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.