I have to admit, I’m so pleased with how my Dog Walker Sweater turned out. It fits like a comfy, well loved sweatshirt and the color makes me smile every time I look at it.
The pattern was straightforward and easy to follow. A top-down raglan with miles of stockinette, it was perfect summertime knitting. I especially like the broken rib at the cuff, neckline, and hem. It gives it a little subtle interest than using a basic ribbing. This is the worsted weight version, but there’s an Aran weight that I might cast-on later in the fall. The only modification I made was changing the turtleneck to a crew.
The yarn is Trusty from The Plucky Knitter. A 100% merino superwash that is soft, squishy and feels great against bare skin. A great workhorse yarn for any project. The color is “You’re Gonna Make It After All” a beautiful bright cerulean blue with the slightest variation. Swoon.
Planning on wearing this on repeat all through the fall.
Most of my projects right now are longer term, I wanted to do a bit of a progress report to keep myself accountable and on track for finishing by the end of summer. Here’s the breakdown of the four I have on my needles:
1. The Dog Walker Sweater
This worsted weight sweater is actually going fairly quickly. I cast on the first week of July as part of a KAL and I’m on track to finish by the August 10th completion date. I’m bit farther along than the photo, I finished the hem and started on the first sleeve. 2. Dendros Shawl
I cast on this large rectangular wrap/shawl a little before the above sweater. The beginning was a bit complicated, since it’s knit from the center out, but it’s now smooth sailing. It’s fingering weight yarn on size US 3 needles, so it will take a while, but’s it’s going to be so worth it. Goal it to have it done by Labor Day.
3. Yellow Submarine Socks
I always seem to have a pair of socks on the needles. I carry them with me and usually work on them while waiting at swim lessons, and oil change, etc. My current ones are self-striping yarn inspired by The Beatle’s song Yellow Submarine. Fitting since the movie is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. No real completion goal for these, but I know they’ll be finished before school starts.
4. Tea with Jam & Bread Sweater
This striped worsted weight sweater is actually for Joey. I’m doing a striping sequence and to have the sleeves line up with the body, I’m working them all at the simultaneously. This is making it go faster and slower at the same time. I’m intentionally making a little too large for him right now to make sure it will still fit when sweater weather is here again I want to have this done before school starts as well.
Hopefully, I’ll reach my goals on finishing, my knitting queue is already full for my next projects and I’m itching to cast on something new.
So, Joey has been attending a little dinosaur camp this week through the park district. They’ve been doing little dinosaur/fossil crafts and stuff all week and he’s loved it. When picking him up, I heard another boy say “there’s an annoying boy named Joey” when his mom was asking him and his brother how the class went. His brother saw me and told his brother to hush and I just swooped up Joey and got out of there without responding because I didn’t want to confuse Joe.
It was like a physical slap in the face. A punch in the gut. I felt myself start to physically deflate and the tears welling up as we walked out to the car. (After Joey stopped to look at the world map mural and checking that Madagascar was represented, as one does.)
I immediately started hating myself that I didn’t say anything. But what does one say? To be honest, Joey can be annoying. He’s loud, asks a million questions, can be messy, strong-willed, and sometimes needs additional assistance or instruction. He is oblivious to personal space, will interrupt people, and sometimes sings or recites dialog to himself from TV shows/movies. But he is also enthusiastic, friendly, outgoing, and carefree. He loves to learn, explore, and discover. He shares with others and is always willing to help.
All this week, I’ve wanted to say something to this mother and her boys. I’ve thought of a million different scenarios, ranging from a calm, rational explanation of ASD to a raging mama bear attack that would point out all the faults of her parenting and how troll-like her children are. (They were not troll-like . . . maybe a little ogreish.)
