You can only knit so many blue, green, and grey sweaters before you know it’s time to move on and try something new. Of course, in my case, I outgrew them over the last couple of years and so I can start all over knitting blue, green, and grey sweaters, with abandon, if I want. Except I’m feeling the need to spread my knitting wings a bit. Let’s see, I’ve “conquered” shawls, even knitting lace ones from charts. I’m a little behind, but I am doing the Box o Sox Knit-along and so I feel like I’m pretty grounded in sock knitting now, including a few different heel techniques. Other than steeking, I can’t think of a lot that I haven’t tried except yarn from different sheep breeds and/or new color combos.
Laura, of Gynx Yarns, had a sale not long ago and I saw her discontinued Targhee DK base had exactly three colors available: Goth Girl (a dark purple), Fog (grey), and and experimental dye lot (a groovy 70s yellow/orange). I decided to get two skeins of Goth Girl and one of each of the others for Andrea Mowry’s Goldfinch shawl.
When they were delivered, I first noticed how different the Targhee felt from her usual superwash yarns. I haven’t done a lot of research on sheep breeds, but a quick google tells me this breed was developed here in the US to better thrive in areas like Montana and Wyoming. Since they were bred from breeds like Rambouillet and Corriedale (which I hear a lot about in podcasts, but have no practical knowledge of), I’m wondering how similar they would feel to work up. Like most 100% wools I’ve used, it’s sturdy. But, at the risk of sounding like a food critic, it is also robust. It’s got a lot of spring to it and gave my shawl a lot of body. I’m not sure if it will be as drapey as I’d normally want a shawl to be, after blocking, because of this. I do think it will hold up to use well, though.
As far as the color choices went, I began to waffle. I’m not a wild color combo kind of person, not that these are remotely wild. They are super tame to the average knitter. I just tend to stick with basic neutrals and wear one vibrant color at a time. I was also a little afraid this would look too, “Go LSU!” with the experimental color being in the yellow color family. But yellows and purples are complimentary, right? So I cast on.
I’m really glad I did. I looked forward to every point in the pattern where I could use the orange next to a different color. There’s this little moment of joy I get when I see the two “new” colors against each other. The same applies to seeing garter butt up against lace in a new way. This must be why knitters become bolder and bolder with use of color and texture over time- with the most timid of amateurs being me, and the most accomplished being Stephen West. We’re all looking for tiny, little hits of visual joy.
This shawl is getting it’s ends woven in sloooooowly, but surely, and will be blocking by the weekend. I’ve now moved back into making some solid colored thingies, but just for a while.
Eventually, I think I’ll be exploring color with a Dotted Rays or and Exploration Station.
How about you guys? What’s your biggest experiment with color or fiber to date?