Today, I have a knitted thing to share with you! Her name is Snoqualmie, and she is a monster.
I was introduced to Snoqualmie through Heather at Closet Case Patterns, who was working on one of her own last winter. I fell immediately in lust with its big, fluffy largeness: A grandpa cardigan that was plush and oversized - and 11 out of 10 on the cuddle-o-meter. Unfortunately, such a big sweater required quite a lot of yarn! I figured I'd shelve the project for later since my yarn budget is very low at the moment, but then a few weeks later on the Truly Myrtle podcast, Libby mentioned a New Zealand based yarn company that was having a really great yarn sale - organic merino wool from right here in New Zealand, and 50% off! My Snoqualmie, it seemed, was meant to be.
I ordered 21 balls of the stuff, and set to work swatching. Snoqualmie is meant to be knit in bulky yarn, but mine was closer to DK/worsted so I knit three sizes larger to get a suitably oversized sweater.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning tubular cast-on, which was a new technique for me, and I also enjoyed construction of what may be considered to be my 'first' seamed sweater (There were a few ill-fated attempts early in my knitting career...none of them wearable). Since it was seamed, it wasn't overly terrible to keep the pieces in my lap as summer progressed, and that turned out to be perfect timing because I had her seamed, blocked, and ready to go just in time for my trip home in February! Snoqualmie had the snowy photoshoot I'd imagined for her, although she turned out to be so warm in the subzero Wisconsin temperatures that I spent quite a lot of time worried that she'd be too warm for the comparatively mild New Zealand winters. I've worn her on a couple of cold-snap mornings so she is getting used, but It's possible she's a tiny bit overkill. I'm not sorry though! I've also had some kidnapping threats from a particular sister, and that's always a testament to project success.
I made a waterproof drawstring nylon bag to keep her in during our travels so she wouldn't accidentally snag on anything else in my suitcase: Not only did it put my mind at ease for any potential disasters, it just so happened that the Snoqualmie-in-a-bag trick led to a pretty spectacular travel pillow as a side effect.
Since my wool is incredibly soft, it's also highly susceptible to pilling. In what turned out to be a very fortuitous happenstance, I won a Sweater Shaver in a drawing at a knitalong I attended at Knit n' Stitch in Auckland a few months back - right after returning from our trip, actually! I didn't realize how much I needed it, but my darling Snoqualmie is requiring a shaving after every two or three wears to keep the pills down at the moment (this should calm down over time as the fibers settle) and I don't know what I would have done without the sweater shaver.
That said, after this high maintenance lady I'm definitely looking forward to knitting next year's sweater in something a bit less pill-prone. That is, after I finish my wedding ring shawl! It would seem I've replaced one giant white monster with another. One row at a time...
Now - one last thing to talk about this week, and you know what it is! It's MAAAAAY! *circus trumpet noises* cue announcer voice: It's the biggest month of the year in the sewing community, and we're all looking forward to a month of endless selfies, fabulous outfits, and "Thanks! I made it"s in unison! *dancing acrobats and prancing elephants*
Ok but seriously. I actually have been looking forward to seeing how everyone else continues to wear their me-mades once the shiny newness has worn off, and as for me - the plan is much the same as last year. I'll try to post daily selfies in my Instagram stories, and I'll post a photo section in each week's blog post of all the outfits. At the end, I'll gather them all up and make some decisions about what I need to work on in my wardrobe.
Ah, but what's the challenge? Last year's worked pretty well for me, so I'm sticking with it: No more than one item of RTW per day, shoes excluded and socks half-excluded (I don't quite have enough handknit socks yet but it's a near thing!) I know Me Made May is supposed to be a challenge, and while I did have a few days last year that didn't make it, I'm actually pretty confident that this year I'll be 100% handmade on most days. With that in mind, I've decided to make a small adjustment to the challenge. My wardrobe is not as high a priority for me right now as my wedding dresses are, so I've added the following: I also pledge to make progress each day on my wedding outfit during the month of May. I'm nervous that I'm falling behind, and this will be a good way to hold myself accountable to my two dresses, shawl, and beaded flower crown along with the rest of that whole wedding-planning thing. I'll take pictures as evidence ;)
You can check out last year's roundup post Here.
I'm looking forward to doing all of the crafty documentation this month (and documenting Snoqualmie in her native habitat, rather than the Great White North!) so I'll see you next week with a very exciting semi-secret project, along with the first roundup!