Sunday, February 19, 2006

crichton cardigan begins

I finally received my copy of Sweaters from Camp, so I'll be officially joining Rebekkah's knitalong.

My first impressions: Honestly, I was really disappointed with this book when I flipped through it for the first time. There is a ton of text in the beginning, but of course I was too impatient to read that and had to go right to the pretty pictures. The first pattern section is entirely vests. I absolutely hate wearing vests, nor will I ever knit one. Then we have "Small Things", or "things for your children or chihuahua" (neither of which I have, thank God) which was another disappointment. Pullovers and cardigans follow, and by this point I started to slow down and really look at the patterns.

The colorwork is really amazing on all of the sweaters. I have a real respect for every person who designed them. Nothing really caught my eye until I found the Crichton cardigan way in the back. I love the flower designs on it and am very excited to get started. I already knew that I wouldn't be using the shetland wool, and it was when I was playing around with other color options that it finally hit me what bothered me about this book. It's the colors! Everything is either muted and murky, or really violently red or orange. None of that sums up what I would actually enjoy or wear. So now that I've paged through it again, I can say that this book wasn't a waste of money, and I will probably knit at least one other sweater out of this book. I'm still kind of bummed out that nearly everything is dropped shouldered (definitely not a good style for football-shoulder me), but after I make this first cardigan I should have a better understanding of how to change the shaping for another. Even though the text in the beginning is marvelously instructive, I was a little miffed when under "Set-in Sleeve and Saddle Shoulder" it just says, "Knit body to wanted length to underarm. If you choose one of these more abstruse shapes, you are on you rown; describe in detail. Work to bottom of neck opening". Gee, thanks.

So, progress. By some miracle I am actually going to need needles larger than what is called for. Instead of US2s and 3s I am using US3s and 4s. I've been practicing my tension with the two handed technique and it is improving very nicely. I've discovered that stranding is definitely harmful for my work, and that I have to be sure to pull my stitches tight with both hands, since for some reason I have a tendency to let them droop and completely ruin the fabric.

I can't post pictures right now, but here is a little palette of the colors I will be using. They're all from Morehouse Farm, a local business.

I'm using their 2-ply yarn. All of the colors can be found on this page, since I apparently can't link to each color separately.) I'm using a pretty natural white (picture here) for the background. I'm not going to be doing the variegation like in the pattern, mostly because I'd like to keep this first project simple. The flowers are going to be three colors: peach, persimmon and raspberry. The striping around the flowers will be two colors: charcoal and violet. I already own sufficient wool in the raspberry and charcoal, so this will also work out to be a good stray-yarn-user-upper.

I was pretty nervous about choosing the colors, since I've never done anything like this before and I don't really know what it's going to look like, but I tried it out on graph paper before I bought anything. The clerk also reassured me that it would be "lovely", so perhaps I can blame it all on her if it isn't...

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