Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Love Note to Me

Do you have an old, worn box of love notes stashed somewhere in your house? Maybe it's folded, construction paper cards your kids made or a quick note your spouse scrawled on a napkin left by the coffeepot. It could be positive thoughts you sticky-noted to your bathroom mirror or the end of your yoga mat. Possibly they're elaborately folded pieces of faded college rule paper from someone whose name you might could almost forget, were it not for the fact that it's signed in No. 2 pencil at the bottom.






I get what Tin Can Knits is trying to evoke with the name they gave this design. It is soft mohair, delicate lace, and a quick jot of a project. When I wanted something special to bring to the Knitting in the Hills Retreat in March, I set aside my gift knitting for a week and chose to make a Love Note for myself.


In the same way I have laid out a pen and the perfect card or notebook many times in the past to write for someone else, I now sifted through my stash and picked a favorite colorway from one of my favorite dyers, Chasing Rabbits Fiber. Wildwood is a rich, earthy color that I was immediately drawn to the first time I saw it. This is saying a lot because it was at Hill Country Weavers, who have an almost overwhelming selection to choose from.

Like the really good love note, there's a little risk involved in the composition. If you only repeat the same old things and play it safe with your thoughts, it's not likely it will make it into the rumpled box of letters in the back of the closet. So I took a chance on my own behalf and used mohair held with fingering weight for the first time on a sweater. I know, it's like a warm hug and you've all done it, but I live in a warmer climate and have never wanted to gamble on it before. Risks for love, my friends.

And like the best of letters, I let the inspiration hit me on the spur of the moment, beginning it with only ten days until the retreat and sacrificing a little sleep while making it for someone I love.


The result was one of my favorite makes to date. It is the perfect combination of color, fiber, and style to be a gift to myself.  One of the big gifts being that I didn't have to knit full sleeves or body in stockinette. That's fortunate because I only had two skeins of the fingering weight Fern base. And it was dry at exactly the time I would need to be wearing it to head to the retreat.


Just to prove, love is worth taking chances, I'll tell you it was very cool that weekend and I was quite comfortable in my sweater.

Are you bored with my letter writing analogy yet? Okay, here are the details:

I knit a size medium, at a slightly tighter gauge ( 4.5 stitches, 7 rows per inch) using sizes US 5 and 8 needles. It only required 2 skeins of the Fern base from Chasing Rabbits Fiber, but I did use every but of it. I did have quite a bit left over from my 2 skeins of Gossamer silk/mohair lace weight. Both yarns were in the Wildwood colorway.


I thought the mohair/ silk might tone down the richness of the colorway too much, but I'm pleased to say it didn't. However, I'd really like to knit something out of Wildwood in just the Fern base, to compare the two in color depth.


I did knit the body to the longer size indicated in the pattern, but it is still very cropped due to my gauge difference. I made my sleeves a longer 3/4 length, also.

What I loved about this knit: The yarn!!! I also loved the lace yoke and how clear the motif is even with the mohair yarn. It's just the right amount of intricate. I also like the cropped high/lo hem.


So do I feel special because I made something luxe for myself? Um, yeah! I needed a little boost. It is laying folded in the cherished sweater wardrobe waiting for next Fall. This isn't like some crumpled napkin note...and I'm back to making something special for someone else :)

More on Love Note can be found on My So-Called HandMade Life Podcast episode 46, which talks about the retreat, and Episode 47.



(more images on Ravelry, instagram, and Flickr)

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