Sunday, November 20, 2022

Many attempts and much math...

Once upon a time ago I saw a beautiful sweater online and decided it was something I wanted in my life. The Sea Glass Sweater by Wool & Pine captured my heart, however, the original design is a circular yoke,  which doesn't fit my body type well.  No problem. It wasn't the pattern but the look of the colorwork that I wanted. I knew I could readily recreate that look on any pattern, and so I shopped both my stash and online to create a palette of 12 colors for the sweater of my dreams. I selected a pattern from my library from a designer I trusted, created a spreadsheet of the 66 possible color combinations, gauge swatched, and cast on.

This particular glory is achieved by using different two colors in every row. I quickly discovered this meant each round would have four ends. This was going to mean a LOT of weaving in. More weaving in than is desirable in any garment. More weaving in than is desirable in my lifetime. Something had to change.

I did some research and discovered that many people knitting this project used magic knots. It is important here to note that I don't believe in any "magic" related to knitting. Harry Potter, David Blaine, sure. Knitting, no. Still, four ends to weave in every round of a sweater sure isn't magical, so, why not knots?

I learned how to make the knots. I practiced said knots. I tested the join. I cast on again and made wonderful progress. Then I cut my tails and worked two more rounds. Disaster!!

The minor tensions put on the fabric working those last two rounds was just enough to make all my yarns wiggle out of their knots. All. Every round. Unraveling rainbow of Ramen hell. 

Stepping back was imperative to my mental health.

I assessed the issues:
  • I had to have a sweater that emulated this look.
  • Short rows had been an issue in my first attempt causing a lot of bulk along the neckline.
  • Weaving in four ends every round was undesirable.
  • Magic knots do not work with superwash yarns, as learned in my second attempt.
  • I own 12 skeins of superwash dedicated to this project. 
  • I do not own the desire to replace the yarn.
I concluded I needed to find a raglan pattern worked in the round, top down, that doesn't have short rows, and I needed to slightly rework the yarn color changes to make use of each color for two rounds, changing alternately, carrying yarns when the sequence allowed to reduce ends and weaving as much as possible.

Months passed.

This past week I stumbled on a pattern that fit my requirements, and, bonus, was free.

I swatched. I did math to determine which size to work at my gauge. I worked with a friend to determine a repeatable color sequence making use of as many of the 66 possible color combinations as possible (thank you Elizabeth - you are fantastic!), and today I cast on.

If my math holds true, and the knitting gods look favorably on me, having gone so far as to have swatched repeatedly, this might just be spectacular.

Stay tuned.

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