Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Plotting the Frankenstein Cardigan

There's good news in the final paragraph so I won't blame anyone who skips all this rambling and heads straight to the end.

I finished the 2nd sock over a week ago and forgot to post a photo. Thanks for the kind comments in the last post about the edited socks, they really did make me smile. I must say when I finished the toe and turned the sock inside out my first thought (both times) was "Oh thank god I already wove in all these ends, what a pain in the ass that would have been." ;)

I'm now working on a new sock but it's nothing special, it's just another cuff-down to match one of the socks in the mismatch pair (which I haven't worn because I knew I'd eventually knit their true mates).

Plotting the Frankenstein Cardigan

I was hoping I'd be able to find the perfect Fair Isle cardigan pattern in the numerous books and magazines around here. It hasn't happened and I don't think it will. So I'll design it myself, using information in Alice Starmore's Fair Isle Knitting book (which I don't own but have borrowed from the library), Meg Swansen's Knitting (ditto), Latvian Dreams, and the Philosopher's Wool book. That's how I like to do things, cobble together the best techniques from various sources. And by "best techniques" I only mean those that make the most sense to me and seem like they'll give the result I want, that's all.

Some things I know for sure:

1) Yarn: I have plenty of white worsted wool and only small amounts of Shetland jumper weight so worsted wins. It'll be dyed after I figure out the colors.

2) Style: cardigan

3) Construction: knit in the round, so there will be steeks at the front and sleeves (and maybe the neck). I'll likely do crocheted steeks, as shown over at blogdogblog -- that makes more sense to me than using a sewing machine.

4) Design: Fair Isle based, in the sense it will have shifting shaded background colors. No snowflakes, I'm sick of knitting snowflakes. I'd also like to avoid anything obviously non-traditional, like most of the Philosopher's Wool sweaters, but I'm not going to stress about it.

5) I'm tired.

Some things that are still up in the air:

1) Size: I forgot to measure one of mom's favorite sweaters when I was there a month ago but I think 46" would work (that gives her about 8" ease, does that seem like too much or not enough for a cardigan?) Hmm, I hope I have enough yarn for a 46" cardigan. I'll do the sleeves last and if it looks like there won't be enough I can buy more and dye a new color to use in the sleeves.

2) Sleeves: I'm leaning towards picking up sts and working down to the cuff

3) Button band: mitered button band/collar OR double i-cord trim with hidden i-cord buttonholes.

4) Colors: It will likely have shades of blue but this isn't even close to being decided.

One of these years I'd love to make mom an Alice Starmore design (oof, those kit prices) or Dale's Ingeborg but for now a self-designed cardigan in worsted will have to suffice.

I was gazing at the Ingeborg photos last week and sent Knitpicks an email (customerservice at knitpicks dot com) to inquire about the possibility of them selling fingering weight 100% merino in solid colors. They confirmed that is in the works for early Fall! Killer. We can also hope they'll offer an extended color palette within the next year or two.

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