Friday, September 10, 2010

My Top down Fair isle Sweater

I was perusing a knitting magazine and a skirt modeled to accompany the featured sweater grabbed my eye, the burgundies and scarlets on a cream background combined with pleats fascinated me more than anything else in the magazine. I couldn't stop thinking about that skirt SO I decided to knit a sweater inspired by it. Seeing as this is going to be a longer project I thought I would make it a project for my blog.

I charted out various colorful designs on graph paper, laboriously using markers to get a feel for how the colors and pattern would work. Some were too busy and didn't have the right geometric feel I wanted.
Eventually I got it so that it felt right and set to work. I measured across the top of my shoulders and with that measurement and the one I got from my swatch I cast on provisionally and set to work, knitting down the back of the sweater (from top of the shoulder to under the arms). Because I prefer
to knit than purl, I added a few stitches for a steek and proceeded to knit in the round so that I
could always see my work from the front. Eventually when the back was long enough, I cut it open after securing the stitches on the sides and then I went back to the cast on, took out the rest yarn and knit with the exposed live stitches on the shoulders (putting the neck stitches on a holder) knitting back and forth and slowly increasing so around the neck until I have the neckline I want. Now I can try on the sweater whenever I want adjusting and tweaking as I knit. I continue knitting straight down slowly increasing 1/3 down the armholes so the sweater fits nicely over the bust. Eventually the front is joined with the stitches in the back so and I have all the stitches on my circular needle. The photo on the
right shows my progress.

Now I started to play combing different patterns and textures. I went ahead and knitted the neck band, which I liked ........⇓

Since I liked the neckline so much, I got completely carried away and ended up with patterns and texture and then more pattern. I felt like I completely lost my original vision of the fairisle and pleats. I let the project rest a little while and finished up some other ongoing things all the while thinking about the sweater. What did I want? The challenge is to capture the image I have in my head whether it be a knitted project or a painting, although sometimes when you are exploring a concept you can end up with something completely different and better than what you had originally wanted but this time my first idea was better than the busy and distracting patterns I had ended up with on my needles. I ended up ripping everything out until about an inch under the arms.

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