Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bertha Red is Out of the Trunk!

I seem to really have a bad case of "Start-itis" lately, but this latest project seems adequately justified in my mind for two reasons. First, I'm consuming stash - and lots of it! Second, if this goes well, I'll make a second one for my sister for her birthday. Therefore, this is R&D.
Just over a year ago, I purchased two "Big Berthas" at the Torrance Fiber Festival. Big Bertha is not the real name for this yarn, it's just the name my knitting buddies and I have adopted for these hugantic skeins of sport weight merino that we bought in bulk from Newton Country Yarns. Each skein that I bought contains 2000 (!) yards, and I got them for about $35 each. What a steal.

So over the last year, I've been thinking about what to do with my Berthas (and how nice it would be to get them out of my yarn trunk), and finally decided to go with a sweater twinset. I haven't drawn the whole garment out as I usually do - instead I'm just playing it by ear as I go, and I'll let the yardage determine my path. All I know is that there will be a tank top, accompanied by a cardigan-ish sort of second layer.  Yay!

My two Berthas are in different colorways. The one I've chosen to start with for myself is a variagation of reds, oranges, and a dark color that is black, navy, eggplant, or some combination of those. It's very fall-ish, and outside my normal color pallete, so I'm enjoying it. The remaining Bertha, Bertha Blue, is in vibrant aqua, green and magenta. It really pops!

Big Bertha is a very soft and "cushy" yarn. It's 6-ply - or rather three plies that are each comprised of two plies. Confused yet? I'm sure there's a name for that, but I don't know it! Anyway, the plies are loosely twisted, and the resulting yarn is very plump and has great elasticity.

I've started on the tank top. I knit a 4" wide border that I REALLY like (see top photo), then picked up stitches along the top of it and churned out the rest in stockinette based on some gauge calculations. The dimensions seem to be turning out just right. Stay tuned for more updates on my progress.

We've added another state to our "Shipped To" list - welcome Mississippi!

Shipped To 45 states (90%)

Five states to go... Oklahoma, Arkansas, Rhode Island and both the Dakotas.

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