For years now I have wanted to go to Rhinebeck, or the New York Sheep & Wool festival held in the Rhinebeck Valley in New York in the fall. Late last year Ana and (sadly blogless) Beth and I decided that 2016 was the year.
In our flurry of preparations, we have each been talking about knitting a sweater for the event for months now. The “Rhinebeck sweater” is a ritual that many festival attendees create each year. I spent some time trying to decide what kind of sweater I would want to wear at Rhinebeck (I’m hoping the weather cooperates – some years it is hot and others it is snowy!). Frankly, I wanted it to be a sweater of the “magnum opus” variety. That is, I wanted to knit something spectacular to wear there. So I perused Ravelry and came up with something I really thought would be a good fit for me. Cables? Check. Tunic length, meaning excessive yardage? Check. Overall cozy New England feel? Check. Good for use in Kansas winter? Check. I selected Dallas by Amy Miller.
Next it was time to ponder yarn choices. The pattern called for Plucky Primo Worsted which was a little out of my budget. I debated whether I wanted my yarn to be buttery soft, but with potential for pilling (thank you Yarn Harlot for making me realize I was making yarn noises!), or a bit hardier but eliciting a fewer oohs and ahhs. I also wanted to buy a color I didn’t already have in my wardrobe. I ended up deciding to use Cascade 220 in a fabulous green shade called Irlande.
Then I set about swatching for my sweater. I don’t always take the time to swatch carefully before knitting (I know… I know…) but I really wanted this sweater to be a success. As I knit the swatch, however, I found that I wasn’t completely excited about the sweater. I don’t know whether it was the seed stitch in the cable, or the suggested positive ease of 4-9 inches, but I wasn’t feeling this sweater.
So I had a little heart to heart with myself (and some text messages with a friend). I went through the pattern search on Ravelry again. I looked for my cables, and my extra yardage, and my “New England feel but good for Kansas weather” sweater. And I re-swatched. And I’m happier with my second choice – Ardara by Carol Feller.
So now I wait for the swatches to dry and I contemplate all the possibilities for my Rhinebeck sweater. I guess I’d better get to knitting pretty soon, right?