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What’s In A Sweater?

February 21, 2012

I have had this secret obsession about knitting a super-de-duperly fantastic, once in a lifetime, masterpiece fair isle cardigan.  (Big secret, right?)  I haven’t done it before now because, well, I’m intimidated.  Big time.  I mean, for pete’s sake, I’m still working on The Fish Hat That Is Kicking My Ass.  (Yeah, there’s a reason why you haven’t seen pictures of that yet…) Also, I can’t find a pattern that is just simply me.   Sure, there are patterns that I really like and would contemplate knitting, but they’re not me.  So, I put the desire on ice and ignored it.

That is until my Spinning Guild meeting in January where one of the members whom I’ve affectionately dubbed Queen of Fair Isle was wearing an elaborate and intricate fair isle sweater with corregated ribbing that I kept staring at.  I stared at it close up when we were chatting-  envying her perfect tension and the durability of her piece (it is 12 years old and looks perfect) –  and from afar to see how the over-all pattern looked. 

I feel compelled to note that while I’m gushing about Vonda’s sweater, she is very modest about it and eshewed my new nomer for her.  But I insist on calling her the Queen anyhow.  With admiration.

I’m all sorts of motivated now and would gladly forsake my 12 in 12 goal in a heartbeat if I thought I could accomplish this masterpiece.  I have yarn o’plenty in every color of the rainbow and the know-how but here’s what’s standing in my way still: I want this sweater to kind of be an outward representation of me.  (This is where my brother would begin to pretend snore after calling me an old woman with an incredulous look on his face…  … … I take that back.  Back up to paragraph one, sentence two and that’s about when it would happen.) 

I lurked on Ravelry until I figured out what I didn’t want (since I clearly didn’t know what I DID want…) and decided against linear designs, circular yokes, partial fair-isle, raglan sleeves, etc… and finally came up with a list of components that I do want.

  • Corrugated ribbing
  • Set-in sleeves
  • Two color throughout
  • Mosaic style patterning (the pattern needs to interlock and kind of create sort of a brocade style pattern.)
  • Shaping like this but longer.  Why are hand knits always so short?!  Some of us have pudgy stomachs and need that length!! 

But what about the pattern?  I want something that is unique and decided that I should chart my own pattern and I started making mental lists of inspiration.

I thought of cultures that I feel somehow connected to (reasons unknown) and that would only be two.  Irish and Native American.  I’m not sure what it is about those two cultures but even as a small child there was a connection to them.  I don’t mean just a fascination or that I like the styles that come from those cultures.  I mean a deep down, to the core connection.  When I think of those cultures there is a bit of home in them for me.  Strange, I know, but I’m rarely described as anything other! 

Then I thought of other things that I feel connected to that might be able to be worked into a pattern like seasons (summer & autumn) and components of those like the leaves of a Bald Cypress or Oak.  But what else could I look at for fair isle charting inspiration?  I feel stumped.  I’ve got a couple of cultures and some leaves.  How can I make that work into a cohesive brocade that feels vintage classic?

Time to lurk Google Images, I suspect.

p.s. I have still been too lazy to take pictures of my Second Sweater.  Maybe I can do that tonight.  Or maybe not.  What’s on T.V. tonight?  That will be my determining factor on whether or not I want to take the time to touch up my make up.

p.p.s.  I feel like I should have included some pictures or something.  This post feels very verbose today.

p.p.p.s. The Fish Hat and I are no longer friends.  We’re currently not speaking to each other.

::Updated::

p.p.p.p.s. I still feel guilty about my lack of visual stimulation in my post.  So here’s a thought for you to ponder.

Is the Dowager Countess the new Chuck Norris?

Admit it.  You want the Downton Abbey paper dolls too.  Go on.  Click the link.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2012 3:14 pm

    This might help you in choosing colors and pattern http://knittingpatterns.is

    • VintageDM permalink*
      April 2, 2012 4:53 pm

      Sweet! Thank you! I can’t wait to check it out!

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