Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Knitting the Rainbow

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I've started a new project!  I'm working with some Danish wool that I've owned for longer than I'd care to admit.  It's beautiful stuff, finely spun, and shifting colors ever-so-slowly.

I had been saving this yarn until I finished my huge handspun sweater, and since now all I need to do is sew on the buttons, I have my own permission to get started.  I worked up a knitted sample this weekend, when my friend John was visiting. I wanted to knit my sample flat, and struggled with a technique called "knitting back, backwards." I'm sure there are very good reasons to use this approach, but ultimately I realized that plain old purling works just fine for me.  (Sorry non-knitters, I'm sure this is terribly boring.)




I was delighted with my swatch, but also rather dreading the task of working up the math for the project.  And then the universe smiled on me.  Something prompted me to wander over to my friend Mary Jane Mucklestone's blog, where she just happened to be showing a (freaking amazing) technique for laying out complex sweater patterns.  Instead of calculating, based on size and number of stitches, Mary Jane slaps her knitted samples on the photocopier, makes a batch of full-scale copies, and works up her templates, actual size.  I wish I'd been clever enough to think of something that's simultaneously brilliantly inspired, and blindingly obvious.




Given how long it took me to knit the Ziggy Sweater, I imagine that I'll be working on this project for the next three years.  (I see blogs of knitters who churn out elaborate sweaters in mere weeks, and I think "Damn. I know that I have no life, but who the hell *are* these people?")


7 comments:

Pica said...

Hmm. I have two balls of that same exact Danish yarn. I know they're generous but not enough for a sweater. Was thinking of doing an elaborate double-knit scarf but I might be able to make a stranded vest? Love the idea to template out all the pieces though!

ellen kirkendall said...

I know one of those people who knit like the wind. Lace pullovers perfectly fitted, beautiful shawls and baby gifts. She's an attorney, works from home, and knits during video conferences. She also travels for work and so has down time. Still she knits faster than me. sigh. I have heard that knitting backwards is the very thin for entrelac, otherwise not so useful, as far as I can see. That will be a very pretty sweater.

mary jane said...

pretty pretty pretty!!! Glad I could help! You always inspire me, so I'm glad I could give you something back!

Noreen said...

An interesting technique for knitting fair isle motifs. This is going to be a BEAUTIFUL sweater. I am one of those odd productive knitters. I work long hours, and full time. But I rise early and knit for an hour and a half in the morning. It's wonderful for settling in to my day. Then I knit in the evenings. And I am a regular passenger in a 4 hour ride to my lake house. All this ends up with a lot of knit production! (I've never been able to learn the knit backwards thing either...not even when I've really wanted it with entrelac work.)

Barby said...

I know the people you are speaking of - "oh, look at this pattern i found. Here i have the perfect yarn in my stash in just the right amount." Then poof, a week later it is a sweater. I used to beat myself up about not being more devoted to my knitting so I could be faster at it, but then i assessed and realized I do SO much, I should be happy for the few minutes I do get to spin and knit.

Stefaneener said...

Oooooooh. Thank you for the tip -- it's looking beautiful already. I love my Kauni sweater because the weight is perfect. I hope yours is too.

Heather said...

LOL, I have that thought ALL the time, about weavers, too.

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