I'm a sucker for new yarns. I've been crocheting since I was eight and knitting since high school, and I've realized that sometimes I get myself into a rut: making the same patterns over and over again, using the same yarn or colors, or not stopping to learn new techniques. Each time I see a new yarn make its way into the department, it's a new opportunity for me to pet something new and dream up different projects. Our newest yarn, Heartland was no exception. I sat down on the floor in front of all of the colors on Friday afternoon, just before my lunch break, and snagged two skeins that looked too precious to pass up: Great Smoky Mountains, which is a gorgeous multi-dimensional tweedy charcoal gray, and Denali, a pale, heathery pink. Of course, anybody who knows me at all knows that pink is my go-to color for almost everything, but I decided that, for whichever project I chose, I'd let the gray do most of the talking. How could I not? With all those different shades in there, it seemed like it had a lot to say--you know, visually. I only talk to my yarn when nobody else is around.
Anyway, the two skeins of Heartland seemed like plenty for a cute baby sweater, so I spent some time in between bites of my lunch combing Ravelry for a pattern, until I found the perfect one: The Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith. I knew I didn't want stripes, so I followed the pattern for the body using just the gray colorway, using Denali for the cuffs, collar, button bands and bottom ribbing. The only other modification I made was in the raglan increases: since I was going for a precious, girly look, I used "YO" increases instead of "m1" increases for an eyelet effect at the sleeve shaping. After a weekend of happy knitting (in between chasing my dog, Murphy, and a bunch of other runners on a Bark in the Park 5k!), I sewed the last button on Sunday evening. Here's the finished product:
I made my sweater in the smallest size (3 months), but I definitely had more than enough yarn to go up to the larger size. I just used my leftovers to start on a matching hat and mitts. Since the little girl who will one day wear this sweater hasn't graced us with her presence yet, you'll have to settle for this fuzzy bear model instead of a smiling newborn.
Sometimes, it takes making a project with a yarn to really decide how you feel about it. I knew I loved the deep, radiant colors of Heartland right off the bat, and am thrilled that it's another great yarn made right here in America. After working with it for this baby set, it has quickly become my new go-to worsted weight yarn. I love the sheen and weight that the finished product has, and I know it will have great drape and continue to wear well wash after wash. I'm hooked on Heartland!