Some design ideas get stuck in your head, like a song, and you just can’t get them out. You just keep rolling the idea around and around, over and over, plotting the details, exploring the possibilities. Small repeat colourwork patterns on an all-over sweater have been my year (or more) long obsession!
How do I get these ideas out? First I tried the ‘just knit it out’ method, casting on the idea I’m obsessing about. This method has resulted in the Antler sweater, the Boardwalk cardigan, the POP blanket, and the Snap hat… so all things considered, it’s not a bad way to go. But no matter how much I try to knit this out of my system, I’m still completely obsessed with small repeat colourwork patterns! I want to continue to play with them, trying different colour combinations and stitch patterns.
First I knit Hunter this green sweater. I made it in Tanis Fiber Arts purewash DK in ‘spruce’ and ‘spearmint’, a combination I love. It was a great way to work out the decreases for our Strange Brew recipe pattern while we were in the design phase, and a way to try out many motifs in just two colours.
My next step was to rainbow-ize the idea! For our 2018 Strange Brew KAL I knit up this wild rainbow for Bodhi (from my wild stash of Tanis), testing out even more patterns, different tonal colour combinations, and different combinations of smaller and larger patterns.
Finally I had tested the idea enough and I cast on for the Cartography sweater. It is the culmination of all of my experimentation. I used Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in a fiery red and teal-ish blue on a background of simple white (actual colours are Firebrush, Dorado, Rainier, and Hammock). I alternated the two contrast colours and added a bit of interest by using a lighter blue for the centre round or rounds of the larger motifs.
Now, once I finished up this sample I realized I STILL wasn’t done, so I knit one up for Jones as well. I used Dorado, Rainier, and Tincture. I could just knit this sweater over and over. It looks impressive, it’s interesting to knit, but it’s not particularly difficult. There are plain rounds between the colourwork and the sweater construction is top-down and dead simple. It’s definitely on my personal sweater wardrobe list!
Pattern: Cartography from Strange Brew
Yarn: DK weight yarn
MC: 275 (325, 375, 450, 525, 600, 675, 725, 800, 875, 900, 975, 1025, 1100, 1175, 1250, 1400, 1500, 900, 1050, 1125, 1200, 1350, 1425, 1575) yards
CC: 175 (200, 225, 275, 300, 375, 400, 425, 475, 525, 550, 600, 625, 650, 700, 750, 850, 900, 550, 650, 675, 725, 825, 850, 950) yards
Needles: US #3 / 3.25mm & US #6 / 4mm (or as required to meet gauge)
Gauge: 22 sts & 26rounds / 4” in stranded colourwork using larger needles
I think this photo-shoot in Reykjavik was my favourite of the whole Icelandic journey. These two were in a fine mood, enjoying their pastries and posing like pros. They were having so much fun being silly too, it just fills my heart.