I can’t remember if I mentioned to you that I’m going to be heading out of town for a bit.
After our visit to Chicago on Friday for Vogue Knitting Live (mood: stoked), I’m veering off to Edinburgh on March 10 for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.
Did I mention this? Like, a zillion times? Like, answering the phone in a fakey Scottish accent? Saying the word tartan a lot? Saying, “Oh wait, let me close out this Google map of the streets of Edinburgh . . .” Is there anything more annoying?
I will send dispatches as I go, needless to say. Dispatches from the front lines of knitting are my favorite subgenre of knitting post, second only to tales of terrible knitting mishaps. (Foreshadowing. Keep reading.)
Now, the Edinburgh Yarn Festival doesn’t commence until March 15, but when you’re traveling with a group of hardcore, no-foolin’, we’ll-cross-an-ocean-for-a-yarn-festival sassy Sues, you don’t want to cut anything too close. You want to arrive at EYF rested, wristbands applied, with empty tote bags and clear eyes. And sweaters. New, if possible.
In anticipation of this thrilling trip, I’ve got my Carbeth ready to go, and just this minute I finished a new Birkin to take with me, too. I don’t think I’ve ever traveled with two new sweaters at once. Fancy.
Here it is, in its unblocked glory, maybe three minutes after I bound off the last stitch. If this were a baby chick, it would be flat on its bug-eyed bird face in the incubator, damp and flapping one stumpy little wing.
To recap: This is Birkin by Caitlin Hunter, featuring Alice O’Reilly’s deliriously cheerful Backyard Fiberworks Sock yarn, in our MDK exkloosiv shades Patio (bluegreenaqua) and Jamberry (hot pinky red veering occasionally into actual pink, which makes the yoke a lot of fun).
After finishing that 25-square-foot blanket on size 8 needles, this fingering-weight merino feels like the most intricate, miniature knitting imaginable. Elves knit this stuff. Leprechauns.
A split hem, an inch longer in the back than in the front, is a feature. I am hoping it will block out to be less squooshy than it is here.
The Patio color continues to amuse. I am begging Alice to make more yarn for us. Not sure what it’s going to take, but I’m nothing if not naggingly persistent.
The four rows containing bobbles may be my favorite thing about this sweater. I never would have thought to enbobble a yoke. High five, Caitlin!
(Here’s the terrible knitting mishap part.)
See the weirdie at about 7 o’clock?
I can’t remember what caused me to blow the stitch pattern—this was back in December. I think I was all jacked up on that giant can of popcorn my dad sent me.
But I do recall calling an audible, as they say in football when a play is changed at the last second, whereby I made the leaves along the bottom garland reverse to the opposite direction.
Now that I’ve finished this, I threw a little duplicate stitch in there to make the weirdie less weird.
It’s still weird, but maybe if I keep moving, the Scottish people won’t notice my weirdie Birkin. I suspect they will all be too busy trying to teach Americans how to dance all Scottishlike at the ceilidh.
(Annoying mention of Scottish thing. Sorry again.)
(Here’s a very fine duplicate stitch tutorial by Very Pink if you’re curious about this handy technique.)
I finished this Birkin while listening My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. To end a sweater and a juicy novel at the same time? I’m double bereft! Curious if any of you have read this series of novels set in Naples, Italy. (Naples, Florida would be a whole different deal, just sayin. Family shoutdowns at the outlet mall. Furious face-slapping over buckets of seashells. Dumping dirty dishwater off the condo balcony onto the villainess below.)
So many friends have talked my ear off about this series—enraptured, addicted, swoony. It took a bit for me to get the fever for this story of two girls growing up—but having just finished Book 1, count me enraptured, addicted, swoony.