Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I am supposed to be doing the actual math on this design right now, but I'm just not in a mathy place this morning.  So, if I'm not actually working on the project, maybe I can stay aligned with it by writing about the thing.  I am pretty happy with the thing.

Which is good, because I have not always been happy with it.  This particular design has traveled a bit of a windy road to get where it is today.  (Although it's still not actually anywhere but spread out on my dining room table).

It began more than a year ago when I saw this photo of a cardigan in these amazing tonal greens.

So, I went off to the Plucky Knitter Retreat last spring with the goal of finding the perfect combo to knit this in.  (Yay, everybody needs a goal, right?)  I came home with a few skeins of Cozy in a gorgeous dark purple called Cabernet, for which Plucky was going to send me contrasting skeins of Contessa (a deep burgundy).  I sketched and swatched and had it all in my head when the Contessa arrived and I realized that my color combo was not to be.  The contrast was not what I'd had in my head, and the shade of yarn that I now had in hand was just begging to be deep, complex, textured cables, with no distracting bands of any other color.

So, my Contessa became Brandied Cherry.  A totally unexpected sweater that the yarn really demanded I make.  Which, in the long run, was just fine by me.  I do love this sweater.

However,  I was still left without my double color cardigan.  So, we discussed and decided on a new color combination - a great blue with either gray or dark blue contrast.  Yarn was sent, the combo of bright and dark blue was decided upon and knitting began.

There were multiple decisions associated with a bigger lace repeat and their related mathy solutions that kept slowing me down.  Transitions, repeats, sizing decisions and the like put me in a standstill when it came to finalizing this.  And it was a good thing I was slowed down, because soon the future of my chosen yarn got called into doubt.  Poor Cozy is still in limbo, and my sweater remains on holders to this day.

Back to Square One.  By now I was working in a bright orange  yarn, with both purple and pink on the horizon. Given those sweaters, this idea started going into neutral tones in my head.  Still the same idea - dark/light and lace with big, deep ribs, but gray.  Sarah and Hayley (bless their little hearts) discussed potential contenders and sent me One More Bunch Of Yarn.  They will probably not admit how sick of me they had gotten at this point, but I can guess.

This time, I went with Plucky Primo Aran in Gris and Midieval.  Beautiful, right? And I began again.


I got pretty far this time without major incident, until I reached the top and realized that I kind of hated the neckline I'd chosen and that the math was going to be a bear because a whole bunch of the transitions I'd used on my size were not going to fly in all sizes.  So I ripped back and began One More Time (this primo frogs like a champ, btw) and altered a few things and this time I actually got through the yoke.  

But I still hated the neckline.  Grrrrr.  And I could NOT figure out what else to put up there. 

So I put it on my dressmaker dummy and kept looking at it.  And I sheepishly, apologetically told Sarah that the design was in a timeout.  Where it's sat, for a few months.  I'd come into the office, stare at it, flip through a book or magazine and see if any photos gave me a clue, and I'd leave.

Until now :)  

It's still a ways away from being a design, but I am happy with my little collar.  It balances the other lines, has a vintage vibe and yet has a little modern thing going on.  I still have a bit of that math to contend with, but it seems easier to tackle when I actually LIKE the way the sweater looks.   

Wish me luck!


Unknown said...

I adore that little collar. Can't wait til it is finished...I will be your first customer! Good luck.

Angela said...

Love that in the grays!

Dayana Knits said...

Hilarious, that "inspiration" is me!! It's a Debbie Bliss pattern I scrounged the yarn for in sale basket at a John Lewis in Edinburgh ages ago... I couldn't find enough of one color, so went for the trim look. The yarn was the pill-iest (Cashmerino bulky or chunky or ginormo, I don't care to remember) and the thing ended up being so heavy I just gave it away (but not before ripping off the abalone buttons for some unknown future... oh wait, they may have contributed to the weight... hmm). Anyway, a long-winded way to say... yay! Improve on my and Debbie's mistakes, capitalize on our successes, onward and forward to a better (perfected after many color trials, of course) future!

gMarie said...

Thea this is a lovely little sweater - can't wait to see how the lace, ribs and that collar look when you can see the full thing! It's true, sometimes yarn (or fabric) tells you exactly what it needs to be. g

Dreamin Diva said...

Even though it is a teaser photo my response is, like, like, like!

Patty said...

I like it! And I love the grey.

Dorothy B. said...

Oooh, hang in there because I love what I see.

Anonymous said...

Loving this design. I hope you keep at it because I need this sweater in my life!

Anonymous said...

I love that one photo of a sweater has been an inspiration of TWO great BabyCocktails sweaters! Way to go, Thea!