Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A New Project: Mesa

I'm working on a new project! With all the time I had on my recent vacation, I got a lot done:
"What the what is that?" right? I know. It's a strange one.

Let me break it down.
Well, the top looks like it might be the
neck-hole.
Here we have a sleeve-hole.
And I guess this is the other sleeve-hole.
Well, that looks like a sweater, right?

Here I am trying it on:
It's not as loose as I was hoping, but I'm going with it.
The pattern is written in one-size only. You up- and down-size it by changing your gauge. I did one gauge swatch and then went up a needle size when I started the project. Not the most thorough way to do things, but I figured this whole thing was crapshoot anyway. (With the bias shaping, it's not quite as simple as (gauge)x(number of stitches)=(inches around).)

I saw this sweater pattern on Ravelry and was instantly intrigued. You should be able to see more examples by clicking here: Enchanted Mesa by Stephen West. It's by the same designer who brought you "swants." I didn't buy it right away but when later on I saw another design of his that I liked and realized they were available in the same e-book, I went ahead and bought it.

Although I believe West is American, he lives in Amsterdam. When my mom and I started to make plans to go to the Netherlands this June, I thought it was the perfect excuse to go ahead and make the project! (It doesn't take much to start a project you want to do!) I think it will be about the right weight for the weather and fun to see in all of the photos I'll be looking at after the trip.

Most people used multiple colours on the top wedge sections and made the rest of the sweater neutral. Since I wanted to use the colour-changing yarn I had, I decided to make the wedges more neutral. I used the coloured yarn between the wedges, using a different colour for each insert. This meant I had to wind the ball to the right colour, cut it, use what I needed from the ball and then cut it off. Then I rejoined the two ends of the ball. The colour changing still works, but there was just a little less of each colour. (I also got to show my mom the magic of spit splicing. She was suitably amazed.)

I started below the collar with a provisional cast on so I could decide later what kind of neck I want (and what yarn to use). I'm not sure I want the cowl. A few people have done just a ribbed collar--like a wide crew neck. We'll see.

I've got a couple more inches to do to make it longer and then I start a short-row section so the hem ends up straight across. Then I will move on to the sleeves. It would be nice if I could get the one sleeve (the left one as I'm wearing it above) to sort of match the stripes in the body, but I don't think that's going to work out.

I really like the colour-changing yarns, but they are challenging to work with if you really like to plan things out. West really encourages using left-overs and whatever you have for this sweater, so we'll see if I can get into the improvisational swing of things.

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