Good-bye to an old friend

The sweater is not the old friend. I’ve not worn the sweater much. It’s pretty but the boatneck neckline hasn’t been a favorite look. The “friend” isn’t the pattern either. A bit after completing it, in somewhat an overdose of de-cluttering, I recall throwing the pattern away. So I haven’t even been able to link to it on my Ravelry page and I can’t give attribution here. I just figured I wasn’t going to knit it again and I wouldn’t be recommending it to anyone, so why keep it. I recall it was from a magazine and possibly this was the cover sweater.

The friend is actually the yarn. Tahki’s Soho Bulky. The company seems to be called Tahki Stacy Charles now. I’m sure they are the purveyors of many fine yarns, but the company discontinued Soho Bulky quite a few years ago and knitters everywhere should mourn the loss. OK. That’s an exaggeration. But it was a great yarn. I knit this sweater and basically just keep it around to enjoy the look and feel of this wonderful rugged yarn.

I’ve knit gobs of bears out of Soho Bulky, including this long legged guy who was donated to a charity auction. His body is knit in Soho Bulky. His sweater is knit of a more “refined,” tame yarn.

This sweater, also knit from a pattern I can’t locate anymore, is pure Soho Bulky. It’s seen lots of wear and still looks and feels great.

I have a very high tolerance for wool-against-the-skin. When others are busy complaining about how “itchy” something woolen is, all I feel is nice and cozy. To me, that sense of scratchy yarn against the skin is a comfort. So I have no problem with hats of Soho Bulky. ┬áThis one is Jared Flood’s Quincy, with a wonderfully clever mobius strip construction.

And this was probably my Soho Bulky magnum opus. It’s Carol Andeson and Pat Penney’s Rambling Rows afghan knit using their pattern for its grid guide, but without regard for their instructions on color placement. This afghan is laid out on a queen sized bed. If gifted, which it won’t be until they crack open my will, it would come with a small child and cat warning. It could probably crush one under its weight. I lost count of how many skeins I knit to complete the project. When I used up my stash I had to scour the internet looking for extra skeins of the precious Soho Bulky.

I have no skeins left. I used the last of them, mixed in with Philospher’s Wool, to complete this log cabin throw.

So, old friend, it looks like we part company.

Philosopher’s Wool Garden Patch Cardigan

Occasionally I knit sweaters and this was one of my better efforts. It’s Garden Patch by Anne Bourgeois of Philosopher’s Wool. It’s supposed to be a “good design for a first Fair Isle sweater.” I’m not sure it’s where I’d start with Fair Isle, but it is is somewhat straightforward. The yarn is a heavy Aran weight, a weight most would see as a bulky. It needs up quickly and that would keep an inexperienced Fair Isle knitter moving forward.

Philosopher’s Wool is yarn that’s close to the sheep. There’s so much lanolin in the wool that you feel like you’ve creamed your hands after you knit with it. And the wonderful smell of the wool is strong. I love it!

This sweater was the first and only time I steeked. First, you knit the body of the sweater in the round. Then you sew two strong seams about an inch apart down the middle from top to bottom. Then cut the tube between the two seams before picking up stitches to work the button bands. It’s not for the faint of heart. I cheated. I took my knitted tube to a tailor with a good commercial machine and hovered while he sewed the seams. I held my breath while he sliced into my knitting. As everyone in the know knows, the process works really well. (Especially when the tailor only charges you $5.00.)

And, of course, whenever this sweater is worn, what’s the first thing people say? “I really like the buttons…where did you find the buttons?”