Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Salad Days

Salad greens from the veggie garden, with the first radish of the year. Posted by Hello

Sweater Update

Mary asked about whether the "Blue Shimmer" sweater is knit with the yarn that works up in a colorful pattern. That type of yarn is called "self striping" yarn, and it is fun to use. It works best on small projects like socks or mittens. I've also seen kid sweaters made with the stuff. Some of the yarns that create very wide stripes can also be knit into adult-sized sweaters. In fact, my local yarn store has some Noro yarn that I'm itching to buy for my next project.

The "Blue Shimmer" sweater is a little more of a challenge. The pattern is created "from scratch" by using at least two contrasting yarn colors at the same time.

When I bought the yarn kit for this sweater almost two years ago, I wanted to learn how to do two-color knitting, or "Fair Isle"-style knitting. With this kind of knitting, you hold two balls of contrasting-colored yarn at once, with one color in each hand. (Some talented knitters hold both colors of yarn in one hand, but this is way beyond my skill level.) With two-color knitting, both hands are getting a workout.

It's taken me two years to really feal comfortable doing this kind of knitting. In fact, this is why back before Christmas I knit the bulky sweater for Anna and the funky stockings for Mom and Dad. I wanted to practice my two-handed knitting technique on some easy projects with thick yarn before I tackled the "Blue Shimmer" kit.

There are some incredible knitters on the internet who turn out projects like this all the time. "Blue Shimmer" is my first attempt at a really challenging knitting project. And actually, it's pretty tame because the pattern only goes around the collar. With the collar finished, I'm beginning to work on the solid body of the sweater. The next challenge will be in about a month or so when I wrap up knitting the body. Then, I'm actually going to cut the front part of the sweater open so I can create a cardigan. THAT'S when the fun will really begin.

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