Appalachia and Diary of a Diary

Appalachian Mountains at 3722ft.
I've always felt that the Appalachian Mountains are in my blood. No matter where I go, they go with me. But still, I have to admit I had forgotten some of their beauty. Even this time of year, when it's mostly brown and dull, the view of the mountains are the same lovely blue.

I spent a few days down south with family and had a great time getting stuck in a snow storm, eating southern bbq, seeing family, and visiting old familiar haunts.

My mom's knitting is improving and we started her on a new beginner project and visited the local yarn shops. I picked up a beautiful skein of Dream Smooshy in a color that reminds of my mountains.

Dream Smooshy 70% Superwash Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon in Dark Current

There was actually time for lots of knitting by the fire, and a little snow to set the mood.

First morning, fresh snow.

I took the beginnings of ANKESTRICK's Diary with me for travel knitting.

This is one of the most interestingly constructed garments I've come across. It is seamless, as per her usual, and uses the contiguous set-in sleeve method as developed by Susie Myers.

It begins with a provisional cast on at the back of the collar. The collar is worked in both directions for a few inches, then stitches are picked up along one side for the back neck. From here on the piece is worked flat from the top down. The collar- shaped by super easy German short rows, shoulders, back are all worked simultaneously for several inches, then increases are added to create the sleeves. 

Diary's Contiguous Set-in Sleeve
Once the sleeves are put on waste yarn, the design becomes a more typical top-down sweater.... provided that you make it that far.

This is not a pattern for knitting in front of the telly (or during take-off and landing, I could add). There is a lot going on in that yoke, and it's easy to over look something- a short row, a set of increases... To add to the confusion, the pattern has an overwhelming amount of information, and could use some serious editing for the sake of simplification.  It was difficult at times to tell if what you were reading was an instruction, or just guidance. There were, however, a handful of very helpful diagrams and photos and a video link explaining the German short rows to help you out.

Progress
Overall, I am very impressed with what is an ingenious design. The way the collar flips on a pair of knit stitches, the beautiful way the shoulder line falls, the substantial icord edging along the collar edge, the german short row shaping... all make for a truly sculptural piece.

Pattern: Diary by ANKESTRICK
Yarn: Lisa Souza 83% Polwarth, 15% Silk in Pumpkin Bold 6-26-13
Needle: 4.0mm, 3.5mm