After crawling for nearly two hours through the impossibly congested country roads leading away from Rhinebeck, Emily and I finally made it to the Hudson River. We creeped over the bridge and found that traffic was–for the very first time–starting to disperse. Following a full day at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival we had at long last arrived in the town of Kingston. (On most any other weekend this commute would have taken a mere twenty-two minutes.)
In Kingston awaited Jill Draper’s Open Studio, a post-Rhinebeck event I had long planned to attend. Located just off the river we found the studio in a quaint and cozy old house packed with fiber enthusiasts. It was immediately evident why we had had to register and acquire (free) tickets for the event: once inside, we shuffled elbow-to-elbow among the crowd, hugging and scouring the walls of yarn-filled cubbies and shelves. I soon realized that it was dire I grab my yarn now before the pickings grew too slim.
With a Treysta project in mind, I soon found the Mini Empire section, which held the Aran weight yarn I was seeking. After a bit of consulting with friends I settled on the colors above, which turned out to be the only yarn I purchased the entire trip. (I dug up this photo of my entire Rhinebeck haul from Instagram.) For the body I chose the color Lunar, which is a fabulous soft gray with a smattering of bright blue and yellow speckles. For the colorwork I chose the colors (pictured above from left to right) Gold Star, Dark Roast, Icicle (my favorite!) and Pinto Bean.
Mini Empire is spun from 100% Rambouillet wool, a cousin breed of the Merino family. According to The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius, Rambouillet fibers are less lustrous and tidy than Merino fibers but have more air and bounce. Jill Draper’s Empire is a 4-ply Rambouillet grown in New York State. On the Jill Draper website this yarn is described as “rustic” and “spongy with a cottony hand.” After completing my Treysta, I can attest that Empire feels almost exactly like knitting with cotton, but the stiffness eases a great deal upon blocking. While still somewhat rigid, the sweater is soft, far from scratchy and will undoubtedly be one of my most enduring pieces.
Treysta is a design by Jennifer Steingass, and I used the pattern included in Issue 3 of Laine Magazine. Normally I go for speckles–even in colorwork–and mostly bright colors, but for this pattern I opted for a high contrast but slightly neutral palette. This warm and cozy sweater is going to get a great deal of wear in the years to come, and as with all of Jennifer Steingass’s designs, it’s a winner.
Since spring is just around the corner I am hoping these will be my final winter shots of the season. It’s been raining incessantly, and while the river in my neighborhood flooded and created this beautiful lake-like, picturesque backdrop, I am quite sick of rain and all things cold and dreary.
If you are unfamiliar with Jill Draper Makes Stuff, I highly recommend you check her out. Below are some Cuffed Baskets I made a couple of years ago using the same yarn. I might make more baskets with my Treysta leftovers…
To view my Treysta project page on Ravelry click here.