Thursday, January 25, 2007

Functional Swatching

Thanks to all who left such lovely compliments on the sleeve shaping. Really, it's a natural extension of the circularly knit, custom fit sweater approaches developed by the likes of Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker, and I'm not at all sure that it hasn't already been done (what hasn't?), but thus far I've only seen it hinted at in the descriptions of patterns for sale. I really ought not to wax too poetic about its qualities until I have a finished garment to wear and wiggle in, but what excites me most is the possibility to fine tune and personalize the fullness of a sleeve cap for any given armscye - because this method matches row for row, there is no agonizing over ease along the seamline. It may, however, take me several sweaters to find my absolute ideal fit.

On the evenings when my brain gets too fuddled for math (sick kids, lack of sleep), I've been entertaining myself with the Dulaan sweater:
I'm keeping this one dead simple - straight sides, dropped sleeves. I am steeking the armholes, but when I write up the pattern, I will include the option of flat knitting the upper portion of the sweater. This little pullover is a great blank canvas for experimenting and playing - the stranded knitting is necessary for warmth and wind resistance, but the actual patterns can be as simple or complex as your heart desires. I opted for two colours, because I am sick to death of weaving in ends, but you could easily work in different colours or even yarns, as long as they were wool and of similar gauge. Think functional swatch.