A few years ago someone on the s’n'b yahoo group alerted members to the fact that Dimmeys stores across Melbourne had $1 balls of italian yarn on sale. Four store visits later I had 76 or so balls of laceweight mohair, wool, and a cashmere/wool blend.
This was before I realised I hate the itchy feel of mohair, and that if you’re not into lace shawls or knitting with 2mm needles there’s not a lot you can do with laceweight.
But knit with 6mm needles, the cashmere/wool blend made a nice drapey fabric. A year ago I stared knitting up a kind of ruana/wrap thingo called a Thneed. A fashion designer friend had picked up one in a market somewhere and suggested I knit my own, so I’d made sketches and measurements. I dyed up several balls of the cashmere/wool blend in grey and started knitting. After knitting a large square I stopped, did some calculations and realised I hadn’t dyed up enough. So I knit the darn thing in undyed yarn and dyed it when it was finished.
I kept the bit I’d knit in grey, and the rest of the dyed skeins. It wasn’t so much an unfinished object as a test swatch and I couldn’t be bothered frogging it. But every time I went through my stash I’d pick it up and the word ‘kimono’ would pop into my head.
It kinda bugs me when I see patterns for ‘Kimono Top’ designs that don’t look anything like the proper kimono shape. They’re more like ‘bat wing’ tops. Sweaters made in one piece, arms and body together. A kimono is definitely not made up of one piece, but lots of rectangles. The grey square could become a rectangle, and it was about the right width for the back of a kimono.
The fabric this cashmere/wool blend knits up into is much more drapey and stretchy than kimono fabric. To give it a bit more structure I’m going to knit bands around the cuffs, neck and hem, using the same yarn but on smaller needles, and maybe add some beads. We’ll see. I expect I’ll be knitting this well into next year, so there’s plenty of time to make up my mind.
And because having two socks and a kimono top on the needles is already too much knitting to do, I started another WIP.
A vest. In the Inca I bought at the Australian Country Spinners shop this year. Knit in one piece, in rib, with a cabled button band. Why? Because it all came together in my head and I decided I should make a start ‘while the iron’s hot’, as they say. It should be a quick knit, anyway. And it’s nice to get away from sock and laceweight to some chunky knitting now and then.