At Rhinebeck, I only made one yarn purchase (no, seriously). It was, ironically, the first yarn I saw. I fell in love with it instantly.
It's from a firm in Texas called Brooks Farms and it's a variegated wool/silk worsted called Four Play. (Snicker.) The colorway snagged my attention, and Joe's, too–he also bought some. The price was amazingly fair. I put the two hanks away in my stash, thinking I would make a hat and scarf for myself from it when the time came.
And then, two days ago, the time came.
I've never used a variegated yarn before, aside from the self-patterning stuff that went into my Mary Thomas Test Sock. I knew variegated yarns often don't work well in textured patterns, but I really did not want to do a scarf in plain garter stitch.
So I got this idea. There's a famous pattern called King Charles Brocade that was so named because it appears in a silk undershirt that was worn by poor old King Charles I on the day his head got snicked off. It has been preserved and apparently has blood on it. Is that cool or what?*
Anyhow, I loved both the pattern and the historical association, and wondered if the mix of a seed stitch lattice and the stockinette panels might work well with the variegation. Seed stitch causes purl "bloops" of color to show up on both sides of the fabric, while stockinette would (or so I guessed) show up as simple rows of a single color.
Slap my ass and call me Sally if it didn't work out that way.
Here's what it looks like at the moment.
Between the quality of the yarn, the happy memories it holds, and the stitch pattern, this is rapidly becoming a favorite. I'm usually more about process than product, but I'm rabid to get this thing around my neck.
The chorus line of high-kicking sheep I posted a while back seemed to have struck a chord with people, so they're the latest addition to the shop. The design (except for the knitting bag) is the first to include the name of this blog. Is that obnoxious? Be honest. If you'd prefer the shirt without the blog name, I'm interested to know.
The front of the shirts has this design. The back has a full-on Rockettes-style extravaganza with three lines of 15 wooly cuties who want to tap, tap, tap their way into your hearts.
Sing it with me now:
A pretty sheep is like a melody,*If this is one of those knitting myths, like Aran patterns being particular to a family so that drowned fisherman could be identified from their ganseys, I don't want to know. Not yet. So don't tell me.
That haunts you night and day.
Just like the strain of a haunting refrain,
She'll start upon a marathon
And run around your brain.
You can't escape–she's in your memory,
By morning, night and noon.
She will leave you and then
Come back again.
A pretty sheep is just like a pretty tune.