I love traveling, and luckily, get to do a lot of it for work. There are many things I enjoy when traveling (including, of course, eating!), but few things quite as much as scouting out local yarn shops.
Just over a year ago, I spent a month in Massachusetts for research. While there, we took a brief trip to Portland, Maine, a place I’d never been before. Even in frigid March, it was a lovely place, and we had an amazing time wandering around, eating great food and trying fun cocktails, and exploring a bit of the Maine coast. Despite the short visit, we stopped in at LYS Knit Wit. Sharing a hometown with Quince and Co., it’s one of the yarn line’s original flagship stores and had almost every yarn the company makes. I was immediately drawn to two yarns: gorgeous Tern in Columbine, which became an Everly Shawl shortly thereafter, and, unusually for me, Quince and Co’s Piper, a 50-50 merino/mohair blend, in Guadalupe. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it, but picked up three skeins, enough to make a shawl like Love and Lemons (a shawl I’d still like to make).
Fast forward to this spring and Quince’s release of a new Piper collection. I immediately fell in love with the May cardigan — which required three skeins of Piper! I cast on with the goal of finishing the sweater in time for this year’s Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.
With about a week and a half to go until the festival, I think I have a reasonable chance of reaching my goal. I’ve really enjoyed knitting this sweater. The construction’s very interesting (I’ll admit I’m still not 100% sure on how the whole thing comes together) but you start at the bottom of the sweater, work the back and fronts together, then divide the fronts and keep going — eventually the fronts are joined together, and seamed to the back, making the lovely shawl collar. The cartridge stitch is easy to do, so it’s great TV knitting, and I love the texture of the stitch. I’m not usually a big fan of fuzzy yarns, but the blend of merino and mohair has a really pleasing halo — I think it will be the perfect spring/summer cardigan.
I’ve followed the pattern pretty much to the letter — this is my second Bristol Ivy sweater, and I find her patterns clear and clever! My only deviation from the pattern as written was to knit the two fronts at the same time — it’s a method I almost always use for socks and mitts. For this pattern, it appealed to me for two reasons. The fronts are quite long, and I worried I’d lose steam after completing the first one. Also, the cartridge stitch is super stretchy, and a bit hard to measure as a result, so this ensures my front will be exactly the same length.
I spent a little time on the front porch knitting, trying a new IPA with some yummy French cheese and my new favorite crackers. I’m almost done with the fronts — full steam ahead on the final details, and fingers crossed I’ll be wearing this one a week from Sunday at the festival. Here’s to Wednesday — the week’s half done!