Saturday, February 09, 2008

watercolors cardigan

My handspun watercolors cardigan is finally finished and exactly as I had imagined it way back at the very beginning!
When I bought these three merino and tencel colorways almost two years ago, I asked dh Scott to spin them at random color intervals, in hopes that they would gently flow from one tone to the next in the final knit fabric, in sort of a watercolors effect. He was a beginner spinner, but happily got right to work, turning out skeins of soft handspun and improving his technique as he went along. I knew the multicolored yarn would do the work for me, so I planned a simple stockinette sweater, recipe calculated with the help of Jackie Fee's Sweater Workshop. I knit it in the round, alternating skeins with each round, because my newbie yarn-spinner's beginning yarns were significantly thicker than skeins from further along in the process. We ran out of fiber, but got more with the help of Ashland Bay. The picot hem on the sleeves worked out fine, but the hem flipped and flared no matter what combination of needles and stitches I tried, and I tried a LOT of them! Asked knitterfriends for input, scoured the Internet, tried and tried and tried all sorts of combinations. Just when I was formulating a similar plan in my imagination, Techknitting's zig-zag band tutorial was posted and I knew the end was in sight!

Sure enough, no flip there when I did a test segment, so I plowed ahead with the whole hem and -- yay! -- it was a winner. Button band knit while chatting with a friend last Saturday, the fun of that conversation being undoubtedly responsible for unevenly spaced button holes. ;-) Steek cut Sunday, when we got home from Webs' Big Game Bash.

Scott's handmade glass buttons were sewn on Monday, even though Leah insists they are completely wrong for this sweater. I think the butterscotch background color of the buttons complements the golden bits from the Sapphire colorway, and the teal/purple metallic frit (I know it just looks teal above, but there's dichroic purple in there when natural light hits it) is a perfect match. Anyway, they make me happy and it's my sweater so I get the final choice and I love, love, LOVE it! The sleeves grew in length a bit more than I'd like with blocking, but that's no biggie. I can always cuff them if needed, but today's my 2nd day of wearing it and I haven't needed to roll the cuffs up yet. This sweater is against-the-skin supersoft and also very heavy and warm -- perfect for someone who lives in an old house in New England. Since these are the only colors I ever wear (I'd put a :::wink wink::: in here, except it's basically true), I may never take it off! (I'd put a :::wink wink::: in here too, except that also might just be true!)
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Blogger Jen said...

Lovely--and the buttons are a perfect compliment. Nice job to everyone involved! :-)

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie that sweater is a work of art. It's beautiful. You overcame so many obstacles to finish it. I can just imagine how cozy it must be on. Your blog always makes me smile!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

FABULOUS! I am so glad you found the hem treatment. I'm going to have to bookmark that one for future reference.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Rani said...

This will be an heirloom! It's gorgeous! And all created by you. What a wonder. It's fabulous!!!

10:11 AM  

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