04 February 2007

The week what were time warps and design decisions

I'm developing a pattern of at least leaving draft/placeholders for blog entries so I've at least got a bit of space to write rather than do mondo mind numbing over long blog entries.

When I left this place marker my plan was to write about knitting at the Whistlestop -- small turn out BTW whether due to "the big game" or the gorgeous weather -- choices on the pentagon sleeves project, and more including the prior week's unsettling news about the deaths of Father Robert Drinan (an elegant and wonderful man) and Molly Ivins and how out of touch I felt when others seemed consumed with the "passing" of race horse Barbaro. What can I say? I'm just not a popular culture junkie. Now that I'm writing it, I'm home fighting a chest cold and it's all Anna Nicole which, I'm sure, is a relief for the folks at NASA.

Now back to the knitting. This incarnation of the pentagon sleeves project will be a year old in May. My optimistic choice to make the body of the sweater smaller than I was at the time has paid off as I'm 15 pounds nearer my preferred weight than I was last year.

As a template for this project, I used a commercially made sweater that fits me reasonably well. At each major step along the way, I've laid out the template and the project to see what's next and whether it is working as expected. The blended dye lot body pieces had reached about12 inches (30 cm) when I laid it out and stewed a bit about the what's next.

The easiest course would be to simply proceed with a drop shoulder sweater. They are easy to size up and easy to size down and while I look fine in drop shoulder sweaters, because of blended dye lots, the weight loss and other stuff, while this sweater is the basis for a "for publication" project, the decisions I'm making on this one are for my fit, my body and not for the standard sizing of normal designs.

Usually I can knit a sweater inside of two weeks so I plan to take the lessons learned on this garment and apply them to a "normal" design. With a bit of luck, this journey can also be the basis for some discussion about how to take a stock design and change it to fit your body.

If I'm designing for me, I'm designing for a short waisted, fairly flat chested woman with relatively broad shoulders and while that's a pretty significant percentage of the population, it isn't the standard that things are designed to. Understanding how you, the knitter, deviate from that "standard" goes a long way toward making garments that fit and suit you.

Ultimately, I decided that the "for publication" version will probably be a drop shoulder but this one will taper in from the generous armhole up to the shoulder. Since I'm changing yarn every row, I decided to always decrease with the same dye lot so my planned decrease rate is every 4 rows and it seems to be working (fingers crossed). I'm still dithering over the neckline and find myself wondering if I shouldn't frog back at least the last few inches of the sleeves to blend the dye lots through the short row shaping.


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