Saturday, February 10, 2007

The call of the wool.

When I was a child/pre-teen, among my million interests*, I enjoyed drawing up designs for clothing that I dreamed of making for myself and my friends. I didn't know how to sew – and still can't manage to follow a sewing pattern without getting confused midway through and giving up.

Still, I could hand-stitch, and I believed that if I designed my own pattern, I could somehow figure it all out. I never managed to make up any of those fanciful designs, mainly featuring puffy sleeves, laced broad belts and full skirts. I'd look like a Ding-Dong in them now!

*Er. I still seem to have a million interests.

So it comes as no surprise that I'm trying to do my own sweater designs now. I still want to do Big Star, but my hands are sore and need a break from the cot/lin. And when I actually held the Araucania Nature Wool (still on sale at Webs, guys!) in my hands and looked at it in the light, it told me it didn't quite want to be Bristow (that might instead be the fate of some eggplant silk/wool I picked up). So... I looked through old stitch pattern books, then started swatching. (Click to embiggen, as always.)

First I swatched two different needle sizes on the Vandyke stitch that caught my eye, along with stockinette. To my pleased surprise, the gauge is the same between the Vandyke and stockinette. I went with the upper sample, with US size 5s, roughly 4.25 spi.
Then I tried a couple stitch patterns for the button band. I decided the first one was too subtle, and went for the more defined diamonds on top.

Finally, I swatched the transition between the Vandyke and the button band.

These are my initial notes for the pattern, just in case you are interested. I don't draw well, particularly late at night when I have a sudden pattern idea, but I think you might get the notion here — Vandyke pattern up to the upper chest, then stockinette from there; the arms will start stockinette just below the elbow and may get a line of Vs up the arm (but maybe not). Possible shawl collar. Possible crocheted edging, so I am doing a provisional cast-on.

We'll see. We'll see if I even finish it! So far, my gauge is completely mucked up after 4 inches of knitting, so I think I'm going to rip and start over.

It's grey today and we are praying for rain. I went outside to enjoy the quiet air. I was relieved to see that my datura is coming back from the dead (i.e. being in a hard freeze for several days and losing all its leaves a couple weeks ago).

In other news, our cat thinks she's a sheep:

1 comment:

Emma said...

It looks like you're on the track for a beautiful sweater! Can't wait to see the results.