Water for my elephant

As 2016 so far has been the year for finishing things and cleaning the slate, the big project hanging over my head has been my cowichan-ish-inspired vest/cardigan experiment. Some structural elements have remained a bit of an issue, like just how wide the thing needed to be and how that would affect my armhole placements (and how to organize that in the context of the colorwork chart), but you probably know me well enough by now to know that I decided to make things up as I went along. I tried things, evaluated them, then tried other things. Miraculously enough, I’ve frogged very little in this project. Rather than taking rows out and starting over, I’ve decided that this is an “onward and upward” sort of thing- add something else, and turn “mistakes” into design features!

IMG_20160110_155054Here’s the front! I’m loving the shawl collar, even though the design around it is pretty bunchy in its current unblocked state.¬†Rather than a regular button band (I probably should have put the buttonholes in if that was going to happen…) or zipper, I’m leaning toward a toggle clasp. Once it blocks out, I’ll see what feels right.

IMG_20160110_155332And the back! I’m so happy with that elephant, and with the colorwork overall. As much as I detest stranded purling, I’m more terrified of steeking, so that’s the way it had to be. I’m hoping that the sleeve seams will unroll a little bit with blocking, but it’s hard to tell at this point. They’re pretty stubbornly rolled under, which unfortunately loses a bit of the pattern.

IMG_20160110_160046Into the warm, scented bath it went! I soaked the piece for a good 20 minutes or so, then hung it to dry, taking care to spread those lengthwise seams so that they don’t curl up. It’s nearly dry, and once I can really try it on and evaluate it with a critical eye, I’ll decide once and for all whether it will be a vest (either as it is or with a tiny three-row arm-hole hem) or a cardigan, with a design down the sleeves (I’m just not excited enough about that orange to commit to full sleeves, and changing to the gray at this point won’t look quite right). Between the amount of work and the average ambient temperature of Charleston, I’m leaning toward the vest… Thoughts?

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