Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Knitting -- Completed project

So here it is, my Fair Isle sweater.

Seen "in person" there's a hint of blue behind the geometrics and of green behind the trees. That's due to the weaving in (see below).  Feitelson shows pictures of what it looks like with the traditional way of carrying the yarns.  I found that too difficult; the weaving-in is simple and effective.  The "bleed through" with weaving-in is no worse and I think better than with the traditional method.

There's a round of pink sparkles under the neck.  The ribbing has shades of brown in the  purling.

This shows the yarn woven in on the reverse side.  It prevents "floaties" which can snag on buttons if you layer Fair Isle over an Oxford or other classic shirt.

This shows the feathering of the underarm to decrease it from top to bottom.  See how the pink sparkles angle out and some of the green stitches look half made? Those are where motifs disappeared as the number of stitches decreased.

The motifs are from the 1920s; Ann Feitelson published them in her book.

The sizing is similar to my pullover pattern.

The yarn is Wool of the Andes. I used the worsted weight, which is not usual; Palette is a lighter weight and has more colors.  But I was able to use up some leftover yarn from other projects, which  is kind of how Fair Isle got its start as well as re-imagining old Norwegian patterns.

Lessons learned:
Spreadsheets are a big help in planning your pattern.  I found some electronic graph paper that works in Word, but replicating pieces of the pattern was a mess.  I was able to copy and paste to a spreadsheet, although it didn't show all the colors the same.  What I lost in reproducing the colors, I made up in easy copying and pasting, cutting and inserting.  I was able to mark where the centers were and make sure the centers of the motifs lined up with the center of the front.  I'm working on doing the same thing with an argyle pattern which I may do by weaving in yarn instead of using bobbins to hold the yarn.

You might find you can't make your chosen motifs work out exactly with your stitch count. Don't worry about having to increase or decrease a couple of stitches for some rounds. Feitelson specifically tells you to do that in some of her patterns.  I had to decrease a couple of stitches in the rounds with the trees.  You can't tell, can you?  That's because once you finish that part, you reverse whatever you did and go on.  It should only be 2-4 stitches; if it's more, maybe you should rethink your design.

Don't be afraid to backtrack.  Normally I can knit a pullover in a couple of weeks.  This took a month mostly because I gave up trying to do the yellow sections at night. The shades were too close and I would lose track of where I was and mess it up.   So I would backtrack to a row I knew was right and then start over in daylight.

The weaving in of the yarn takes some of the elasticity out of your knitting.  To get the motifs to work out evenly, you may have to make your pullover wider than usual in the first place.  But in the second place you need to start with a larger stitch count because the weaving-in produces less stretchability.  You can compensate while blocking but you'll never get it all back. I started with 216 stitches instead of 200 like with a normal pullover. 

The sweater dried faster than I expected.  I let it drip in the bathroom for about 6 hours. Then I brought it downstairs where I mostly work and keep the temps higher.  It only took about 48 hours to dry. It's a good thing, but include it when you're trying to meet a deadline. Feitelson tells a story of a woman in the Fair Isles who did an entire special-order sweater in 48 hours. Just imagine what she had to do to get everything done in time!

Because of the weaving in, this will be warmer than your average pullover because essentially you have two layers of knitting.  That made it even more surprising that it dried so fast.

The loft in Wool of the Andes means that this sweater isn't as heavy as it would be with some worsted yarns. I read comments on the website where I buy it, about respinning it tighter. That turns it into a DK or sport gauge and also removes the loft. The same company sells a sport gauge in this fiber but again, spinning it tighter would make it more like fingering weight.  I like the loft and how fast this yarn knits up so I would never respin it. YMMV

I'm going to get some Palette and work out stitch counts for the argyle and also for this next project.

If you haven't found the garnstudio website do it. There are free patterns on it and photos of the finished work. The patterns with men in the photos also have stitch counts for sizes that will fit women. Many of them have children's versions.  I marked a huge number of Norwegian patterns to drool over; I plan to make at least two, in different weights. If you don't want to have to work out how much of each color to buy, you can buy kits from them.  My fingers are still itching but I have old projects to finish up so those will have to wait for autumn.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights  Reserved

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