Believe it or not, I've got a lot to show you. I made a scarf on vacation earlier this month, I started a pair of socks, I finished a sweater for Afghans for Afghans (more on that in a minute) that had been hibernating since earlier this winter, and started a vest for same. I have been doing some semi-serious spring cleaning/reorganizing/decluttering, and I think some kind of contest or giveaway will be happening here very soon, so look out for that. I also got a lovely package in the mail today from Jessi containing beautiful crafty goodies, but I'm going to let her post about those first, since she made them and all. (Assuming her toothache gets better, that is! I hope that gets better soon, Jess!)
If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I like to donate hand knit items to Afghans for Afghans. I try and send something for every campaign (there are 2-4 every year, depending on how often they can get stuff shipped to Afghanistan, which is no easy thing.) Sometimes they need blankets, sometimes they need baby stuff, but lately they have been asking for youth-sized wearables, like sweaters, vests, hats, socks and mittens. I feel strongly about this organization because I really think that there is no substitute for warm, hand-made (they take both knitted and crocheted items), wool sweaters and such in cold weather. Most people who receive items from A4A don't have central heat. Or washing machines, for that matter. That's why A4A is so specific about what is acceptable; fiber content must be all wool or animal (like alpaca), colors should be dark or bright, no cropped or short-sleeved sweaters. I hate being cold (remind me why I live in Wisconsin?), and even with central heat, I understand that there is no substitute for a good, warm wool sweater.
Plus, it breaks my heart that there are so many people in Afghanistan who are cold, and if I make a few sweaters for them every year, I hope that makes a real difference in a few lives. (They are also hungry and oppressed, but there's not much I can do about that.) For that matter, it breaks my heart to read and hear about devastation and violence around the globe. But 9/11 and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 opened my eyes to global awareness in new ways. I was just a year out of college, a tender 22 years old, and it was really the end of innocence for me, at least on a global level. So every time there is another catastrophe, I give a little money to Doctors Without Borders, and I knit for Afghanistan. It's the least I can do.
Goodness, I didn't mean to get on a self-righeous do-gooder soapbox there. Forgive me, it's been a long day. Now where was I? Oh yes. The Knitting. Those of you who made it this far in the post deserve to see my latest FO.
I finished a sweater for A4A:
The pattern is from Knitting Pure and Simple, a tried and true top-down raglan design. Well, "tried and true" doesn't quite cover it, as this is the first time I've knit this exact pattern, but they're all pretty similar. This one is a jacket in chunky weight yarn.
One reason I put this down for a while was - well, okay I admit I sort of forgot about it - but also, there seemed to be a problem with the fronts of the cardigan. They didn't seem wide enough. Was this my mistake, or the pattern's?
I wasn't as interested in finding the source of the problem as I was in finishing the damn thing in time for the May 14 deadline, so I improvised a solution. I picked up stitches along each front and did a wide garter stitch band. The collar is also garter stitch, so it looks intentional - I think.
In any case, it worked out and now I have a sweater that will keep some child age 7-8 (I'm guessing at size here) warm halfway across the world. ("It worked out"...how often do I say that about what I knit??)
Pattern: Children's Neckdown Jacket #249 (scroll about halfway down) by Diane Soucy from Knitting Pure and Simple.
Mods: I didn't bother with pockets, which are in the original design, and I added garter bands as described above to compensate for what was probably my mistake reading the pattern. Proportionally, everything else looks fine, so it worked out.
Yarn: Mauch Chunky by Kraemer Yarns. I bought this locally intending to make myself a sweater, but decided shortly thereafter it was better used for A4A. I love the heathery blue color and softness of this yarn. I didn't check gauge (one distinct advantage of knitting top-down designs for a non-specific receipient) but I think it was something like 15st = 4" on #10 needles, so it should be nice and warm.
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