Sunday, September 30, 2007

Folkloric Block Confession Time

What with steeking, and Fair Isle, and pattern adaptation, it's been a very long time since I knit a cardigan in the *regular* way (back, fronts, sleeves). It's so much faster and easier to knit the tube and snip (or combine the fronts and backs and eliminate the side seams). But I'll confess here and now: I don't block things the way we've all been told to- I never block before assembling a sweater (with Fair Isle, it's generally not possible, and I'm usually too impatient to wash/block pieces for a conventional pullover, plus I don't have the room to lay the separate pieces out to dry). I'm not going to block the pieces of this sweater either, but I can see already, that I'm going to have to block and pin the squares to make them square. Part of the problem is my own tension- the blocks are a combo of intarsia and stranding, and no matter how careful you are, there's going to be a bit of drawing in. But the bigger part is that this yarn is so inconsistant- with huge variations in yarn thickness (not actual thick and thin, but a gradual thickening and thinning from bulky to less than sportweight). I'm thinking of this sweater as a sort of wearable Folk Art piece anyway (it's not for me), but I still don't want those crooked edges to be the only thing I see when I look at it.

I wanted to see what the embroidery would look like- so I wove in all the ends (many many ends), and then worked cross stitches inside the blocks (much neater looking than satin stitch, I think), and did the other embroidery. I think it looks smashing. I'm almost past the lower patterning on one of the fronts, so it's knitting up quickly. I think I'll incorporate the lower borders into the sleeves as well (partly because I'm not sure how far the orange yarn will go). I'm rather surprised at how subtle some of the color changes are- in the skein, the contrasts really popped, but knit up, they blend into each other a lot more than I expected.


Anonymous said...

Love the Folkloric sweater, especially your idea of cross-stitching rather than duplicate or satin stitch!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Thanks- I like it too. So much easier and neater looking than satin stitch, especially since this yarn isn't a consistent thickness.