If you need more proof of my obsession with (actually, let’s just say “commitment to” – it sounds so much less manic) my September Sweater project, I happen to have some right here: I’ve been swatching again.
This is a swatch that consists of a 1/4-size sample of the first 36 rows of the Tea Leaves Cardigan pattern. In other words, it’s the first 36 rows worked over 24 stitches instead of 96. I knit this up in order to compare it to any other yoke ideas I might have, so that I may more easily decide how to proceed when it comes time to actually start knitting.
Pros of using the original ruching: It’s pretty. It’s tried-and-true.
Cons: It’s kind of annoying to do, with all of those section where you’re knitting double the number of stitches. I already have two sweaters like this.
A few alternatives
This one involves ribbing instead of ruching. The look is a bit similar, but it’s less time-consuming to work up.
Pros: It’s easy. The ribbing ties in with the ribbing I added to the sleeves and hem, which should give the design a more cohesive look.
Cons: It’s not quite as attractive as the ruching.
Ok, now here’s the one I have been tearing my hair out over: leaves. I got the leaf motif itself out of the Vogue Knitting Stitionary Vol. 1. It’s part of a climbing vine, but after a little trial-and-error, I managed to isolate the leaf itself. Making the leaves turned out to be the easy part. Combining the leaves with the need to increase and make the yoke round was not so easy.
It involved a lot of scribbling on paper, and a lot of mathy things. Eventually I pulled out the big guns, and got all spreadsheety about it. The result is pretty cool, if I do say so myself, although the more I look at it, the more I think this is not the final version of this idea.
I’d like better definition between the collar and the pattern, and I would like the leaves closer together. I suspect I’ll be going back to the spreadsheet for a little bit of tweaking. Still, I think this is close enough for the purposes of deciding what to do for the sweater.
Pros: It’s unique and I can be all, “I designed this!” when I show it to people.
Cons: It required some finessing to block it into this shape, and I wonder if it will stay lovely and rounded?
What to do?
I really can’t make up my mind at this point. I already have two with the original ruching, so I’m inclined to go with the ribbing or the leaves. I like that the ribbing on the yoke would match the ribbing on the sleeves (which is also a modification to the original pattern), but the idea of having falling leaves on my sweater is super cool to me. I am kind of eager for the challenge.
On the other hand, maybe I should save the leaves for some other application – fingerless gloves, maybe? and just keep the sweater simple.