Friday, November 17, 2017

Rusty Nail was a sweater I cast on to calm my nerves last Spring, as I watched things in the US start to tilt out of whack.  I didn't have the concentration for complex lace or cables, and I needed some soft, soothing yarn in a stockinette-heavy design for a change so that I could think while knitting.

I purposely went to a Gather Here, a local yarn shop owned by a fantastic activist woman I know and respect and I purposely chose yarn from the Fibre Company/Kelbourne Woolens to support other strong, successful women in our industry that I believe in.

Instead of doing a hat for charity this time, I'm donating $1 of each purchase of Rusty Nail from now until 2018 to Emily's List, a fantastic organization that's working hard to get progressive women all over the US to run for office. 

When I sat down to knit this, the soft merino-masham-mohair fiber and the lovely simple stitches were exactly what I needed to focus on.  It was cozy and satisfying and had just enough detail that I could work on it without messing up if my mind wandered. (Which by the way, makes this the perfect knit to work on over holiday travels....)

Although Rusty Nail IS simple to knit, it does have a few design elements to keep you engaged -- it's an open cardigan with subtle A-line shaping, and short rows dip the body down to create a longer back than front.

Once arms are joined to body, the yoke shaping is worked seamlessly to the top.  It includes a subtle saddle shoulder at the very end, which creates a lovely line for seaming the down the collar ends, and makes for a better fit. 

And in the upper yoke and end of your knitting, the two cables that run up each front are shaped down to meet around the back neck in two points for a lovely, unexpected join.  I wear my hair up a  lot, so this makes me happy. Rusty Nail is exactly the kind of sweater I love to knit - simple and classic, with just a little tweak that makes it special.

Because it is so simple, modifications are easy.  Notes are included in the pattern for adjusting the length or width of your sweater, and I also added instructions for making long sleeves instead of 3/4.
If you prefer to omit the short row shaping, that's also easy - and if you'd rather work your cable panels to meet without tapering into a point, you can do that too!  Plus, there are photos and instructions in the pattern for finishing so you can get the same lovely lines!

All the details, the test knits and the PDF pattern can be found on Ravelry for $7. 

As for a Rusty Nail cocktail, it was the color of the yarn that made me choose this cocktail - a half/half split of Scotch and Drambuie. You pour the Scotch first and float the Drambuie on top - in an old fashioned glass over ice.


Kristin said...

I love this sweater and completely empathize with your rationale for working on it. I've already purchased it and am delighted with the donation to Emily's List. Brava on all aspects of this one!