Designer’s Challenge 1: Stripes

This is part one of a four part post where I’m planning on blogging about my inspiration for the June/July super challenge at the Designer’s Challenge group on Ravelry. If you’re interested in participating, there’s still plenty of time to join in! There are three criteria that must be met in order for the design to count. It must be a top, have stripes, and be somehow related to the theme “origami”.

My focus for this post is going to be on the stripes in my design. In my top, garter stitch stripes in the CC (Lipstick Lava) contrast with stockinette stitch stripes in the MC (Crying Dove).

I wanted to do something more than basic, even stripes. To add some interest, I decided to use the Fibonacci sequence. This sequence goes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. The next number in the sequence is found by adding the previous two numbers together (1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13, etc.). In my knitting, I interpreted this by starting off with 8 garter ridges, then 8 rounds of stockinette stitch, then 5 garter ridges, then 5 rounds stockinette stitch, etc. This produces an interesting stripe that seems to naturally fade away as it reaches the waist shaping, which was just the effect I was looking for.

Right now I’m up to the bust line and preparing to shape the armholes and the neckline. In future posts, I will explain my inspiration for the “top” and the “origami” parts of the challenge as well.

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FO: Pondering Kiwi

I finished what just might be my favorite sweater to date!

This sweater started out as only 1 skein of Miss Babs Yowza – Whatta Skein! in the colorway Kiwi that I purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool 2011. I had stopped by the Miss Babs booth and had decided to try something a bit out of my comfort zone – this green. I loved the color, but I tend to wear a lot of blues or greys so I wasn’t sure if it would look good on me. After finishing this sweater, I’m glad I took a chance. I really like this color for a change, and it’s perfect for spring!

Details:

Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza – Whatta Skein! – colorway Kiwi – 1 skein

Pattern: Something to Ponder

Size/Modifications: I knit the size stated in the pattern, 33″ chest, but I got gauge at 4.75sts/inch to make it fit me a bit better (34.5″ chest). I used waist increases and decreases (3 sets of decreases worked every 6 rounds and then 3 sets of increases worked every 6 rounds). I also lengthened it a bit by working 8 repeats of the allover cabled eyelet pattern.

I love this sweater. The Miss Babs Yarn is comfortable and soft without being too hot for a shortsleeved top, and I love the richness and depth of the color from the dyeing. I wish I had made the sweater a tiny bit longer since I have a long torso, but I completely ran out of yarn. It’s long enough, though, and I can’t wait to wear this more in the fall. I can already tell that this is going to be a sweater I reach for again and again.

Handspun Norwegian Longwool

I finished some handspun Norwegian Longwool singles today. It was my first time spinning something with such a long staple length. The fiber was Spunky Eclectic Club fiber from May 2011, a colorway called Angkor Wat.

I kept putting off spinning this fiber because I was afraid about “ruining” it somehow. I adored the colors, but I’d never spun Norwegian Longwool before, so I was afraid of overspinning the yarn and making it too hard and harsh. Eventually I just decided to give it a go and see what kind of yarn I would get.

Details:

Wheel: Suzie Pro, 6.5:1 ratio

WPI: 15/16 – quite thick and thin with a lot of variation

Total Yardage: 475

Total Weight: 3.35 oz

Slightly fulled to hold it together

I’m pleased with the finished result, and if anything I think it’s a bit underspun. I was so afraid of the wool being overspun that I put in as little twist as possible – just enough to hold it together. As a result, it’s not the strongest handspun ever, so I’m thinking of using it for a light and lofty shawl like the Storm Cloud Shawlette or Summer Flies. Any other suggestions?

Some New Yarn and a Designer’s Challenge

I got new yarn today! An odd triangular package arrived from Eat.Sleep.Knit with some lace blocking wires and a size 3 24″ circular needle. Most importantly, it contained two skeins of Dream in Color Baby in the colorways Crying Dove and Lipstick Lava.

I’m going to be using these two yarns together in a new design I’m working on for the Designer’s Challenge. This is a group on Ravelry that organizes challenges for designers each month based on a certain theme. Usually there’s a certain object, technique, and theme that must be apparent in the design, but after that each designer’s imagination can run wild! This time the challenge is a “Super Challenge” – 2 months long. The object is a top, the theme is origami, and the technique is stripes. I’m looking forward to posting more about my inspiration, my ideas, and my swatching as the challenge progresses.