Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Dream of Sweaters

Jo Sharp DK Wool

I'm dreaming of a sweater. Again.

I've dreamed of sweaters before. Remember Decimal? Never happened. I actually swatched Candy, but no luck. (Officially, it's still a WIP.) So I'm not sure how far I'll get with this idea, but I'm hopeful.

I have a *lot* of yarn, but I don't have much in the way of sweater amounts of yarn. But I'm not really feeling most of the sweater amounts of yarn I have.

Like the bright turquoise Jo-Ann Sensations Angel Hair I bought for a sweater a long time ago. Now I don't think I have the guts to wear an entire sweater that color. I think I'd look like a Muppet.

Also, I still have a ton of recycled sari silk left over from this thing, but you see how well that worked out.

And I barely have enough of two colors of Debbie Bliss Angora Cotton for a sweater, but I'm not too keen on the sea green color anymore. It was on clearance at the time, so my color options were limited.

However, I *am* feeling the Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool pictured above. The color is "Viola." The problem is I only have about 1,070 yards, and for a long sleeve sweater in my size, that's not even half of what I need. But it's a decent amount.

So my solution is to make an outrageous stash diving sweater with stripes.

I started getting yarn out of the storage unit Thursday. The process was fun, but it still made me miss my apartment. Dad went with me since I'm too weak to lift all those tubs. I used a spreadsheet printed out with my stash from Ravelry. I'd highlighted some stuff ahead of time to help narrow everything down. I've only looked in three of my numbered tubs so far. I didn't want to spend forever searching through tubs outside the storage unit, and Dad had to go to work after we finished. Dad was very patient with the whole process. On the way home, I explained that we had just been "stash diving."

I considered just using a bunch of single skeins, but I figured I needed something to tie the yarns together. I also considered find a unifying color theme, like all blues and purples, all brights or all warm colors, but I thought I might run out of yarns to use between the color restrictions and the gauge restrictions.

Instead, I decided to use the Jo Sharp yarn is sort of a "base." From there I'm selecting DK weight yarns from my stash that don't clash too much with the shade of purple.*

I have a long road ahead of me. Not only do I need to swatch the Jo Sharp, I'll also have to swatch the other colors and make sure the gauge matches. I'm not going to adjust my stitch count with each yarn change.

And not just any DK weight yarn will work. There may be official Yarn Standards that most yarn manufacturers follow, but there is a lot of wiggle room in those standards. I'm also going to be considering worsted, sport and fingering weight yarns for this sweater as well.

I've just begun to think about the pattern. I wanted to do an Elizabeth Zimmerman seamless construction, but I want a cardigan and all the "patterns" I've found so far are for pullovers. I can use the Elizabeth Percentage System to do more of my own design work, or I could do some steeking. I need to do more research.

Parting Shot

I'm going to leave you with a picture the Multnomah shawl I've been working on. I bound off on Wednesday. It still needs to be blocked, so I'm not calling it done yet.

Multnomah Shawl - Almost Done

* - Or is it blue?

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