A Knitalong calling my name

I’ve done a couple fun and illuminating knitalongs with my dear friend and former roommate, Sarah of Threaded Through, I tagged along quietly through one of Fringe Associations hat Knitalongs a year or so ago, and I made a big old spectacle out of how closely I was not following along with last year’s Cowichan vest, but this year I’d like to play by the “rules.” I’m declaring my intentions to participate in Fringe Association‘s “Fringe and Friends” Summer 2016 Knitalong. The past couple years’ Knitalongs have been structured patterns, but this year Karen has set forth the challenge of improvising our own top-down sweaters, using her raglan recipe.

It’s no surprise that the one time I decide to play nice and follow instructions is the time that the only rules are that the sweater be a) knit top-down, and b) made without a written pattern. I’ve been a broken record about how much I prefer to knit sweaters top-down (You can try it on as you go! If you run out of yarn, it can have 3/4 sleeves instead of never being finished or requiring that you buy more yarn! You can customize it to fit broad shoulders with no problem! Separating for sleeves/body is so easy!), and about how anarchist I am about following patterns, so improvisation is right up my alley.

I cast on and started playing with gauge, and I’m pretty excited about the yarn I’m planning to use. This is some deliciously squishy light charcoal gray mystery wool, which came from the stash of my dear friend Pat. On these chunky needles, the knitting goes very quickly, and I’m feeling some good momentum on the project. It’ll likely be finished well before the KAL officially starts, but that’s okay.

IMG_8036Right now, I’m considering a lace pattern inspired by this pattern, with a diamond pattern progressing down wider and wider, using something like this stitch, or maybe even this stitch. Princess Fiona is knit bottom-up, but that lace design detail will be simple to improvise. Since the top point of the triangle will start right in the armpit of the sweater, it won’t show, and as long as I add the right number of stitches after separating for the body and arms (and make sure that the triangle begins as close to the center point as possible, it’ll look great. I may add the triangle on both sides, since the asymmetrical look isn’t my favorite.

IMG_8032Since finishing the Amors Arrow and the last two pairs of socks, I’m back to wantonly casting on projects. These are some gift socks (which I think I may frog and start over, since the gray doesn’t work as well as I’d like for toes and heels), which will be relatively mindless and simple to finish. They need to be finished in about three weeks.

IMG_8030The other project I cast on is a narrower version of this Rose Garden shawl, which hasn’t quite grown on me yet. I plan to do the short rows a bit differently, but I’ll have to play it by ear when I get to that point. I think the stitch is lovely, but since my goal in knitting it is to use up some yarn and build up my stash of trade items for Rendezvous this fall, it hasn’t quite risen to the top of my project list. Priority #1 is those socks, but the sweater is most exciting for me right now!

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