Hannah and the CoalBear: GoldenFern Report

Hi. I’m Hannah. This has been a really special week. Let’s get to the most important event of the week first:

It was the anniversary of the day I came to live with the Mother of Cats this week!!! It has been two whole years since I arrived here more than a little upset. I mean, I had gone to another home and they didn’t like me and they took me back to the shelter! They said something about crying all night… I wouldn’t let the Mother of Cats out of my sight, slept on her bed plastered right against her so she couldn’t get away from me, followed her everywhere, and the rest is history. Now I am so essential to her life she wouldn’t know what to do without me.

For example, I worked really hard all week helping her with her new sweater. We got the second sleeve done early in the week (I helped her manage all of the loose ends by chasing and chomping on them whenever possible…) and then she had the bright idea of adding an I-cord edging to the bottom of the body of the sweater.

I got a great nap in while she was applying the edging below the ribbing of the sweater’s body.

It took her almost two hours to add the edging to the bottom of the body of the sweater, and then it was time for cookies and some excitement. CoalBear and I chased the laser light for a while, got some more cookies, and watched for moths while she finished off all of the ends, and then, in the middle of the night she tried on the sweater!

It fits!! I think that the Mother of Cats is kind of silly when she gets so excited, but I love her anyway.

The next day we misted and steamed the sweater to block it and left it out to dry.

Here is the sweater blocking in the closet where I can’t sleep on it. Why does the Mother of Cats do these things?

Can you see that the colorwork of the sleeve is a little more tightly knit than the colorwork on the body? That’s because the Mother of Cats used a bigger sized needle on the body so that the gauge would stay the same (Is gauge like tuna? If so, I wonder if I can have some for dinner?), but when she did the sleeve she didn’t go up a needle size so the sleeve snugged in a little and it fits her wrist just right. That was my idea: pretty smart, don’t you think? The I-cord added to the edging of the body gave it a little more weight and makes the sweater hang nicely. The Mother of Cats is really happy with her Goldenfern sweater. See what a great job I’m doing helping her? She never would have had the patience to add that edging to the sweater if I hadn’t been there for purring support!

Right now, the CoalBear and I are hanging out in front of the air conditioner.

I’m so glad that the Mother of Cats brought me home to live with her. Do you see that she gives me all the boxes that I want and a little playmate buddy too!!

See you next week!


Notes from the Mother of Cats:

I put a lot of thought into this sweater. Here is some of my thought process:

  • The designer used a single ply yarn in her original design so I felt empowered to do the same. I found yarns for the contrast colors in my stash, and all of them are also single ply.
  • The lifted increases in the body are almost impossible to find! I could not be happier with the way they came out.
  • The designer suggested going up two needle sizes for the colorwork portions to maintain gauge; since my yarns were thin I settle with going up one needle size for the body.
  • I went back to the MC for the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater which gave the ferns a “floating” look.
  • I stayed with the needle size used for the sleeve when I got to the colorwork on the cuffs as I wanted a snugger fit.
  • I like the look of I-cord bind off at my wrists so I did a three stitch I-cord (instead of 2 stitch) in the MC to make them it stand out.
  • I then picked up stitches along the bound off ribbing at the bottom of the body and did a 3 stitch I-cord bind off along the bottom of the sweater. This I-cord doesn’t really stand out, but rather blends right in with the ribbing and provides a clean edge that has a little more weight.
  • My Ravelry notes are here.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

33 thoughts on “Hannah and the CoalBear: GoldenFern Report”

  1. The way in which the colours of the contrast yarn go from dark to light upwards in both cuffs and sweater bottom looks quite wondrous, Marilyn ! I can only agree wholeheartedly that you had every reason to be excited upon finishing – having added your own touches – and finding it a perfect fit: I would’ve wept with joy !
    Goodonyermate !!!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you. The designer used colors similar to mine, but there were others who faded the sweater from light to dark while fading the ferns from dark to light: really stunning too! Seeing what other people have done helps me become more adventurous and self-confident. I’m really feeling validated with my changes. 🙂

      1. That adjective has fairly recently come into my life – in terms of others. It’s a nice one. 🙂

    1. It really did come out nicely. I think very highly of this designer as this is the second sweater I’ve made and it is even nicer than the last! I have some smoky grey yarn that I am thinking of using for another sweater but with pink ferns… what do you think? Lots of ideas out there.
      I would be lost without the kitties. My doctors are dialing up the drugs big time and then put me on more drugs to handle the side effects. Ugh. The cats are hanging with me big time during the rough afternoons.

  2. Dear Hannah- so glad you have a wonderful human who is good to you! Mine took in me and my brother (ramses) and my sister (Isis) when our very young Mom showed up on her doorstep with us . You look a little like me!! Female tuxedos are rare i think– can I be your fan! my great uncle was a tuxie and my brother Ramses . You are so neat!, yours, Horus

    1. Hannah: we’ll be the tuxedo BFFs! My niece is also a tuxedo girl… she is quite spunky, and whaps the Mother of Cats when she tries to brush out her matted fur. Can you believe it? I’m more like a princess and just demand walk away with my tail up if I don’t like what’s going on… So many brothers and sisters!! The CoalBear is about all that I can handle; so exhausting to train a kitten, don’t you think?

    1. I am starting to become a huge fan of icord edging. You can just pick up stitches along the cast-off edge (I did one stitch into each cast off stitch using the same size needles) and then start the icord. I’ve done it with a different color of yarn and it looks great! This is the first time under ribbing and I am now a fan of that, too. The sleeves used the icord as the primary cast off and the way it acts on the sweater (appearance and stretch) is the same. The only down is that it takes a while to get through it all, but to get the nice finish on the sweater after all that work made it worth it to me.

      1. I have done two “Rock It Tees” and they are stockinette that is finished with an icord trim. It does work! It isn’t as stable as the folded hem, but you won’t have that hem line. I like how it worked with the ribbing and the icord, too. The ribbing didn’t draw in with that cord on the bottom.

  3. He jumper looks amazing and even though those colours aren’t usually for me, I love it…there is no denying they are the perfect combination of colours. Happy 2nd gotcha anniversary. How time flies!

    1. I will go to great lengths to avoid yellow, but I do like wearing dark blues. I kept looking at the pattern, found the yarns, and then just went for it. It works because the yellow is so far from my face. 🙂

      1. It’s really dry where I live, so the temperature can drop a lot in the evenings, and if you go up into the mountains there is another 10-20 degree drop. So, sweaters or sweatshirts some evenings and early mornings. It will go down to around 50 tonight. It feels colder once you’ve adjusted to hot days.

  4. Absolutely love your sweater. The colours go so well together. Lucky you had suitable colours in your stash for the colour work. I find that when I try to use up the wool in my stash the colours I want to use are never in the stash!

    1. Shopping the stash is a problem for me when I am looking for exactly certain colors. What helps sometimes is to clean up and sort the stash, get a good feeling for what is in there, and then letting things kind of settle for awhile. Often I come up with another color strategy to use the yarns that I have in the stash if I come at things from a different angle. Okay, that doesn’t work always, which is why my stash has gotten to be so big!!

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