Monday, May 19, 2014

Going Back to Rio

     I am on a serious studio clearing and sorting binge.  Spring does that to me. This week I found pieces of a  yummy hand dyed cherry-red sweater in my "to finish" basket.  I have the back done and the front is still on the needles with a note pinned to it to "get more yarn from Rachel".  Sleeves still to go so I will need about another 50% of what I've already used ( as a rough estimate I usually figure that the body uses 2/3 of the total amount of yarn in a sweater and the sleeves use 1/3). 

 This is Rio, one of the pieces I was asked to design years ago for Handpaint Country to feature the gorgeous hand-dyed yarns of Rachel Brown,  who was a world class fiber artist/dyer.   To showcase the yarn, Rio is a simple mistake-stitch ribbing pullover, one of those "wear it all the time" sweaters.  And in keeping with the theme of last week's blog, I intend to finish it as part of my fall wardrobe of hand knit "daily wear".  Plus it's nice nice knitting, the kind I can do in the garden after dinner.

    The yarn is a single worsted weight. I believe that Rachel used Brown Sheep's Top of the Lamb as the base for her "tweed" dye magic.  In a mistake stitch ribbing, the single yarn does not pill and it lends the sweater a sweet hand spun look as well.  In fact a hand spun yarn would  also be wonderful in this project, too.  So there's another possibility.  Always more inspiration and projects on the horizon.  It is a never ending list of knitting "what ifs" in my mind.
    I have a large stash of Rachel's yarns from her store, collected over the years on my many trips to  Taos.  There are boxes of her boucle and mohair and tweed, treasures that make a knitter's mouth water.  I loved using the many different textures of yarn that Rachel dyed for the Ruana that was the cover shot for Handpaint Country. 
     Rachel's granddaughter, Teresa Lovelace, is carrying on the tradition in her own way now,  returning to the roots of Rachel's dream and creating gorgeous traditional yarns for weavers.

     So I'm going back to Rio.   I can tell you now that you can expect to see some spin offs of this design as well.  Rekindling  happens.
     What have you got in your knitting basket that could be on your back by fall?  I'd love to know.     I think we can all use encouragement to finish or at least revisit some of our WIPs and summer is a great time to  clear the fall decks.   What say?  Can you find one thing to finish this summer?  Let us all know what you decide.


  1. Gorgeous color and I love the simplicity of the mistake rib. I'm knitting Wallaby's for the Greats.

    1. The Wallaby is one of my all time favorite patterns. Carol Anderson certainly created an American classic with that design.