Happy New Year to you all! These past few have definitely not been what anyone expected. I’m looking forward to 2022 with the same things I plan out for myself every year - more knits, the learning of new things, and lots more time spent wandering the woods for dye plants and with my hands in the wool.
“Tis the season of getting my schedule together for the year as well. I am tentatively planning for several fiber arts festivals, and some travels, maybe even some teaching in the coming year. Check the “upcoming events” page here on my website to see where I’ll be. If I’m in your area please say hello! Things are still a bit uncertain with the ongoing pandemic. I’ll definitely be playing things by ear, but am hoping to get to come out and see more of the fiber arts community in 2022. We’ll see.
I was lucky enough to get to spend the last few weeks of 2021 on the coast of Washington visiting my parents. My Mom and I walked the beaches in all sorts of weather, I dipped my toes in the sea (brr!) baked holiday cookies, and ate as much fresh seafood as I could get my hands on while I was there. I didn’t travel with a spindle this time, instead pulling languishing knitting projects for the train ride over and the quiet times while I was there.
Enter the Schlossel Dress . This lovely and size inclusive pattern is by Siga Lagamta, and I actually test knit the bodice and upper sleeves for her more than a year ago. This is the “knit for self” project I brought with me, and my timing couldn’t have been better. While I was on the coast a cold snap hit and we actually had a few inches of snow while I was there! Since the skirt and lower sleeves are knit with a strong of kid mohair held double with the wool I didn’t at all expect Washington to be cold enough for me to wear it!
This dress is a first for me in several ways. It’s the first heavier weight sweater I’ve made myself ( DK weight,) it’s the first dress I’ve ever knit, and surprisingly it’s also the first garment I’ve made for myself using my own naturally dyed yarns. I’m excited to now have an example on a large scale for how naturally dyed yarns just “go” together, and play with natural white wool. This project is also kind of an experiment. The sleeves and skirt are dyed with logwood, a more exotic dye stuff than I normally use, which was gifted to me. It makes a striking purple. But isn’t known for being lightfast. Already this yarn has faded from a deep royal purple to this lovely grayish lavender. Since I was knitting for myself I decided to be my own test subject here. If the color continues to fade I’m hoping it will go grey, which will be just as lovely for this garment.
As an added bonus to finishing it while I was visiting my Mama, a snowy beach to take photos on, and her wonderful photography skills. We hit the beach on a frigid windy day and she indulged me in a photo shoot.
But back to the sweater. The colors I used for the yoke are naturally dyed with: Avocado pits, onion skins, black walnut hulls and tansy modified to dark green with iron. This is one of very few sweater dress patterns I’ve seen that I feel would be attractive on any body type. The drape of the skirt allowed it to fall away from my belly, where I carry most of my weight. Most other sweater dresses I’ve seen cling in a way that just doesn’t really work for plus size folks shaped like me. The DK weight yarn and larger needles make this a quicker knit (if you actually focus on it instead of taking long breaks like I did!). The pattern does include some short rows, and stranded color work with charts. If you have some familiarity with these I would highly recommend this garment if you’re looking for a warm and cozy winter sweater dress.
As always, if you’re interested in a naturally dyed sweater quantity of yarn please contact me! ( email email@example.com ) I absolutely love doing custom dye work. I do have a few smaller sweater quantities in the shop at the moment, in fingering weight. I plan on increasing the number of skeins I batch dye and carrying SQ’s of yarn in a wider variety of weights as well soon. It’s my dye goal of 2022!
Also new, as of this post you can now comment on my blogs! Do you have any fibery, wooly, or yarny goals for 2022? I’d love to hear what they are!
I hope the coming year is warm and woolful for all of you, and that you have ample time to spend on the things that you love.
Till next time - Happy Crafting,