Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sustainable Sunrise

In the vein of my new commitment to busting my stash, I've started another sweater. I'm starting with the most difficult yarns in my stash, the ones with the most finicky project needs.

First I used up that Soho in the last post in the Bold Lacy Cardigan. One bag of variegated wool appropriately used. Yeah!

Next up: This tweedy worsted that I ordered from KnitPicks originally to make the Emma Jacket from their site.

I've had the bag of it -- 16 skeins, I think -- in my stash for ages. I read on Ravelry that the Emma Jacket is not a great pattern, so....

Instead, I'm going to use it to make the Sunrise Circle Jacket from Interweave. It's still a very plain design with no complicated stitches that would be obscured by the tweedy yarn. Almost all the projects on Ravelry look really good.

This is how far I've gotten:
I finished the back and part of a sleeve.
At this point I do have some concerns. It seems illogical to me that the raglan shaping for the armpit is 11" deep. That seems very long. BUT I've already mentioned my habitual distrust of every single pattern I come across, and just yesterday I posted about how well my last sweater turned out when I did what the pattern told me. I will persist and trust in Kate Gilbert. I will learn from the success of others, who just possibly might know something I don't.

Having said that, I should mention that, as usual, my gauge is looser than specified. I'm getting 3.5 stitches per inch rather than 4.5. I'm just modifying the numbers to make my sweater match the measurements in the schematic. I really don't think I would like the fabric to be any denser. I like my looser gauge.

All this kniting was accomplished in an afternoon while touring a great permaculture farm up on Orcas Island. I went to Bullock's Permaculture Homestead with my friends Kolbe and Heather for a seminar with Robyn Francis. Robyn was incredible. She gave two presentations, one on intentional communities she designed in Australia and the other on Cuba, which I found particularly fascinating. I don't even know how to get into it here in my knitting blog, but here's one article about Cuba's community gardens as a response to their suddenly limited resources. Here's some info from Robyn's website that introduces what she talked about, and the Living Planet Report is pretty interesting so far as I've read.

The Bullocks farm itself was a real treat to get to see. They've been practicing permaculture there for 30 years. As I understand it, "permaculture" is a synthesis of sustainable agriculture practices with a conscientious lifestyle, including an emphasis on community. At the Bullock's farm you can see that it is a very beautiful way to live.

Here are some pictures of me knitting, knitting, knitting on the farm. If you look closely at the group shots you can see my sweater slowly growing. (I'm in the pink t-shirt)

The day ended with a fun top-your-own pizza party and bonfire.

And here's a picture of Heather because she's so lovely.
Kolbe posted more pictures here.

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