Sunday, April 26, 2020

My Imitation Game

How are you doing? Are you OK?

I am still bingeing on Nutella and classic mysteries, but also I am knitting. 
My fair isle designer’s knockoff in cotton is finished. It took me more than a month of quarantine to make it and it wasn’t easy, but I am so glad that I went through with this project.
Knitting colorwork with cotton is a bit annoying because it goes slower than doing the same with wool. Wool is sticky and easy to keep even tension, cotton is slippery and hard to keep even tension, plus it hurts the hands. 
While working on this sweater – I call it Pearl for its colors – I run in a couple of issues. First, I made my neck opening too small to do any ribbing around. As soon as I finished, washed, and blocked the front and back parts, I stitched them together, and made a nice ribbed collar with tubular bind off. It looked perfect but for the life of me I couldn’t get my head through the opening.  The ribbing was unraveled in half and I made a smaller collar with tubular bind off. Again the opening was too narrow for my head (is there a special diet for heads?). My only remaining solution was to make several stockinette rows in the round and bind off as loosely as possible. If I make this pattern again, I definitely need to start the neck opening sooner.
My second challenge was making the patterns stripes on the sleeves match the ones on the body. I had to reknit the sleeves three times to get the result that I was looking for. Thanks to the lockdown, I wasn’t in a hurry and could afford spending as much time as needed to finish the sweater the way I wanted it to be. By the way, if not for the quarantine, I may not even have attempted this pattern – it seemed quite complicated and difficult.

I took many photographs with this sweater because it was an opportunity to wear some pretty clothes for a change (and comb my hair). 
In my opinion, it would look even better in wool. Maybe one day I’ll do it again in a different color combination. Here is the chart that I followed, in case you want to make one.
My next project is also a summer knit and was inspired by some designers’ clothes that I saw on Pinterest. This time I am using ColourMart’s Noil Silk in creamy and tweedy white. It is not cotton, but also affects my hands. Actually, that is why I am writing this post now: I had to take a break from knitting since my wrist hurts too much. 
Yet, despite the breaks, the new cardigan (and it is going to be a summer cardigan) is growing fast.

My main inspiration was Brunello Cucinelli Spring collection (yes, Brunello Cucinelli again!). I like the colors, textures, and shapes of several garments from it, but I had to work with the yarns that were already in my stash. So I started swatching from the Noil Silk and eventually decided on this particular pattern. I think it works better with my yarn choice and will look good on me.
 I want to make a simple oversized coat-like cardigan with low V-neck, no buttons, and dropped shoulders. After washing in hot water, ColourMart Noil Silk loses its stiffness and becomes very soft, silky, and supple. Perfect for Florida!
In addition, I made one more swatch – this time from the ColourMart  wool and cashemere scraps. I wanted to make this Nili Lotan sweater the moment I first saw it last winter (again, blame Pinterest).
Yet, it takes quite a lot of time and patience to recreate a pattern from a picture and somehow, among other things, I couldn’t find time to do it. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one enamored by this particular design, and recently on the Internet I saw this sweater already finished by another knitter. Great, now I could use her chart and save the time!
I haven’t started this project yet and am not sure when I will: too many cotton yarns in my stash call on me at the moment. Nevertheless, this is something to look forward to when I get tired of practical things. 
Speaking of stash, I saw some people on IG complaining about running out of yarn during the lockdown. Running out of yarn is a nightmare, and the first thing I did when we were given “shelter inside” orders, I unraveled 2 of my old projects in order to get more yarn, just in case. I do it all the time – unraveling old projects that I don’t wear and don’t like anymore. Recently I unraveled another one – an old wooly dress that I made about 15 years ago when I was wearing wooly dresses – and took pictures during the process.
If you want to see how I do it, just read my next post.
Stay safe and healthy, and knit on.


1 comment:

  1. Another fascinating read. You've really taken advantage of the stay-at-home time to create.