Friday, November 10, 2006

This little sweater for Angus is turning into a very elaborate project. It started in linen stitch with some inexpensive acrylic "Crayon" yarn. Shortly after the lower edge took shape- the yarn began to pool in the most amazing way- like a giant sunset across the back. I fell in love with this unintentional design element and began to try to think of ways to build on it.

I knew the pooling pattern could not survive the arm join, so I decided to switch to a stranded knitting yoke in black and crayon- maybe thinking back to those crayon scratch off art projects from elementary school. I quit with the linen stitch and started knitting a pattern in the varigated yarn with stockinette- but the darkest purple color was just losing it against the black and the patterns would not stand up if they continued being broken by sections of purple popping in here and there in varigate yarn fashion. Ripped that out and back to the armjoin row.

Next game plan was to simplify the design to vertical bars of color between black bars- but rather than allow the rainbow to trace out horizontally- I was going to force each strand of spectrum to shade upward in a straight line by using an intarsia type technique.

I wound off my yarn around some chairs and cut lengths carefully so that the colors shaded in a way that reflected the pooling colors of the lower torso. 25 strands of yarn + one black. I had difficulty at first figuring out how to manage these pieces, (first with 25 little cardboard bobbins- that was a nightmare.) I began to think a simple braid would avoid tangles and then it struck me that if I chained the hank from the tail in- I could feed out new yarn as I needed it by unchaining from the top.

This is not true intarsia because the black strands behind the colored bars- the colored bars are only twisted in once each row- so the colored bar is attached- but slightly able to slide on the strands holding it. I will have to see after blocking if this is an interesting or problematic feature- the ability of the colored bars to curl in on themselves vertically without having to shoulder the stretch of the garment which is bourne entirely by the black stranding- gives the colored sections a little puff.

I'm not working from a pattern and I hope that I can decrease through the shoulders in a harmonious way right up to the neck.

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