So today was the last day of the class. I was walking in to get Joey and I passed the trio walking down the hallway to leave and again I heard the little boy say something about “that annoying kid” to his mom. They were actually past me and almost around the corner, very easy for me to let it go again. Instead, I turned around an said,”Excuse me, I’m sorry but I want you to know that Joey is on the Autism spectrum and that might be why he was doing some things that could be considered annoying.” They stopped and turned around. The mom and older boy eyes opened wide and looked a little stunned while the younger on looked bashful and was hiding behind his mom. ” And I’d really appreciate it if you could talk to your sons about being a little more accepting and understanding about those that might act differently from what they expect.” I was barely able to get the words out at the end without letting out a sob. The mom paused and asked if she could hug me and I let her. Why, I don’t know. I then just looked at her as asked her to speak to her kids again and turned around and walked the rest of the way to the classroom and got Joey. He was so excited and proud to show me his glue covered dinosaur model that he didn’t notice the tears in my eyes.
So, I gathered up the rest of his craft projects, checked the map mural (Madagascar was still there.) and came home.
Parenting a child with special needs is hard. It can be isolating, lonely, and oftentimes filled with guilt. It’s painful to hear others say things about your child for any parent, but it’s even more hurtful when you know that some of those unflattering comments are based on his ASD. I am fully aware that I will not be able to shield Joey from this happening throughout his life. I know that kids, and adults, will look at his behaviors and judge him as “weird, annoying, a little off, etc.” I just hope that more will get to know him for who he is personally before they make their conclusions.
I hope that by sharing this story, others will think about how they teach their children about being different and will maybe dig a little deeper when they say that some “annoying” kid was in their class.
I decided to marl the stripes this time around, using Ariel by Luna Grey Fiber Arts in the Mishigami color way that I received from Wool & Honey’s Sleeping Bear Yarn Club and some white fingering weight yarn from deep stash. Possible Kroy Sock but have no idea since the label is long gone. This makes it a little bit heavier weight than my first, but it still has a nice drape and fit. (The photo above was pre-blocking, so it looks a little wonky, but once it was blocked and dried, it smoothed right out.)
I also went with Breton influenced striping and ended stripe sequence halfway up armhole, I then continued with Ariel held singly for the remainder of the yoke. I also did not add a split hem this time, just followed original pattern instructions, however I did add a few inches in length. Here’s a detail shot:
I was originally considering adding 3/4 length sleeves, but once I tried it on I decided to leave it as is. However, I’m now considering a third version in a solid and adding those sleeves. We’ll see.
Full details on Ravelry.
Here’s my latest entry for #operationsweaterchest the Shakerag Top by Amy Christoffers for Mason Dixon Knitting’s Field Guide No. 6: Transparency. You guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this top!
The pattern was so simple and quick to knit. I cast on as part of MDK’s May Knitalong: #shakeragtop that celebrated their release of the latest installment to their Field Guide pattern series. I finished in less than a month, while still working other projects! It’s hard to tell from the photos, but there is a subtle striping from holding the yarn single and then double. This gave me a bit of interest to and otherwise mindless knit. I love the simple neckband and how the shoulder shaping created a slight drop sleeve. It’s comfortable, while still flattering and would look good on a wide range of figures. I did modify mine a bit by giving it a split hem, some additional length, and some slight shaping at the waist. (Full details on the mods on Ravelry)
The yarn is Sylph from Jade Sapphire, a light fingering weight yarn that is 58% Cashmere goat and 42% linen/flax. This is some magical yarn. While knitting, it feels a bit stiff and was harder to work with, making my hands ache a bit if I knit too long. However, it quickly softens up when worked and once wet blocked it was so soft and had the most amazing drape. Absolutely dreamy. I chose the Extinction color way, a deep midnight blue with subtle touches of aquamarine and amethyst. The flax/linen is natural so it has a marled effect. It’s so hard to capture the color in a photo, but here you can see a bit of the variation.
This top will be on repeat all summer. In fact, I immediately cast on a second version once this was finished. It just needs some blocking and the ends weaved in, so I’ll be sharing that one shortly.
SIDE NOTE: I haven’t found many fellow knitters in to connect with in the real world, so it’s great to be able to “find my tribe”online through Ravelry and other knitting-centric sites. MDK is one of those that has been an inspiration to me and I have found it’s community to be so welcoming and full of encouragement. So, I was beyond thrilled to have my project shared on MDK’s website and Instagram! It definitely gave me a bit of a boost in confidence that my knitting continues to improve. You can see the post where I’m briefly mentioned here a you can see their Instagram here.