Sunday, December 03, 2006

The previous record holder.

Remember I said that before the planned Geometric Star Jacket, the most colors I'd used in a project was twelve? Well, here it is: (and oh, dear heavens, do not notice my double chin)

The Stary Night Ruana Thingie. I used twelve shades of Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport, on size four and five (3.5 and 3.75 mm) needles. It took me about five months of knitting, while working on nothing else. (At least, not that I remember.) This was before I'd had The Baby and could actually concentrate on things. Yes, there are three colors in some rows.

The pattern itself is taken straight from "Poems of Color" and is one of the Bohus designs, 'The Large Collar'. (In the book it's done in shades of beige, tan, and brown.) The colors I ripped off from 'Starry Night' by Vincent VanGogh. (I've got a print in my dining room and literally slapped a yarn color card on top of it and ordered the yarns.)

Construction method is seriously weird; I made it up myself and went for simplicity of knitting, not ease of finishing.

I cast on 300+ stitches at the wrist, and knit inward toward the center back, steeking what became the bottom of the jacket. I did two of those, then did a three-needle bindoff down the center of the back to join them together. Then I picked up some center stitches at the cast-on edge at the wrist and knit downward to make the cuffs. The rest of the cast-on stitches at the wrist were joined together in a three-needle bindoff. Then I cut the steeks and picked up stitches all the way up and around the front opening and across the bottom (860 stitches, if I remember correctly) and knit an edging. (Is this making sense?)

Bells, remember when I said it's possible to do seed stitch borders, it's just a pain in the butt? Well, this is the edge that taught me that lesson:

Though I dare say at 860 stitches, anything would have sucked. You can't beat seed stitch for color blending, though. (To make this work, I had literally four square feet of gauge swatches, and it STILL came out a little puckered.)

So, there you go. Proof of insanity.

The real reason the Geometric Star scares me is because it's intarsia. After this project, stranded color never worried me again. After the Geometric Star I'll probably feel the same way about intarsia.


Bells said...

WOW! Amazing job Julie. Definitely looks like a pre-baby kind of project. You are an amazing combination of brave and insane. And I think the seed stitch border is fantastic! Great colours!

April said...

You make insanity so appealing.

Sheepish Annie said...

Pretty, pretty! I'm scared of slightly less complicated ribbing. And stripes. ::sigh::

But I conquered my fear of cables and yarnovers so maybe anything is possible.

FairyGodKnitter said...

I'm nearly speechless. I would try to counter with a picture of a hand embroidered silk gazar wedding gown but you still win. If you can knit that, intarsia will be a cake walk. Even with baby.

Alwen said...


You win.


debsnm said...

The fact that you did I-don't-know-how-many rounds of k1p1 seed stitch on nearly 900 stitches scares the hell out of me! You are seriously crazed.

Bells said...

The other thing I was just thinking about this project is the way you said, 'before I had the baby and I could concentrate' - as opposed to now when you do basic squares in stockinette all the time? Er, no you don't. You do complicated lace doilies and mind blowingly tricky Blue Shimmer sweaters....!

Lynn said...


That's about all I can manage to say.