Monday, March 12, 2007

Two Sweaters At the Same Time

The latest installment of our Sweater Design class was a real eye-opener for me. I thought the Rebecca sweater that I'd chosen to upsize was going to be a no-brainer. Wrong! Since the lace repeat is 18 stitches wide, getting all of the shaping to fit around the lace pattern turned out to be a real challenge, especially working the sleeve increases into the lace pattern. That actually has nothing to do with upsizing so much as it has to do with the fact that Rebecca simply left out how to do that, even though they clearly somehow figured out how to do it because in the photo, there isn't a 22 stitch stockinette panel running up her arm! At any rate, I can see why they only wrote the pattern for one size.

The reason this kind of sucks is because I'm not able to practice designing the perfect armscye or neckline or whatever. I'm a slave to this lace pattern and I feel like I'm not getting out of the class what I should. However, I do think doing all of this is a valuable learning experience, too. Dis had a great idea, though. Why don't I just make two sweaters, one simple and the other one this lace Rebecca sweater, she says. I knit fairly quickly and the class doesn't end until June, I think, so I have plenty of time.

So, I sketched out some ideas, looked through some magazines and came up with a couple, but this one is the most appealing, I think.

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I have the pattern for this, but I want to use a different-gauge yarn and a different stitch pattern on the body. That would leave me free to basically redesign the proportions. I think I would learn a lot and I could wear it this summer, which I can't say for the angora lace wrap sweater that I also designed. I still want to make that, but it's so H-O-T here today that I can't even think about it or anything else wool for a while. Quick question for you designers out there: are the seed stitch peplum pieces at the bottom actually narrower than the body so they angle outward like that, or will they just do that automatically? They seem to meet up with the main body portions evenly, and I don't see any decreases on the side, but I'm really not sure.

Another option is this one without all the colorwork and with a set-in sleeve:

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Not that I don't love the colorwork (something of Kaffe Fassett's that I actually like), but I don't feel like spending a lot of time coordinating colors. I really like the simplicity of this sweater, though, and it would definitely allow for a custom fit. I would also add waist shaping as the boxy cardigan look just isn't for me.

What do you think?



Anonymous Joanna said...

My guess is that the seed stitch section on the bottom uses the same number of stitches as the stockinette section just above it - and the stitch gauge of stockinette and seed stitch is usually about the same - but the flaring comes from the fact that the sweater is fitted at the waist, and there is no shaping for her hips. The puffy skirt probably helps make the sweater flare by making her hips wider as well. It's a really cute sweater!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Cora said...

I like the simple one best for the class purposes. I do love the first one though. It is one of my favs from that Rowan. It is also on my to make list, so maybe we could do that one together after the class. My yarn isn't the same gauge either.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How frustrating! But, it seems like you've come up with a good solution. I like the cardigan. :)

1:17 PM  

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