I recently finished a cabled hat for Hubby. I designed it, so it was no small feat. There was a lot of reworking involved. I'll tell you all the gory details in a future post, hopefully after I have the pattern written up.
I bring the hat up because it was one of those projects that left me...unsettled?...feeling at a loose end?...those phrases are a little too negative for what I'm trying to describe. I can't think of the right word at the moment, but I'm sure you felt it too.
I finished the hat and had to cleanse my knitting palate. I had to take time and savor the accomplishment of finishing the hat. I wanted to knit, but nothing I had in progress seemed appealing. What I really wanted to do was cast on for something new with some of my Rhinebeck yarn, but that would have been irresponsible.
Since I wanted my hands to be moving, but didn't want anything taxing, I fished out the Bias Striped V-Neck Shell.
This is a little top I'm designing fro myself using yarn leftover from the striped sweater I made Hubby last year. I was very excited when I started it, but hit a major wall after I took that design class with Shirley Paden in July and she declared that my v-neck shaping numbers wouldn't work. Oh, and moving didn't help the situation either.
Anyway. I hauled it out and discovered that I had reworked the neck shaping numbers at some point. Also, I could still understand the pattern I'd written for myself, which was very exciting. After a quick measure to check the length I was able to jump right back into knitting it.
Boo, Fancy Stripes
However things got ugly pretty quickly.
As you can see the stripes march across the sweater to the left. On each right side row I work one more stitch in the color to the right maintaining the stitch count. So, to clarify, each color has 13 stitches (although one has 15 because the math didn't work). The light green eats the dark blue which eats the black/white and on across the sweater. As the color drops off the left I attach it to the right and continue the pattern.
This was working out very nicely, expect I didn't plan for how the armhole and neck shaping would affect the pattern. Actually I probably figured I deal with it when I got there.
Well, I'm there and I'm stuck.
As you can see in the picture the stripes already when squirrley because of the armholes. This is actually attempt number two. For my first attempt I continued the grey on the right but it ended up with only like three or four stitches between casting off the armholes and having to add in the tan/white when it dropped off the left.
(Also my pattern said to decrease two stitches each side but I bound them off and didn't end up liking how that looked. Frogging was necessitated by the double whammy of ugly shaping and bad stripes.)
On this second attempt I abandonded the grey when it was down to two stitches. It's alittle abrut, but I tell myself it's OK becuase it's under my arm. No one should be close enough to notice.
Now my problem is the chaos the neck shaping is causing. Between the neck shaping and the slide of the colors the black/white yarn in the center is rapidly disappearing. The dark blue already ate one side. Technically on the next right side row I work the dark blue is going to jump the gap. At this rate the black/white is going to get cut off in the middle of the row!
Since I'm using leftover yarn I made a lot of decisions based on conservation. I thought I'd be clever and start with the front so that if I ran out of colors it would be on the back and maybe less noticible. The v-neck was also an attempt to save yarn (less territory to cover). My ability to make sleeves will be dictated by how much yarn is left after the body is done.
I'm debating not letting the dark blue jump the gap yet. Give the black/white a chance to get ahead. But I don't know if that will distort the stripes. After all, the dark blue is being encroched upon by the green as well as the neck shaping.
Now I wish I had knit the back first so I would have complete stripes to refrence. I would have been able to plot the flow of the colors on the front against the colors on the back and decide how to work the slide.
Seriously. As I was just sitting here typing this post it occured to me to work up a chart with the colors. Brilliant! It won't be easy because of the shift, but I can color it all in then slice out the neck.
Excellent. This should fix the problem and is easier than knitting and ripping.
I know what I'll be doing tonight.