Sunday, March 7, 2010

Schleppy Sweater: Plunging In

Zara print tweed Wish me luck.

Goodness knows I'm gonna need it as I plunge into designing my first sweater.

I understand designing sweaters involves a lot of math. I haven't had a math class since high school.

Have I mentioned I was a Literature major in college? No math needed for that degree.

Really, you should have seen this coming.

After all, you don't read a book like "Sweater Design in Plain English" by Maggie Righetti for fun.

Well, you might, but I don't. Pure textbook means to an end reading.

The Vision
What I want is a warm, snuggly sweater for those blah winter days when you would rather stay in your pajamas, but you can't because you have to go out in public.

At the same time, the sweater has to be attractive enough so people don't realize it is a pajama substitute.

I'm thinking a simple waist length, no, hip length raglan mock turtle neck. I have some commercial sweaters in this style that I like very much so it seemed the way to go.

The high collar will allow me to draw down into it like a cranky little turtle as I glower at the foul weather.

I am also hoping it might be a little easier shape for a first design than a set in sleeve.

Of course I realize a drop shoulder sweater would be the easiest, but where is the challenge in that? And a drop shoulder won't be very flattering.

So I'm going to have 3 inches of ribbing at the bottom, then stockinette, then more ribbing in the rib cage area like a corset to give it some shaping, then the collar will be ribbing again.

I'm also planning ribbing at the elbows to continue the theme.

But the really clever bit is that I'm going to make the ribbing on the sleeves long enough to be integrated fingerless mitts!

How cool is that going to be?

I'll be able to pull the sleeves down to keep my hands warm without having to stretch the sleeves out. I think I won't make a full thumb. I'll just do a slit for the thumb. Wouldn't want to fold the ribbing back and have the thumb sticking out of my wrist like a little mutant flag.

Reinventing the Wheel
"But, Ann," you say, "there are plenty of free raglan patterns in the world. There is even a modular one in the back of your big Vogue Knitting book. Why go to the trouble of designing one from scratch?"

And I would reply, A girl's got to start somewhere.

I've already mentioned my ambition to design a cabled pullover like the sweater from that movie The Holiday.

You are aware of the stunning progress I've made on that.

And I bought all that yarn at Rhinebeck to design a cabled cardigan for a transition piece in the fall and spring.

You know, because I've made such good progress with designing my pullover.

Now there are many things holding me back from these projects.

Mainly excuses.

I needed my measurements. But mom helped me with that a few months ago.

I've had so many other projects on the needles that I haven't devoted time to all the time swatching necessary to design a sweater from scratch.

But my needles are clear except for the Angora Bedsocks of Power and Fortune! Oh, and the plain socks I started for Hubby last night.

And I've finally admitted that starting with a cabled monstrosity for my first design might have been a little ambitious.

So I will get over the design fear with a more straight forward sweater.

Then I will be unstoppable!

First, I have to go finish swatching for my ribbing. And read the rest of this chapter for the "Timeless Adult Raglan Cardigan."

1 comment:

  1. Chapter?? A whole chapter??? I might design a scarf first then ;-) Well done you for stepping up to the challenge.