Today is the beginning of a fresh, new week, and there seemed like no better time to talk about one of my favorite knits from the holiday season: Ishbel.
I knit it as an additional gift for my mom, something for her to wear with the sweater I made her to add a little bit of visual interest to all of the dark texture in the garment. After seeing me wearing my Milkweed one day, all tucked up around my neck in a bandit/cowl style, she immediately requested something similar. I started to knit her a Milkweed of her own in Handmaiden Sea Silk, but it was too big for her petite frame, and so a week before Christmas, I began knitting Ishbel. It was a crazy move at the last minute, especially because I had already knit her something else and didn’t technically need to make it, but, what can I say? I love my mom, and I especially love knitting for her. The thought of her walking around in my knits, hundreds of miles away from me, is very comforting—knowing that my presence is with her, and is comforting her, in a small way.
When I sifted through my yarns, this one stood out immediately. It came from one of my early dye sessions, and she had watched and helped me actually add color to the yarn. So I went into hyper knitting mode, and four days later, had an Ishbel blocking out on the floor, the day before we left for Christmas break. I think that the colors moved beautifully across the fabric, with no pooling; only subtle shifts of color, a sort of watercolor effect. The springy feel of the merino made it soft and smooth against the neck, and knitting on 3.5 mm needles gave the piece a gentle drape while keeping the fabric mostly opaque. I don’t need to attest to the beauty and simplicity of the pattern—I think the sheer volume of Ishbels floating around in the world is a testament to Ysolda’s brilliance as a designer. I look forward to knitting more of her designs.
I’m off to do some reading for school, and will hopefully be back with some more holiday knits, sooner rather than later!