the beauty of bartering

A little while back, someone contacted me about yarn I had listed on craigslist and wanted to know if I'd be willing to barter products rather than cash. I'm open-minded, so I said sure, we could talk. Yesterday she stopped by and took a lot of yarn off my hands in exchange for equivalent cash value of her own line of organic products: LusaOrganics. She and her husband make all this stuff themselves, and you can buy it online or at their stand across from the farmers' market in downtown Madison. I have to confess I've grown to hate going to the downtown market on Saturdays. It's huge and crowded and parking is a mess, and there are street musicians every block or so that aren't really any good (for example, today some barefoot lass was singing "Thriller" with a conga drum, and no, it didn't really work) and at one point Daniel ran off looking for us because he couldn't see that we were right there next to him (that's how crowded it is) and I panicked because I was afraid he would get really and truly lost (we found him 3 minutes later with the help of many people in the crowd - the market's a friendly place, you can say that much) plus Taste of Madison is this weekend so there were lots of extra trucks and people...I'm over the whole downtown experience, really. I like our little market on the west side with all the familiar vendors and only the one group of mediocre street musicians (a bluegrass group that plays THE SAME TUNE over and over every week)...

Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes. Bartering. Much as going downtown on Saturday mornings brings out my impatient, claustrophobic qualities, it was worth it to shop at LusaOrganics' little stand at the end of State Street because it kind of felt like picking out fancy soaps and such for free. I got a head start on some holiday gift shopping, and picked up a couple things for myself while I was at it.


Remember the Classic One-Fifty cardigan I started several months ago? I got all frustrated with the roly-poly collar, put it down for a few weeks, finally fixed the collar, put it down for a while longer, and yesterday I finally got around to sewing on the buttons.

I truly feel like a dork when I'm modeling sweaters for a photo shoot. You should have seen me when I was 12 and in the 4-H knitting end-of-year fashion show. They had a little catwalk set up and everything. It was like DorkFest '91.

I really love this sweater. It fits and it's classy without making me look old and the yarn - oh! - is just lovely. I think I've raved about it before. The stitch pattern is a faggotted rib pattern that really only works with this sort of wool (100% merino). If you tried to make this pattern with a summery yarn like cotton or bamboo, it would stretch out of shape in no time. The collar was a huge pain, really the only complaint I had with this. The original pattern calls for st st with short rows, and there is just no way to keep it from curling. I tried blocking it, then tacking it down, and neither of those things worked. Finally, I just ripped it out and re-knitted it in 3x1 rib, which looks similar enough to st st without the curling problem. It still wants to flip up if I'm not careful, so I may yet tack it down right by the button band.

Pattern: Classic One-fifty cardigan by Pam Allen, available free on the CEY website here
Yarn: Classic Elite One-Fifty, 5 balls, exactly what the pattern called for.
Mods: None, except for the collar, which I explained above.
Made for: me! hooray! I probably have a week or maybe two of wearing this before it gets too cold for short sleeves.


Caffeine Girl said…
You? Look old? LOL. You are nowhere near old!

And I agree without about the Farmer's Market. I don't go often because the crowds are so crazy.

Also, the sweater is adorable!
katie said…
I love that collar!!! (the rest of it is great too)
Mrs. Allroro said…
Kids these days are wearing short sleeve sweaters over long sleeve tops. You could experiment.
Jessi said…
Despite my not being a kid, I wear the long sleeved shirts under short sleeved sweater look. Remember when we did that with concert t-shirts in high school? What, that was only me? Okay. Well, anyway, it makes me feel young and hip when really I'm just stretching my summer sweater wardrobe into winter.

Beautiful sweater. I love the color.
How can you think you look old when you look EXACTLY THE SAME as you did in high school? I have pictures right here in my hand of you in 1995, and I swear it looks the same as the pics of you on your blog. Seriously! And that sweater is beautiful!

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