Monday, February 8, 2010

Roads not taken (yet)

I don't know about the rest of you, but the Knitting Olympics have been on my mind lately. To be sure, we're only talking about a tiny little spot at the back of my mind, which is pretty cluttered with thoughts of a teaching engagement  starting  later this week, a big work project due next week, and all of the other goings on of my non-knitting life. Naturally, when I started thinking about what I wanted to do during the Knitting Olympics, I ignored all of that and had a far too ambitious project in mind.

Briar Rose Legend

This is a lovely sport/dk weight merino that I picked up at Rhinebeck two years ago. No matter what I have in the stash, I can't seem to resist Chris's offerings at the Briar Rose booth.

I knew I wanted some sort of cable pattern and I kept sketching designs involving interlocking circles. After many drafts, I had a great chart ready to swatch - it looked perfect on paper. The original plan involved a large motif on the back and smaller, related motifs flanking the center button band in the front.

It's a good thing I tried swatching the smaller motif first. That's the first attempt on the left. What looked nice and round on regular graph paper ends up looking like a smooshed diamond when translated into knitting. Several iterations later, I came up with this:

We have a winner. The fronts are going to have a chain of these bubbles running up the center edge. I've played with reworking the larger motif with these proportions but haven't been able to make it work so I think I'm going to do a panel of three bubble columns instead.

The sides of the body, as well as the sleeves, will be worked in linen stitch like this:

I might be able to make this sweater for the Knitting Olympics, but that would require a less complicated non-knitting life over the next few weeks. So I picked Coraline instead.

At first I thought it wouldn't be much of a challenge to knit a sweater that is mostly stockinette, but then I realized that I'm still nowhere near finishing Buttercup, especially since I ripped out most of the body earlier today.

I finished spinning the yarn for Coraline over the weekend and now it's hanging up to dry after a little bath to set the twist. It looks like I'm ready to go.


Sel and Poivre said...

I love the linear qualities of the linen stitch off set by the circles! What a beautiful idea.

elizabeth said...

That may be the best looking swatch I've ever seen from variegated yarn!

Rachel said...

Even though it won't work for your Olympic challenge (not that getting Coraline done won't be a challenge in itself!), I look forward to seeing this design emerge. The stitch patterns you've chosen look so good in that yarn and wow on those interlocking cable rings!

In the meantime, hope all goes well with your non-knitting commitments the next couple of weeks.