Sunday, June 10, 2007

Denali Dawn

I once lived for a brief time in a landscape with a mountain which rose above the treeline. It was in Austria and the Mountain was Otcher. One thing that was so striking about the mountain was that sunrise came so much sooner to the mountain that to the rolling farmlands in the valley. There was a brilliance and magic to see the beautiful colors reflected on the glaciers, to think of the silence and wind, the proximity to heaven.
It's been a while since I have posted any knitting, I've been working on this gift for a baby who is going to be born in Alaska this summer. This is the Jojoland yarn I purchased back in March. The colors of the yarn reminded me so much of the beautiful sunrises I've seen on mountains, I have named this one of a kind design "Denali Dawn" For a real picture of a the morning sun catching Mt. McKinley, check here. The beads are Czech glass and were all strung before knitting. there are even a few beads up at the "tiara zone" of the hood. What's an arctic princess to do!?

I used many of my favorite stitches in this sweater, the beaded smocking I learned doing "Crumpets" The lower edges are seed stitch to prevent rolling, the sleeves are very elastic mistake rib, the sides are seed stitch, there is a lot of braided cable, some calculated decreasing in ribbing to make the yoke, some calculated increasing to shape the hood, a tiny bit of linen stitch and lots of picking up stitches so there are no seams.
From the side view you can see that the cable runs from the wrist right up the outside of the arm- the textured pattern of the yoke is interrupted for the cable, which aside from changing color at the top edge of the yoke, goes on uninterrupted over the shoulder, and up into the hood until at the very end- the two sides of cable are grafted together.

This close up of the back of the hood shows that the shoulder caps (peach) were actually shaped with lightly increasing short rows (bouncing back and forth picking up stitches off the blue yoke edge) to the neck- at that point the hood is knit as if it were a flat piece with either edge forming the hood sides which will frame the baby's face. I this knitting on little double pointed needles. I don't have a circular needle that small. Unfortunately one needle was a little bigger than the others and it did mess up my stitch tension some.

As I shaped the hood I had to have a lot of faith that the shape was going to come together- I had the work split onto 3 DPN's One in the center and one on each side with the cheek and cable. When I finally had enough rise in the hood and it was time to begin shaping the top- I reduced the stitches on the middle needle by 50% by K2tog. My plan was to nibble away at the remaining 50% by decreasing on each side at every other row. I knew that this would produce a triangular shape to the top center and I wanted one that was more round- so I decided to use the linen stitch for that triangle- because the linen stitch does not grow lengthwise at the same rate as stockinette- I thought it would bide me some time till I got all my stitches decreased. it worked... up at the very peak of the triangle- I simply quit knitting the linen section all together and slipped 6 which helped me round off that peak.
Then there was a matter of a big graft through the cable- but it was long awaited and enjoyed.

I wanted to add an underlayer to the gift- but could not find any jammies in the right shade of salmon pink to go with the sweater- (I was shipping with the sweater and all the needles hanging out of my bag) Finally I remembered this beautiful dye kit that I have been too chicken to try and I thought there was a light purple in it... so I bought some white onsies and white romper pants and dyed them "Wysteria" What a great match! Lucky me! I also made the little skirt- it's yellow chiffon with the prettiest tundra flower trim (the ribbon flowers are yellow warp with a purple weft poking out the edges in little spikes) Under the chiffon is a salmon pink petticoat with a white ruffle.
This whole project has been so much fun!


Hege said...


leilalu said...

beautiful! I NEED this pattern. I love jojoland!!!

Jen said...

Gorgeous! What a beautiful color scheme, and it sounds like it was fun to knit too!

radiochu said...

those colors are absolutely gorgeous, and WOW, what a beautiful pattern. some baby is going to be very very lucky!

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous and what a wonderful gift for the baby as well as parents. I have a granddaughter who lives in Nome, Alaska. These colors would brighten her winter dark days. Did you ever write the pattern down? I, too, love what you did with the JoJoLand. JoanieM (Ravelry name)

Sarah said...

I can't believe it but that little baby just turned THREE!! Wow time flies! No- I never wrote down the pattern- just kind of made it up as I went along and so much of it was thinking on my feet- I don't think I could have kept my concentration if I tried to make notes at the same time. I Will have to work on that skill next. Thank you everyone for your sweet words.