The Golden Glow and a request
The Golden Glow is a stunningly illustrated tale of botany and adventure. It is the story of Fox, who goes searching for a rare and beautiful flower. Spoiler: When he finds the flower, he realizes that he should leave it where it is. It is more beautiful on the mountain top than it could ever be in a vase at home.
After a whole summer of reading this book constantly, Bodhi requested a special sweater, a Golden Glow sweater. And she wanted it to have all the elements of the cherished story – every animal, plant, tree, and grape pâté sandwich. Mountains, rocks, Cousin Wolf, and even the golden glow itself…you name it, she wanted it on her sweater!
Well, you know I love a challenge (and I can’t resist a request from my kids), so away I went. I wanted the sweater to be in sock weight because that would allow me to have the most detail at the yoke. For the colours, I wanted to replicate the warm palette of the book. I had the Strange Brew yoke recipe as a starting point, and from my colourwork stash, I came up with some Brooklyn Tweed Loft in just the right botanical greens. I was ready to go!
A common mistake
When I teach knitters how to create their own designs using the Strange Brew yoke recipe, I always offer this wise piece of advice:
Don’t try to put every idea you’ve ever had into the yoke of a sweater. There just isn’t room, and focusing on one element you love makes for a much better design.
But did I take my own advice? Of course not! I wanted to put every wonderful bit of this book into the yoke…and I suffered for it! I knit, ripped, re-knit, and ripped again. I could never seem to get a colour combination right on the first try. I had to make several trips to my LYS, Black Sheep Yarns, and Helen got a good chuckle every time I turned up for yet another skein. But that’s how colourwork goes sometimes – trial and error!
The hardest part of this project was figuring out how to nail the titular golden glow. I had to get the bright, flaxen yellow juuuust right, and after A LOT of experimenting, I landed on a teeny bit of Jamieson & Smith in the perfect hue.
When I knit this sweater for Bodhi’s birthday, it was summer, so 3/4 sleeves were perfect. But when winter hit, she brought me her beloved jumper and asked for long sleeves. I added some colorful rainbow cuffs, which were sort of a pain to knit (not to mention those ends…), but she loves them.
A gift for my dear Bodhi
At this point, I can’t really decide if the Golden Glow sweater is ugly or awesome..maybe it’s both. But Bodhi loves it, and I suppose that’s really all that matters. It was interesting for me to knit this sweater, knowing it wasn’t a design. It was just a knit – a knit to make a six year old happy on her birthday, a knit to go along with her young love of books and nature and adventure. She adores the little foxes, the bright yellow golden glow, and the tiny grape pâté sandwiches at the hem. My heart soars when I see her sitting in her special sweater, reading her favourite book. Ugly or awesome, it’s absolutely perfect.