Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter Brain Teaser Pullover, or: I figured it out

Victory is mine!

As you can see, this isn't exactly the same sweater as the one I unraveled. The original design, which is a lovely, snuggly winter party of yarn with a huge cowl and lots of wiggle room, was enormously appealing and it was the madly patterned yoke and huge cowl that made me drop everything and cast on, but in the end, it just looked kind of not very good on me. So I switched on the ol' brain and got out my graph paper, and after a lot of thinking and erasing, I sorted it out. The original, which is beautiful and had me dreaming of apres ski glasses of warming whiskey in a rustic lodge somewhere, has a couple issues I couldn't overcome. First, there are four different colors in some of the rows, and while I am up for a challenge, it just wasn't any fun trying to do that. I don't like sitting in the middle of a confusing and twisting spiderweb of yarn balls, trying to keep everything neat. It also left a whole lot of floats on the inside of the work, which added a lot of bulk, and honestly, this thing was getting big enough already. So I re-drew the chart to avoid that problem, and while it's not as luxuriously floral as the original, it worked for me. The other issue it had was that the yoke was both too wide and also too tall. Gauge problems, and all me, I'm sure. [Memo to self--swatch not only for stockinette but also for stranded colorwork. Or be ready to rip back and start over; your call. Anyway.] To solve that, I eliminated a bunch of rows at the top of the yoke, squeezing in decreases elsewhere in the design, so that it would come in enough at the neckline, though I wanted a pretty wide one. I also did a bunch of decreases at the beginning of the yoke to go down two sizes, and I changed to a smaller needle for working the yoke. I think the addition of a couple short rows at the back neck wouldn't have gone amiss either, but frankly, I was ready to be done with it. So. Much. Figuring! But it was kind of a fun puzzle, and the fit now that it's done? It is pretty excellent, I must say.

Yarns are leftover scraps of Patons Classic in Seafoam, Orchid and (naturally) Lemongrass, Ella Rae Classic in some kind of teal heather, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in charcoal heather, a small piece of something orange I can't identify, and a worsted wool hand dyed by me with onion skins. Oh, and six skeins Plymouth Galway Highland Heather/Plymouth Galway Worsted in 745, I think it's called Dusk Heather or something like that. I worked it on US 5 (ribbing) US 7 (sleeves and body) and back to US 5 again (yoke).

Yokes. I might have temporarily got the hang of them. I am mentally running in slow motion across a wildflower meadow towards this book now, which has been on my coffee table and on my mind ever since my lovely mama gifted it to me at christmas. Asta Sollilja, I am coming for you.

41 comments:

  1. And may I be the first to say: Gorgeous!
    Cecily

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  2. You are a Rock Star. That's all. I sit in awe.

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  3. I am amazed! That is a beautiful sweater. The yoke is faulous.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  4. applause, well done Kristen. You are fast. I never dared to knit a sweater for myself.

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  5. Your amazing - your sweater totally rocks!
    Just popped over to see the original and personally I prefer yours. Years ago my husband bought me a big chunky sweater with a big collar which was great outside but as soon as I came inside I just got a hot and itchy neck - thus was taking it off putting it on all the time!
    Thanks for sharing the swatch tip! I'm just getting into colour work, doing a scarf and I'm wanting to tackle a garment next.....

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  6. Oh to be slim enough and able to wear handknits like this, without looking like Mrs Michelin tyre lady. Gorgeous, as ever. Clever old you!

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  7. I can't believe you took out the whole yoke but you know for that sweater you have on your back right now it is worth it. I really love it. Mulled wine anyone? Jo x

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  8. Bravo, Kristen!!! Well done! It looks amazing!!
    have a good week!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  9. I am so impressed, it is perfect and certainly worth pulling it all back. Beautiful!

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  10. Beautiful colors¡¡¡
    You improved the original design and I like it more with that neck.
    Congratulations ;)

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  11. Original sweater or not,
    it is wonderful as it is.

    Great pictures in the snowy orchard.
    Pears?

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  12. Just read in the text above that the fruit I thought were pears, are actually apples!

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  13. You did a fabulous job. As a newer sweater knitter (three adult sweaters under my belt, as of yesterday), I am in awe at that kind of figuring. But the finished product is so worth the work...it looks gorgeous, and so flattering!

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  14. Really pretty! You are very clever! Glad you sorted it, Jen

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  15. What a nice idea you had, it turned out amazing!

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  16. You are brilliant! I think it's amazing that you can rework an angry project into something so beautiful and well suited to you. Love the photo shoot, the cold grey January day is the perfect backdrop for the colours in the sweater. Wendy x

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  17. As I am a beginning knitter (that's beginning, like still on scarves) I think anyone who knits is great, but you? You are utterly brilliant, as in brilliant times 100! How you figured all of that out is magic! I have crocheted for almost 40 years and I can figure stuff out for crochet, but knitting? I break out in cold sweats when I see DPN in a knitting pattern! You are really a genius and please do not take that lightly! The sweater is a gorgeous thing, and the lemongrass colour is really lovely! By itself, the lemongrass may seem like a glowing science experiment, but when it is worked with other colours, it really is pretty. It is a lovely sweater, Kristen. It looks so beautiful on you. I also love your hair pinned up like that. Very chic :)
    I hope you have a good week. Stay warm if you are having these snowstorms.
    Hugs,
    Deb

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  18. Beautiful! I think it looks great! I have been knitting almost as long as I can remember and I can't imagine charting and designing a sweater as nice as yours!

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  19. Absolutely beautiful sweater. You did an amazing job figuring it all out.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  20. Fabulous! Now you just need to dig out a cowl because your neck must be frozen!

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  21. Bravo! You and the sweater look very beautiful together.

    xo

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  22. All I can say is at this point I would have made a shawl!
    Love the way it turned out. It has such a classy line.

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  23. You just redesigned a whole sweater! Amazing. AND it's beautiful, and suits you as well. I wish I could sit at your feet and learn the ways :)

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  24. I concur with Lynne, please adopt us and pass on your magic with the knitting needles! Beautiful work.x

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  25. I've also been hankering after Kate's designs ... aren't they amazing? Not sure I'm up to that extent of colourwork tho so good on you for adapting your garment! Looks very cool. x

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  26. I've also been hankering after Kate's designs ... aren't they amazing? Not sure I'm up to that extent of colourwork tho so good on you for adapting your garment! Looks very cool. x

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  27. Lovely! A perfect marriage of art and masterful engineering!

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  28. This is much better than the original pattern [in my humble opinion] and is a technical triumph and a tribute to your skill and artistry, Kristen. Cheers for you!!!

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  29. You are a KNITTING GODDESS!!! No Way would I have been able to figure that one out. And it looks great on you!

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  30. You are a KNITTING GODDESS!!! No Way would I have been able to figure that one out. And it looks great on you!

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  31. Well done. It's gorgeous and a really great fit.

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  32. Oh dear....I have so much to do and you're making me want to start knitting something! J. x

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  33. Fabulous how it turned out thanks to your skill and improvisation...get 'that book' for sure, I have it and it's quite simply amazing!

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  34. Aw Kirsten, it's totally gorgeous and looks so wonderful on you.
    I must learn to knit. I so want to make something like this!
    Sarah @ Annaboo's House

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  35. Wonderfully perfect for your cold weather! Looks great!

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  36. Great look with great colors! Bravo ( as we say in french) and thanks for sharing

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  37. It's so fun to find someone who has the same love of Lemongrass as I do. Your sweater is gorgeous!

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