I loved the feel of the baby alpaca and silk blend as I worked with the fiber through the pattern. Blending into the darker tone from the lighter, I found the transition to be very complimentary... especially when the effect of the hand-dying made each of the colors naturally gradient. The sleeves are knitted very long, and then folded at the cuff, and I decided on a whim at the last minute not to stitch down the collar... leaving it the rolled reverse stockinette.
What I love most about the garment is that I know the yarns were specially selected for me by someone I love. Each time I wear the sweater, I'll remember that the yarns were hand-dyed by someone in the D.C. area, and I will think about how sweet it was for my son to actually go into a local yarn shop to personally select yarn for his mom.
I began knitting several years ago now, as a way to take my mind off the pain of losing a child. It is no small understatement to say that knitting never freed me from the agonizing grief, but the process of focusing on the rhythmic tying of knots with yarn and sticks to create garments gave me a little space of reprieve. Having moved from one project to the next over the years, I can look back upon each of these now and remember where I was in that journey... where I purchased the yarn, who helped me stumble through my beginning moments... the tears that I shed as I was tying my little knots in even rows of knit and purl stitches.
There are still times when the grief will catch me off guard, like last week when The George Washington University notified the parent association that two students had passed away on campus. I feel the pain in my heart for the loss they are experiencing. But most of the time, I have found a way to be me again... deeper for the brokenness, and grateful for the ability to "BO K-wise." (Bind off knit-wise).