Two chance encounters at Rhinebeck have resulted in a significant knitting detour. Up for some rubbernecking? Here we go.
Encounter No. 1: The Crete Cardigan
Flashback to a couple of weeks ago, at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. I’m over in Barn 394,803, with exactly ten minutes to get back to the Book Barn for a signing, when I see this:
In the Dragonfly Fibers booth, there it is: a cool, simple jacket. Wow, what a gorgeous thing.
I look closer and discover it’s a pattern by Nell Ziroli.
Nell Ziroli? What? We’ve just talked Nell into being a part of MDK. She has been a teacher, designer, and resident of the online knitting world for many years, so we feel really clever to have engaged her wisdom and good humor. She knows 74 different provisional cast ons. OK, I made that up. But she probably knows 72. In the coming days, you’ll find Nell over in The Lounge as moderator of what we hope will be a never-ending conversation about knitting. (Watch for The Lounge to open next week. We’re installing new shag carpet. It’s going to be real nice.)
This Crete pattern soaked directly into my soul. So simple. And the Nell Factor—there are no coincidences, y’all. I took a picture and made a note to track down Dragonfly Yarn when I had more than six minutes to navigate a million booths and an animal parade that included a very cheerful goat with a very cheerful nun.
Encounter No. 2: Yarn with No Name
I blasted my way back to the Book Barn, late to the book signing. I passed the Sweitzer’s Fiber Mill booth, and unfortunately or fortunately, the phrase “Bargain Bin” leapt out at me from a sign taped to a pile of yarn. What’s a knitter to do?
Atop the Bargain Bin, I discovered six skeins of merino/cashmere/flax, marked down and looking like forlorn puppies at the humane shelter.
Whoever heard of a merino/cashmere/flax blend? Crazy. I adopted them all, despite the fact that three were one colorway, the other three slightly different. Didn’t care. Had to have it.
The Best Part
When I got home with this classic batch of Rhinebeck impulse purchase yarn—1,200 yards of yarns that didn’t really match—I had that dark night of the soul, facing into the reality of my impulsive yarn grab.
I kept looking at my photo of that Crete jacket. SIGH.
I read about Crete on Ravelry. Lo and behold, Nell designed this pattern specifically for variegated yarns, when you want the colors to break up in an artful and pleasing way.
She accomplishes this by working with two balls of yarn at once—one at each edge of the jacket, so that you knit two rows of Color A, then two rows of Color B begun at the other edge.
The result is what looks like a knit-purl ribbing pattern, but the fact is, it’s all knit stitches.
Well, that was that. I don’t really think I have enough yarn to make this, but I’ve started on it anyway.
I can’t really overstate the fun of a ramble like this, the chance encounter of pattern and yarn that results in a great bout of knitting on a fall weekend.