Manly, yes! But I like it, too!

I realize that by using an old Irish Spring soap slogan for today’s title I am dating myself, but it fits the sweater I’ve started. Ann Budd designed her Cambridge Jacket (IK, Spring 2006) with men in mind, but I think it will do just fine for me.

I had purchased this Berroco Ultra Alpaca (50% alpaca/50% wool, color 6246) for a different sweater (a free pattern that came with the yarn) and then when I read the pattern, I changed my mind (needing two 29-inch circular needles in use simultaneously–yikes!). The jacket in the IK was knit on Cascade 220, and Ultra Alpaca is described as worsted weight, so I thought I would give it a go. My gauge was totally different, so I am making it two sizes smaller than I would have chosen, which makes me nervous. But I did the math several times, and as a scientist, I do math a lot, so I told myself to buck up and believe the math. So far, the size looks right.

I am not overly thrilled with the yarn, however. It is very soft and the color is quite rich (greener in real life), but twice in the first skein I have run into 1-2 feet stretches of yarn that is significantly thicker. It looks like there is a “fuzzy” on the strand, but it can’t be plucked off, and it goes on (as a thickness not a fuzzy)for the 1-2 feet. This does not make me happy. I’ll keep everyone posted if I find more incidences of this, and I’ll try to photograph it. Ultra Alpaca is a new yarn this year.

On the sock front, a Regia Cotton Tip&Top Color sock is done and the second sock is under way. Here is the one sock:

I bought the yarn at Jen by the Fjord in Canmore, Alberta, Canada, when M and I were in the area for a scientific meeting (naturally I googled to find yarn stores in the area). The owner was such a nice and helpful lady, and she had a lot of sock yarn. I like the colors of the stripes–perfect with brown clogs and jeans. I even grafted the toe to remind myself how I hate grafting and love round toes. This was my best graft job to date (no unsightly loops that I can’t loosen or tighten that I then pull to the inside), but it was no picnic.

Tomorrow M and I are taking a vacation day and heading west to San Francisco to see the Monet in Normandy exhibit at the Legion of Honor. I love Monet’s paintings and will let you know about the exhibit.

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