Monday, March 8, 2010

I can't believe it's been so long!

I totally did not intend for such a long blog silence. I've been knitting, and in fact I'm very excited. Here is the big reveal: I'm declaring 2010 the Year of Colorwork. And to kick it off, I planned to do the Cats & Mice sweater, in a waistcoat shape defined in the Elephants pattern. Both patterns are by Alice Starmore, in The Children's Collection.

I just liked the cats & mice theme, and the waistcoat shape better. Plus, I have been dying to try steeks!

Late in 2009, I researched the yarn. I wanted it fingering weight, soft, and washable (it's kids wear, after all). I chose Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine, a fingering weight wool/alpaca/nylon blend. It's super soft. I'd used the worsted weight in a scarf and it was yummy. It came in 14 colors, and I chose 12 of them, all jewel tones with a good contribution of light and dark.

I did it up right. I charted with colored pencils. I made a swatch. I washed the swatch, and took gauge measurements.

I learned from my swatch. I decided not to vary the color of the cats, as the whitish head on a brown body just seemed odd, and the dark brown tail got a little lost in the dark green. I learned that the lightest color, which I had been planning as "tan" actually reads "oatmeal". And I learned that the charcoal colored mice on the burgundy background do not get lost but actually look pretty good.

Then I declared it to be my knitting Olympics project, just to get to cast on already! Okay, I never intended to finish it during the Olympics. But for the duration of the games, this would be my #1 project. Certain household tasks could be put off for working on this. I wanted a real start on the project by the end of the games. I first aimed to get to the armholes. Then (when I had setbacks) turned it back to finishing one complete repeat.

I decided on a corrugated ribbing edge, and I started. I'm now just a few rows shy of that one complete repeat, but it feels good.

I know I've got some unfinished business (ahem, blogiversary prizes) and I'll get to them soon. But I finally took a photo of my swatch with my camera phone and finally got it uploaded. Still struggling with the new camera, although "struggling" isn't accurate so much as "ignoring the fact that I haven't figured out how to get the pictures off". But some recent events that I took pictures of should get me to put it at the top of my list soon.

Happy Year of Colorwork!


KnitTech said...

Cats and mice on the sweater will be so cute. Good luck and keep us posted.

kathryn said...

beautiful--but the real question: double handed knitting for the colors?

Kathy said...


That is a swatch? It looks like a masterpiece to me.

I blog nearly daily with nearly nothing to show for it!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Great start! I love colorwork but have it on the back burner for awhile. Just too many things to do and so little time. Gosh ... that's the story of my life. Can't wait to see your sweater. Happy knitting!