It was about five years ago that I fell in love with Joe Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in colour 416, aka “Cocoa”. This yarn, composed of wool, silk, and cashmere, is a soft shade of oatmeal sprinkled with flecks of brown, and, in much smaller quantities, white and pink. I first spotted it at my daughter’s LYS in Olympia, WA and even though I made a point of seeking it out on each of several subsequent visits to the shop, I could never justify purchasing a sweater’s worth of this heavenly stuff. And then Jessica moved back home and my opportunity to acquire this particular batch of yarn vanished, although the memory of it stuck with me.
The details are fuzzy now but at some point I gave into temptation and ordered 10 skeins of my dream yarn from WEBS. Their dye lot had fewer pink flecks than the yarn I’d initially been drawn to but it was beautiful just the same and I envisioned knitting it into a cabled cardigan. Eventually I settled on Fylingdales and in January 2009 I eagerly cast on, only to find that I quickly became bored with the repetitive stitch patterns. Over the course of the next year and a half the sweater spend more time in hibernation than in active duty and by September 2010 I’d only made it as far as the armholes.
Time for Plan B. I frogged Fylingdales, washed and reskeined the yarn, and cast on for another cabled cardigan, this time Hallet’s Ledge. Even though the pattern called for a heavier yarn I felt confident that I could substitute the Jo Sharp DK since it works up more like a worsted weight.
It started off promisingly enough and despite an early setback I was quickly well on my way.
This time I managed to complete the entire body and part of one sleeve before I came to the sad conclusion that it wasn’t going to fit. The cables drew in the bodice more than I’d anticipated and even though I knew the yarn would relax with blocking, I didn’t think it would be enough. Once again I ripped out all those stitches, washed and reskeined the yarn, and set it aside until the perfect project presented itself.
Then last fall I came across Quercus, an A-lined, short-sleeved, cabled cardigan. Knit from a worsted-weight, tweed yarn, it looked like it might be The One. Cautiously optimistic, I put Plan C into action and cast on. The design’s attractive stitch pattern and interesting construction techniques held my attention and it wasn’t long before I had completed the body. I slipped it on, stretched the cables across my chest and thought it would fit once the front bands were added and the sweater was blocked. Then life and other knitting projects took precedence and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was able to pick it back up and complete the sleeves, front bands, and collar.
I tried it on again, stretched the cables across my chest and hoped it would fit once it was blocked. I gave it a bath, laid it out on the blocking mats, thought it looked awfully small across the bustline, got out my tape measure, stretched it a bit more, and prayed it would fit once it dried. It had to—I couldn’t bear the thought of a Plan D.