, and wish I could participate in the KAL. As a person who generally has more than one project going at a time, I hope you’ve got some beading/stitching/embroidery project also going on. Your stitching is so very even and neat.

    Craft On!


  • How bout some of my farm grown, naturally charcoal grey, Finn/Shetland/Alpaca worsted? It’s yummy, if I do say so myself.

  • I think it’s the pattern that’s the problem. That MT would be swell for “Wake” don’t you think? Still the amazing V Avery, but placid swathes of stockinette and rippling panels of cables at the sides. Stick with blue and with your resolution to stash dive (and away from the donuts). Coraggio. xoc

  • I just looked at Spinnaker up close in the BT lookbook . . . and a close up of their Old World color in Shelter. The yarn itself has a textural quality that’s not too unlike your MadTosh, and the color is very similar. The textures in the garment seem just right to me! I think your screamy clusters would take their rightful places in the larger scheme of things. Knit on!

  • Can you use someone else’s stash? “Garage/Trunk” sale at Bliss Yarns on Sunday 1-4pm. Seems like a nice compromise?

  • You know, Ann…it’s just not a &*#@-ing fisherman’s sweater without a little salty language. Politeness be damned!

  • Go shopping.