21 February 2010

Olympic Knitting

The knitters among you know that the Yarn Harlot is holding her second quintanual knitting olympics. For the non-knitters among you, it works like this: You choose a project to complete during the 17 day span of the Winter Olympics. You can't cast on until the opening ceremony, and you need to be finished by the end of the closing ceremony. You can choose whatever project you want, but it should be something that will be a challenge for you. It wouldn't have been fair for me to choose to make a pair of socks, for instance, because I can whip out socks pretty quickly.

I chose to make a cardigan sweater using Bel Canto DK yarn from Yarn Place. It's kind of hard to tell from their picture, but every skein is a different color combination using the same base colors. Here's what it looked like when I wound all 20 balls that I picked up at Stitches last year.

There are no two skeins in there that have the same color progression, which makes it a little hard to plan a sweater. I decided that I would make a patchwork sweater, knitting strips of each ball and putting them together a-la Horst Schulz. I picked out a likely looking ball and started up. I had a strip 4 inches wide and about 10 inches long before I stopped and gave this project a good long think. I decided that between the shaping and the method of construction which involves some maneuvering at one end of each strip, this was not really the way to go. So I called that approach a "false start" and ripped out the whole thing.

I still liked the idea of having the long stripes of this yarn, so I started over with 5 balls for the back. I cast on 5 strips, one with each ball, and started making intarsia stripes. After getting a few inches along I called Daughter in and told her that she was banned from going near the east end of the couch. No one was to touch the balls of yarn or change their position in any way, or there would be dire consequences. She looked at the 5 strands that looked somewhat tangled together and said, "Wow, that looks complicated." That's Olympic knitting, baby.

Yesterday I finished the back, and this afternoon I finished the first front piece and got about halfway through the second.

I'm still not sure if I'm actually going to like the finished product, but at least I'm on track for an on-time finish.

The cat, however is not.

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