Friday, February 12, 2010

(Reading the) Tea Leaves

Tea Leaves Cardigan in Mas Acero
My latest FO is destined to be in my Top Ten Pantheon of All-Time Sweet Ass Knits®. I am talking about the Tea Leaves Cardigan, the most legendary viral cardigan to hit the Intertubes since the FLS (see below). Babs is responsible for this particular mania--she and I had a flurry of texts about this pattern a while back (what--you don't do that?) and I became officially obsessed. I knew that this most perfect cardigan and I were destined to be. But what yarn? What YARN?
Tea Leaves Cardigan in Mas Acero
Excessive, non-specific MDS&W yarn purchasing to the rescue! Luckily my craven little lemming heart was just desperate to nab some Mas Acero in the Brooks Farm booth, and as it turns out, this is the perfect yarn for this project. Variegated--yes, but not dizzyingly so.
Tea Leaves Cardigan in Mas Acero
The Specs:
Pattern: Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre. If you don't know her designs, you should pre-order her upcoming new book, New England Knits. It's going to be huuuge.
Yarn: Mas Acero, 3 skeins of 9 MA (?--I'll never understand their naming system)
Needles: Size 6s and 7s
Size: 42
Mods: Only mod was that I was afraid of running out of yarn, so the sleeves were made maybe 2 inches shorter than I would have liked. As it turns out I was right to economize, I only had a smidge left.
Tea Leaves Cardigan in Mas Acero
This project was a true pleasure from start to finish. I would have finished this project sooner had I not gotten sidetracked with other projects, and the small matter of two entire skeins of yarn getting *$#@*&^% entangled with one another:
tangled mess
Yes, if you can believe it, I had one hot mess on my hands with this yarn. I'm not really even sure how this happened. I decided to leave it out (à la jigsaw puzzle on the cabin card table) and have Herr Curmudgeon untangle it at the dining room table during his spare moments, in between rants about texting & the downfall of our society and the supremacy of prog rock concept albums over all other musical forms.
Tea Leaves Cardigan in Mas Acero
The ruching effect on the yoke is perfection. The two-button concept is genius, and I will always love the 3/4 sleeve. This sweater has to much to recommend it. So much to love in one sweater. Mwah!

You should check out Babs' version, it's amazing, and she's as gaga for hers as I am for mine. We got talking about sweaters, and she declared herself to be a stalwart cardigan enthusiast. I must say that this got me thinking, and I do believe that the cardigan might be growing on me too. I see its utility, even if I do despise its purling.

And since the yarn for my Autumn Rose has yet to be delivered (oh how utterly convenient!), I've decided to do the February Lady Sweater (Cascade 220 in Flame, above) for my Knitting Olympics project. And just to keep it ultra-crazy, I'll also be attempting another Back-to-School U-Neck Vest (Ella Rae, #134, below) at the same time. So I will be knee-deep in worsted for the Winter Games, because I'm all about knitting under arbitrary constraints--and you?

26 comments:

Nina said...

So pretty!!! (I almost typed y*m, which usually icks me out when other people say it!!) The tea leaves cardigan in the colorway you chose is beautiful, and those colors for the FLS and the vest are kickass. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

LEO said...

Personally, I think your sleeve length is perfect. But then again, I'm always a hot sweaty mess so less sleeve is always better IMO.

Kathy said...

That sweater is gorgeous. Smart move going with the worsted. I'm knitting a vest in worsted for the games. I love giving myself unattainable goals with my knitting. Sometimes I even rise to challenge and get it done.

sheknitupthat said...

It turned out beautifully!

Anonymous said...

I just had to share, I am almost finished with my Tea Leaves cardigan and was just doing a search for where I can purchase the pattern for Autumn Rose. Haha, I guess great minds think alike.
Melynda

Emilee said...

I love it!

duni said...

ha! i'm going to use brooks farm for my tea leaves, too (bought for no reason at rhinebeck 07). i'll be using the solana, tho, so not quite the same. well that and my colorway is browns and blacks and greys so it'll be a might blander than yours. :)

Elizabeth said...

I'm knitting Tea Leaves right now with madelinetosh Worsted...I LOVE it! It might be my favorite clothing item ever. Must. Not. Screw. It. Up.

Love the Ella Rae, too.

Enjoy the snow!

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Really great sweater, it totally suits you . I love that yarn. I think the colorway matches the blueish white of the snow and also your lips, as you freeze outside posing for us.
I think i have to make a pullover version of it for myself, I never wear my cardigans.

sophanne said...

Stunning-

No arbitrary deadlines for me except maybe to finish one of my larger 6 in 2010 (THANKS TO YOU.) Therefore jumping on the Tea Leaves Lemming Bandwagon will have to wait- and I don't have any random MDSW purchases this year because the event fell on Mr. Sophanne's birfday.

sophanne said...

oops I mean 10 in 2010. I'm now already 4 behind and I've only started the first one. Praise the powers that be that we're not back in 1999.

nicole said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

For some insane reason, I've chosen a Alice Starmore aran (St Brigid) as my knitting olympics project.

Ya, I know, bonkers right? But at least I'm limiting myself to ONE sweater. You, on the other hand, are a nutter.

Yarnhog said...

That sweater is gorgeous! It looks fantastic on you, too. I convulsively started clicking on Rav to see other people's versions in preparation for immediately casting on my own, but after looking at some of the pictures, I remembered that cardigans that close at the top only highlight the fact that I have no boobs--not something I generally want to call attention to.

I also really love that Flame color. Perfect!

Kirsten said...

I have a crush on the Curmudgeon. Cranky, funny and he untangles yarn while waxing poetic about prog rock, sigh.

peaknits said...

The sweater is fabulous lady! I love your yarn choice. I just finished a sweater and am itching to cast on another - this might have to put into a hat with my other choices:)

earthchick said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, as are you. I think I'm going to have to add that cardi to my upcoming plans.

Can't wait to see your Knitting Olympics sweaters. As for me, would you believe I'm sitting these games out? Too many WIPs to tend to, and already enough stress in my life without adding an unnecessary bit of it. So I'll live vicariously through you!

Laura said...

Love love love!

Also, your description of the yarn-untangling session makes me wish I could hang out at your house.

Courtney said...

I love it, and wouldn't you know, I have three skeins of Mas Acero sitting right here waiting to become something fabulous. I may start it tonight.

marnie said...

Love, love, love! never heard of the yarn... but love that too!

Kitten said...

Gorgeous work! I love the finished project and I'm not normally a fan of varigation in sweaters.

Two works for the Olympics? Sigh, I'm such an underachiever!

Alice said...

Wow, the sweater is so pretty. The colors look great on you.

I'm excited to see all your Olympic knitting!!!

kim said...

You just gotta love the 2-button cardi. The color(s) look great on you.

a friend to knit with said...

okay... so how is that olympic knitting going?!
LOVE your challenge.

i have loved that sweater since the moment i saw it, too. and yours turned out LOVELY!

maybe you should wear it on the 25th. (YIPPEE!)

tentenknits said...

gorgeous!! the sweater, the color, and most of all YOU ;-)

Alison said...

Oh, yes, without arbitrary constraints I would get a lot less done...

Kathy said...

The sweater is lovely and so's the yarn!