Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Knitter's Vacation

Miraculously, I managed to bring exactly the right amount of knitting on our vacation.  I knew we would have about 14 hours of driving on the way there, 12 on the way home, and around 4 mid-vacation.  I also knew we planned to take advantage of Toronto's excellent public transportation system, so I figured I'd get a little knitting in on those rides, as well as a couple relaxing afternoons on the beach, watching the kids playing in the sand and the shallow water on the shore of the bay.  

The first project I picked was the Indicum Pullover from Hillary Smith Callis.  It's a pretty simply-shaped basic pullover sweater with a circular yoke that uses corrugated ribbing on the neckline, sleeve cuffs and hem.  

When we set out on our vacation, the weather forecast looked like it was going to be cool and rainy for most of our vacation, so I was actually anxious to get this finished so I'd have an extra sweater along on the trip.  As it turned out, we lucked out with clear skies and temps in the mid 70s to low 80s almost all week.  Only our last day in Toronto was a little cool, and by then, this sweater was wearable!

I got lots of work done on it on our 2-day drive to The Blue Mountain, due to my fabulous husband who insisted on doing all the driving.  (I think he had set it up as a manly challenge to himself: Was he man enough to drive all the way to central Ontario without any help from his wife?  The answer is yes.)  Anyhoo, by the time we headed down to Toronto mid-vacation, I was finished with everything but the sleeves!

Later in the week, we went down to The Beaches on the east side of Toronto, and spent a lovely afternoon relaxing there.  I finished up the second sleeve there in anticipation of cooler temperatures on the way.

 On our last day in the city, it rained mid-afternoon, which was fine with us, because we spent the day at the Royal Ontario Museum.  (Totally awesome place, by the way.  You can see everything from Budda sculptures to old Japanese weaponry, an exhibit on intricate textiles, dinosaur skeletons (made complete by using both real excivated bones and cast bones to fill in the gaps), and  the remains of a mummified cat tomb.  Maybe I'll thrill you with some of those pictures later - comment if you're interested!)  Anyway, I digress....

The day after our museum trip, it was time to pack up and head home.  It was still cool outside, and I was low on clean laundry, so I threw my new sweater on for a second day.  It kept me perfectly comfortable on a long car ride with a husband and son who always want the air conditioning on much higher than I do!

Here are a couple finished sweaters my daughter took the morning we departed for home on the porch of the little house we rented from Nick, who was an awesome and super-helpful temporary landlord.

I was really happy with the way the sweater came out, and it was a pretty easy pattern to follow.  I actually haven't blocked it yet, and I suspect that it may grow just a little.  I think the sleeves are just a tad long (they shouldn't bunch up quite that much in the elbow area), so I'll wait until it's blocked and take out the cuffs, subtract a little sleeve length and re-cuff them.  I anticipate this sweater getting a lot of use in transitional weather, so I want to make it the best it can be.

Initially, when I set out using the blue & pink for the corrugated ribbing, I had a nagging "what have I done??" feeling.  I was very apprehensive about my choice of colors and I thought it might end up WAY too high-contrast.  But now that it's finished and the blue very obviously overpowers the pink lines in the ribbing, I'm really happy with it.  So, although I like the more mono-chromatic color choice Hillary used for her sample sweater (she went with a dark purple and a lighter blue/purple), I think it can look good with a higher-contrast color choice, too.

You can see project details on my Ravelry project page.  For my size (36"), I ended up using just over 2 skeins of Madelinetosh Sock yarn (I could have gotten away with just 2 skeins if I hadn't lengthened the body of the sweater and gone to long on the sleeves), and maybe 80 yards of Kollage Sock-o-licious for the contrasting pink.

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