10 November 2008

Do You, Yarn, Take This Pattern...?

So I started knitting up this yummy Zoe sock yarn (ravelry link). While discussing it with DBF (a definite muggle), I had a mini-revelation. I held up this swatch to him and complained, "I love the color, but I can't see the pattern for the colors."

He said, "I see the pattern. The colors are secondary."

DBF, for as wonderful as he is, is not a color person. I, with my freakish color sensitivity, am. This solved a question for me. There were times that I saw beautifully knitted shawls, in gorgeous colorways, but I couldn't see the pattern at first because the color shifts leapt out at me first. I couldn't understand why the knitter chose that yarn for the shawl, when it wasn't (to me) a good match. After DBF's comment above, I realized that maybe to the person who knitted it, the color and pattern and everything worked together perfectly.

Well, that hadn't happened for me with this yarn... at least, it hasn't happened yet.

But I've seen it in another's project! Laura K knit a pair of socks using Zoe Sock in the same colorway, Acadia. They are a perfect marriage of yarn and pattern (link to her Ravelry project page).

Laura's Acadia Socks
Socks knitted with Shalimar Yarns
Zoe Sock, colorway "Acadia"
on US 1.5 / 2.5mm

And I wanted to create something like that -- where the yarn worked with the pattern, and the pattern worked with the yarn. I did not want one fighting for dominance over the other. It occurred to me that the finest projects often take the yarn and show it off to its best advantage.

With that in mind, I dove down into my stash and started rummaging. I pulled out four skeins of Noro Silk Garden, color 47. One ball of this I had frogged from an enthusiastic attempt at an entrelac pillow cover, conceived without regard to whether I'd actually want either said pillow cover or anything in those colors. In another Rubbermaid container, I found three balls of Adrienne Vittadini Donata (70% alpaca, 30% acrylic) in brown, smushed together with several balls of brown Jaeger Fur. The latter is possibly one of the most expensive fun-fur style yarns ever. I purchased it while in the throes of knitting and fulling stuffed toy hedgehogs. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. But let's leave the Fur for now...

The Silk Garden and the Donata looked pretty good together (no, really, they do)... and using both of them, I might actually have enough to knit a cardigan. I did a Ravelry search for cardigans using Silk Garden. The first to come up was Laura Chau's Top-Down Raglan Cardigan. I read the pattern; I estimated yarn amounts; I printed out the pattern and cast on.

Pictures coming soon.

While I was browsing Laura Chau's site, I also saw the simple yet effective shawl. This is knit using fingering weight/sock yarn. It may the the solution for the Zoe Sock... stay tuned.

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