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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter Skyline Sweater

My oldest son is overdue for a sweater, especially after his younger brother got the Ryuu-ko sweater earlier in the season. Hm, do I detect some jealousy here?

That's when I happened to bump into a new Ravelry group called "Project Yarnway" which is a year-long design competition with monthly design challenges a la famous Project Runway on tv. Just what the doctor prescribed to get me out of the starting block and finish a sweater before Spring arrives.

 Project Yarnway entry: Winter Skyline Sweater

The February Challenge (#1) was:
Using only yarn, hooks, needles, notions, and materials that you already own, create a design that expresses who you are as a designer.
 Since I was sitting on a stash of Wool Ease that urgently needed to slim down to make room for new yarns coming out soon it was easy to pick the colors for a sweater design. And any clothing for an active young boy needs to be easy care. Perfect. One down.

Hm, what expresses who I am as a designer? I have used so many different techniques and enjoy them all for the right type of project... but I have to say I just love color work. Thinking back, I must have been knitting stranded color work since I can remember, and I started to knit in elementary school!
Although I enjoy the traditional designs I always like to give it my own twist or come up with my own not so traditional design. Since this was going to be a sweater for my son, we had a little brainstorming session and came up with a design that reminded us of the view we enjoyed from the sundeck at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science with the Rocky Mountains in the background.

But now I had to hurry as it was already half way through February and I had only two weeks left to get this done. Yikes!

To make things quicker, I decided to make it a seamless, bottom-up, raglan design worked in Fair Isle technique and Stockinette stitch. After drawing lots of different skylines and mountains, swatching, and some math I was finally able to start with the actual sweater. But that leg work up front is worth it as I was able to zip along without any redos. Invaluable if you are under time pressure.

Uninterrupted skyline and mountains

3 days before the deadline I had the sweater finished except we had thought that some nice big snowflakes for the upper body would be a great idea. First I sketched a couple of different snowflakes on graph paper, then started to stich one, a second, a third with duplicate stitch on the sweater... something was just not right! Ah, what was it? It was too busy and would only distract from the main design! I rather have the skyline and mountains do their thing.

Then came the weather forecast: snow for the next 2 days! Yikes, I still needed to get some pictures taken and natural light would make it so much nicer. We grabbed the scooter and headed for the closest neighborhood playground... and acutally never made it all the way as my test shots on the road already made for nice photos!

Just busy with his scooter and not aware of any photo shoot :)

Currently the sweater is in a size 10 but I am thinking of offering the pattern for sizes 8, 10, 12, and 14. Well, actually I've already gotten some feedback that call for toddler sizes as well... What do you think? Any preferences? Leave me a comment. Thanks!

And there you have it, my Februrary challenge entry over at the "Project Yarnway" group in Ravelry. The voting will start tomorrow, March 1, and will last for 2 dyas. I hope to see you there and vote for my Winter Skyline Sweater! :)

1 comment:

Scrapnqueen said...

Just found this post from Ravelry. This is a beautiful design--wonderfully original and perfect for boys. I love that the yarn gauge would make it such a quick project. (Well, quick for someone following the pattern, not inventing it!)

Great job!