Thursday, March 19, 2009

Teal Fair Isle Sweater

As I mentioned before, I picked up some teal yarn at our school's holiday bazaar table. They were on the 25 cents table, and I got three skeins. The skeins are Cascade 220 wool and so it I have roughly 660 yards. I was puzzled by what to make of it, but thought I might be able to stretch it into a sweater. I mulled over it for a bit and came up with a ball of white wool and a ball of charcoal wool of long-forgotten origins. So I decided I could break up the strong teal color and stretch the yardage by designing a fair isle yoke.

Using guidance from the Knit.1 magazine article about top down sweaters in the round, I knit a swatch to set my gauge and figured out how many stitches I would need around the body, plus what I would need around each sleeve. I subtracted the number of stitches for the neck and this gave me the number I needed to increase between the neck and where I put the arms on stitch holders. I started trying to draw a pattern on graph paper but quickly switched to an excel spreadsheet where I could easily move colors around. I had to figure out which rows would get the increases, how much they would increase and ensure that the number of stitches would fit the number of stitches needed for the pattern repeats at that point. This is my first time with a fair isle type pattern and carrying multiple colors at once, so I designed it so there are only three rows where all three colors are used. My skills have developed for the two color work and I think I'll enjoy doing it again.

The yoke pattern is 64 rows long. When I get to the 64th row, I put the arms on scrap yarn and will continue down with the rest of the body in solid teal. I may add a few rounds of part of the design as I near the bottom of the sweater. Then I plan to come back and pick up the sleeves and knit them as short sleeves. If the yarn allows, I'll take them longer.

Here's a photo of me trying it on so far, after finishing the yoke and putting the arms on waste yarn.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Wow! what a beautiful sweater that will be. I couldn't follow all of your description since I'm not a knitter. I guess it's your math skills at work!