Friday, May 16, 2014

Wackadoodle, but the Colours Line Up Beautifully

I have been working steadily on my Mesa. It's the only project I have going (not counting the socks for taking with me everywhere) and I want to have it done for a trip I'm taking in June. So, yes, progress.

Working with the colour changing yarn has given me some challenges as I try to make it match and "lightly" control where the colours land.

At some point I needed a little green and burgundy for the second sleeve and didn't have any left. I thought about dyeing some of the light grey and trying to match, but didn't have the confidence that I could get it to match (and I didn't have any purple KoolAid when I was on fire to get it done).

Then I remembered I had some wool for embroidery in a variety of colours. I got out the bag and found a burgundy and green that would work. It was too thin and I thought about just stranding it as I went but I decided to spin it because I thought I would be able to better blend from one colour to the next.

I took the yarn and Navaho-plied it making it a three-ply yarn:
 I soaked the yarn and wrapped it around my niddy-noddy to set the twist.
You can see the colour blend I was able to achieve above. I started with just the green, and then at some point I started spinning one strand of burgundy with two of green. Then it was two burgundy with one green, and finally three strands of burgundy.

The yarn is a little different than the rest I was using. I think it's the same thickness, but it's smoother and less hairy so it has a much better stitch definition. Also the colour blend is definitely not like the other yarn. It almost looks pixelated. But it's more blended than a sudden switch, so I'll be happy with it.
(I also worked hard on that yellow section. I ended up ripping out the first arrangement and re-knitting it, using the yarn blending from brown to yellow after the yellow to "fake" the green colour.

Right side, good. Left side, bad. :(
Before finishing the sleeves, I had to do the neckline so I could measure properly. (I made the sleeve lengths match along the outside edge since I didn't think the underarms started at the same point.) I did a folded hem with a picot fold line.

I really like the look, but it's not sitting properly. It's lovely on one side but won't stop standing up on the other! I can't figure out why. (Besides the general observation that the two shoulders are very different and the whole sweater is biased.) I now have to decide whether to take it out now and redo it or to block it first (hoping that it will "block out") and risk having to redo it after blocking. Time for some research on Ravelry for other projects that modified the neckline. (It was designed with a long cowl but I know I've seen some others without it.)

Here's the whole project fresh off the needles:
What a hot mess, isn't it!!? But check out how I got the colours to mostly line up across the sleeves. I'm really enjoying that.

Here are a few quick shots while I tried it on (hoping--in vain--that the neckline would work out better on the body)

I was tempted to make it longer but I only have enough of the lightest brown for a couple more rows and that hardly seems worth it. I like the length when I'm standing normally, but with the low armholes, the sweater rides way up when I lift my arms. I think I'm just going to have to not lift my arms. (That sounds totally possible, right?)

But I think the next thing I'll do on this is work in all those ends. Choosing to do a different colour in between all of the yoke wedges caused a lot of extra ends, plus all the ones from manipulating the colours through the rest of the sweater. One of the less glamourous parts of knitting, but oddly relaxing and satisfying in its own way. And it will give me time to think about how to tackle that neckline and gear myself up for blocking this thing. (More decisions: force it into a regular sweater shape or follow the knit shape??)

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