Getting Ready to Knit the Solitude Jacket

Our Solitude Jacket KAL officially kicks off on Friday, July 24. If you haven’t already joined us, download a copy of Knitscene Fall 2015 and sort out your yarn and come on over to the Knitting Daily KAL group on Ravelry!

Speaking of yarn, my yarn for this cardigan arrived yesterday and holy cow. It’s a beautiful deep green color and it came in a lovely array in this giant box and there’s a small part of me that doesn’t want to take it out of the box—it’s just so pretty all nestled together!
Solitude Jacket yarn

Gretchen at Solitude Wool picked out the yarn color for me. It was a complete surprise to me, and it’s purely fate that this yarn is in one of my favorite colors. Gretchen sent over a write up she did about the inspiration for this colorway. She said:

Summer colored yarn

Aside from the early Summer heat, this week everything turned Summer: berries coming in, making goat cheese, sweating alot…and the color has changed. It isn’t Spring green anymore, it’s solstice Summer green, fully mature, at the zenith of its “greenness.” Wednesday night, sitting on the porch through the rain, and looking out into green was inspiring.solitude1

Photos from Gretchen Frederick at Solitude Wool

Thursday was a dye day. And I was hoping to create a color to even loosely evoke that green world. And we needed a new Romney green so I went for it.

Dyeing is chemistry. Color is chemistry…and every color behaves differently in natural dyes and synthetic dyes, because the chemicals are different. Greens in weak acid dyes in the dyepot always start out bluer. Then as the heat comes up, the yellow strikes. solitude 2

I still want to alter the color when the yarn is in the pot, because it isn’t what I was aiming for. …but know I have to restrain myself.

I was pleased this morning when I pulled it out of the pot. It does feel like summer green to me.

solitude 3


So now that I have my yarn for the knitalong, it’s time to plan my attack on this sweater. First, I printed out the pattern from our digital edition of the magazine so I could mark all over it. I like to read through a pattern and then highlight or circle the numbers that I’ll need to refer to when knitting my pattern. I usually like to do this after I’ve swatched, in case I have to use different numbers based on my own gauge versus the pattern gauge, but in this instance I was too excited.

Solitude pattern markup

Then I took a look at the pattern again to figure out what would be the best way to organize my knitting. There’s no official deadline for this knitalong—I encourage people to take as long as they need to end up with a finished project that they’ll love to wear—but I also know that I tend to get distracted (and I’ve seen the patterns that are being published in some upcoming issues that I’m already drooling over), so I created a little schedule for myself to ensure that I finish this project in a relatively timely manner.

Solitude KAL plan

My plan involves knitting a sleeve as my swatch, and then making adjustments (possibly including reknitting that sleeve!). You want to make sure you knit a sizable swatch when knitting large projects and a sleeve is a good place to start—if your gauge is close to the pattern gauge, then you have a sleeve done! If you need to make adjustments, it’s just a sleeve! Winning all around.

Now I’m ready to start my knitting on Friday; I just need to wind all the yarn!

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