Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

Approaching sweaters

Because knitters are diverse, inventive, and also often very stubborn people, we have at least a dozen ways of doing any one particular thing. I was talking about this with Austen the other day in reference to socks and heel construction – you could go on for days with the variations. So it is with sweaters. You can go in the round, in pieces, top down, seams, fake seams, yoked, cardigans, whatever you’re feeling like that day. I still like to go bottom-up with my sweaters, and don’t mind a good seam or two for structural integrity if it is so called for. This Hourglass Pullover, though (pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts), has appeal for being in the round and entirely stockinette. It’s pretty quick to knock out if you are so inclined, and I’m happy to report that I’m already at the halfway mark or possibly just past it.

May25-NoroHourglass

One thing I like doing with sweaters, if I have the presence of mind and it makes sense at the time, is to begin with the sleeves and get them done before beginning the body (whether or not the whole thing is in the round or not). It doesn’t actually give you any advantage in time, but it does offer a wonderful psychological advantage of letting you finish the two quickest bits while you have that period of new-project momentum. You’re going to hit the “oh good gracious why is this project not done yet” doldrums during the body at some point, so you may as well get there with nothing else left to do but the rest of the body, rather than having to psych yourself up for the sleeves still to come. Also, if you are the sort of person who sometimes resists gauge swatching (not that you would be, of course, but you might know someone who is, you know ::cough::), the sleeve is usually a pretty low-stakes part of the garment, so you can take the first half of the sleeve as a sort of working swatch, and adjust things from there if you need to. It all works out.

I was pleased to discover that indeed, I am getting gauge, and indeed, the alternating Noro Silk Garden colourways are doing their crazy thing and coming up with their own colour plan as they usually do. I’m trying hard not to engineer the pattern and to let it fall as it may, since everything will eventually repeat itself. And a colour muddle, if repeated enough times, becomes a design feature, as Sally Melville says, so I will give control to the yarn and let it produce the sweater it wants. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Happy knitting this Wednesday!

14 Comments

Filed under sweaters