Yarned In!

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I don’t know what comes over me! If there’s even the slightest prediction of snow accumulation above one inch, I seem to go into a trance. A yarn trance that is. Creative cogs in high gear, I pull down yarns from various sections of the house, putting them in my big white bowl to see how they get along with one another. It doesn’t make sense…I DO have several, in progress projects that could well be completed if I used the impending snow storm hours to finish them!! My Rhubarb Blanket is just inches away from being done! A pair of socks only needs the foot and toe parts to complete a whole pair! Hitchhiker Shawl languishes midway. Surely I could just sit and knit happily on any of these!!! But no…

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Woolly ideas, like sheep dancing in my dreams, go traipsing through my head. Pattern books are pulled down off the shelf. Knit and crochet magazines get rifled through. Loose leaf printed patterns off the internet are looked at. Ravelry is scoured.

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The search? Tunic. Vest. Cardigan? Not? As is typical for me, I cannot find just what I want. So I shift into an even deeper trance of making it up as I go. I know what I want. I see it in my head. Lots of colors. Bulky yarn leftovers. A warm, woolly something to knit in the coming snow storm…to wear in the days after.

WildHare4 Fair isle. Yes! Who better to guide me than Kristin Nicholas and her expert and marvelous book Color by Kristin. Stitch patterns and charts are poured over, some decided, some not. A desire to create as I go is much more satisfying than having it all planned out at the start. The snow will guide me. The colors and yarn will show the way. I have only to begin.

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And so I do as the first flakes fall. No matter that we only get around 2″ and then some sleet and ice. But schools are closed. Everywhere is white. Snow means knitting. Hours and hours of knitting. Who cares that there are people in this house who need me to get up and go do things for them!? Sorry folks, if you need food or clean clothes…I’m “yarned in”! Quite literally, if you saw me sitting in my corner-of-the-studio chair, you would see me buried under piles of fluffy wool much like the snow falling down all around out the windows here. The only difference is that this fluffy stuff in my hands is sooo colorful!

It’s all bits of this and that. Leftovers from other projects. I feel certain they will be happy together…but I really won’t know until I knit them together. Fair Isle and bulky yarns are a bit tricky…keeping the floats loose enough is a challenge. But I don’t care. The snow trance has hold of me good, and I’m “yarned in”. Hemmed in by wools, size 13 round knitting needles, and a wonderful book from which to pick and choose all sorts of delicacies as I go.

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I’m about half way finished! And it is now snowing again outside, two days after the first “storm” hit us. There is more predicted for the weekend. I think I’ll be yarned in for a few more days! I think I like that! But my family might not. They look over at me, roll their eyes and shrug their shoulders. Then they open the pantry to search for something to eat. 🙂

***P.S. You can follow my progress on Instagram, if you like! I’ve called this my Wild Hare Tunic! It’s a play on words, as in “wild hair” when you get a crazy idea and run with it.

*Patsy’s Perfect Tunic: Free Pattern!!

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STOP whatever you are doing/making right now and RUN like mad to your stash or your LYS to buy some Super Bulky yarn!!

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Now! Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200!

Well, if someone offers you $200, take it, so you can buy some yarn and make this tunic!

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That’s how I felt when I saw my mom wearing hers…immediately the questions began:

What pattern? Which yarn? Size needles? What stitch? etc. She has actually knitted two of them with different gauge yarns, one chunky, one super bulky. They are both to die for! So, of course, I had to make one for myself. After plying her with a zillion questions (because she had just “made it up”!), here’s how I made mine:

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Patsy’s Perfect Tunic

Design by Pat (Patsy) Pilkington

Pattern written by her daughter Jennifer:)

Written for sizes Small (Medium, Large, Extra Large)

Difficulty Level: Perfect for Beginners!

Materials:

4 hanks of Noro Iro (each hank has 132 yards)

Size 10 1/2 or 11 needles. (I used size 11)

Yarn Needle

Begin: (Make 2 of these Rectangles)

Cast On 50 (60, 70, 80) sts. (Mine pictured here is a Medium. Mom’s pictured below is a Small.)

Work 2 Rows Seed Stitch (Row 1: K1, P1; Row 2: Knit the Purls, Purl the Knits:)

Work 5 x 5 BasketWeave Stitch (*K5, P5 for 6 Rows; P5, K5 for 6 Rows; Rep. from *) until you have length desired. (I just knitted until I was near to finishing 2 hanks.)

Work 2 Rows Seed Stitch.

Bind Off in pattern.

Put Together:

Using Yarn Needle and Mattress Stitch, seam the top shoulders leaving a neck opening of approximately 9 (10, 11, 12) inches.

Then Seam the sides leaving arm openings of approximately 8 (9, 10, 11) inches (or however large you desire!). I began the side seams about 3 inches from the bottom to have a side slit for easier wear.

Block:

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Blocking really made this tunic “sing”! I dunked the finished tunic into my sink of sudsy water, rinsed it, and rolled it GENTLY between two towels to pat out as much water as I could. DO NOT WRING! Then I pinned the tunic to my blocking board so as to make the length and shape I wanted. I wanted the bottom part to be slightly larger than the shoulder area (to accommodate the hips, ahem…)

I could hardly wait for the thing to dry! I was invited to a Sarah Addison Allen book reading/signing and just HAD to wear this tunic, so I yanked it off the blocking board whilst it was still a teensy bit damp! It has grown a little bit as I’ve worn it and worn it and worn it. But I just like it even more! It’s the perfect thing to wear with jeans, over leggings, with boots, etc!!

I can’t wait to start my next one!!

Some alternative yarn choices:

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Mom has knitted hers with combinations of Noro’s Silk Garden Chunky and Silver Thaw. I think she has had to use smaller needles (like a 10?) for these and adjusted the amount of basketweave “squares” to fit. But they are gorgeous yarns!! (And isn’t my mom beautiful??!! She’s an amazing artist whose mediums are oils as well as fibers!)

In looking on line, I found this yarn and this one, in the Super Bulky range I love so much!! Personally it’s all about the COLORS that are self-striping and variegated which make this tunic so lovely!! But, of course, you could knit this with any solid or multi-colored yarn you like!!! Heck, even combine numerous individual yarns together for a fun, whimsical look to your tunic!

The point of it all is to HAVE FUN!!! To make something OH SO SIMPLE that is lovely to wear in the SAME SEASON  that you begin making it! Ha! Ha!

Enjoy!