Thursday, May 23, 2013

Aran Cable Sweater

I am so in love with machine knitting.  It is such a marvelous thing. I feel that I have so many possibilities at my fingertips and I can't wait to start the next project!

Let's go over the latest, shall we? This was my final project for my Knit Design & Technology class, which, of course, was everything I wanted and more. The class, that is! This sweater was only lovely once it was finished. Sound familiar, anyone? I decided to do an aran cable pattern on the front, with pointelles on top and bottom and a mix of jersey and reverse-jersey (or stockinette, if you prefer).

Well, I was CRAZY to do so. Here is a sweater progression and an explanation:

In machine knitting, the most basic stitch is a jersey stitch. On a single bed machine, doing anything other than jersey requires un-knitting a stitch, and re-knitting it in the reverse with a hook. So, all ribbing, garter rows, and what have you are done like this. By mixing the two, I had a whole lot of reversing on my hands. But on top of that, aran cables are a continuous transfer of stitches, used to create strong diagonal lines. Which means, every two rows, I had to transfer stitches in multiple places to new needles. What I'm getting at is, the front of this took me 26 hours (ish) to knit. Which is a heckuva lot of time for a machine--and about two weekends of mad knitting for a girl with already too much homework to do!

But with some perseverance and some late late nights, I finished a little early, and was able to get some photos at a bandstand in a park with my friend Lindsay. How great are these white walls?!

I am really happy with how it turned out. There are a few issues with fit that I will need to address in future sweaters -- armscye, mainly -- but nothing is so major that it will prevent me from wearing this! The yarn is KnitPick's City Tweed, DK weight, which is a luscious blend of merino, alpaca, and Donegal tweed (acrylic). I snagged it during their alpaca sale for an incredible $2.99 a ball, which prices this sweater at.... under $30. !!! However, I overestimated yarn by, like, a lot, and I have seven left-over balls to use up another time.

Look at all those neps! Never going to get over this yarn. Ever. The rest of the sweater is pretty basic--2x2 rib, crew neck, long sleeves, and so on. I had no creative energy after the front!

And here, just for fun, are a few of my portfolio pages for the project. I did an extended line, but since these don't have the swatches on them, I only included the pages with real pictures.

The sketches are done on the computer, printed, hand colored with Prismacolor pencils and brush markers, and then scanned back into the computer. The rest of the elements are done on Photoshop.

All the technical aspects. Charts are fun in theory, awful in reality!

You might have noticed that things look different around here! I revamped a little, just to neaten things up. Um, can you tell where I got my inspiration from, now that you've looked at my most recent portfolio pages? I love this font, okay? And the motif! And distressed lettering!

So that's my biggest news. I still have fashion show clothes to post, as well as some things I've been making since school is out for the summer... I start my internship in less than a week, and I've been making business appropriate shirts to wear! Hope to share them soon, we'll see how it goes with pictures.

What are your big summer plans?! I'm just amped to start working in industry, to meet more creative people, and to figure out what I want to do in life. Plus, summer in the city, festivals, and sunshine!