This has been in the finished pile for a while...we had a break in the freezing cold weather and got a sunny warm-ish day today. Perfect for getting out for a leisurely walk and enjoying the day instead of rushing from place to place buried in a pile of knitwear accessories. A little vitamin D does wonders.
Anyway, here is my February Lady beginnings:
This was some Suss Alpaca that I bought for $1 a skein when she closed her NY shop. Not horribly exciting.
Last year, I got into natural dyes. It was a perfect opportunity to turn blah into something truly special:
I used alum mordant and some madder root to get a deep peachy pink. I loved it. Natural dyeing takes a long time- I usually end up taking up the better part of a weekend with it- but you can't beat the colors you get.
And voila! My own February Lady Sweater:
It wasn't the most exciting thing to knit, but it takes up very little yarn and will zoom along pretty quickly. For a sweater with no shaping, it fits surprisingly well. To ensure a good fit, I did two things: went down a needle size once I got gauge and stretched the lace pattern out a bit any time I needed to measure the garment. Anything you make with 100% alpaca yarn will grow and stretch out like crazy, and lace will also block out bigger than what you might expect. Pre-blocking, it looked tiny...I actually had someone ask me if I was making a child's sweater. Once it had a bath and a block, it fell exactly where I wanted it.
I actually made a mistake in the lace pattern at one point but decided to keep it...it helped give the illusion that it had waist shaping. Horray!
The buttons were salvaged off an old tweed riding jacket.
I think it's one of those sweaters that will get a ton of use- it looks cute with a dress or a skirt and would easily work well with jeans as well.
The best part is that I only used a hair over 4 skeins...meaning this cost me $5 to knit, plus the $4 I spent in dye. I'm not usually a budget-minded knitter, but that's pretty sweet.