Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shifting Gears

As I suspected, many of you find knitting to be both a left- and right-brain pursuit, which is just one of the reasons so many of us love this hobby so much. I liked Nicole's theory that we are most happy when both sides are in balance. This makes a lot of sense to me since I believe that being in balance is the ideal goal to strive for in all aspects of life.

I've noticed that the nice weather has made my right-brain more active. After finishing up those Sailor's Rib socks, I came up with an idea for Maia's handspun. This beautiful yarn had quite an attitude problem and didn't like any of the ideas I came up for it. I'd already ripped it twice, and it sulked in my yarn basket for quite some time. Then I found the right stitch pattern and the right needle size and we were off to the races together!

I've decided to make a lacy version of a fisherman's scarf. The stitch is called twisted brioche stitch and it makes a lovely fabric with this yarn. The fabric is light and squooshy with a really good drape. Love it! Here's a close up:

I've also been working on my oldest UFO ever, Ford, or as I think of it, the Rainbow Lopi Fair Isle. It's amazing how odd hours of knitting, snatched here and there, accumulate:

Of course, I decided to put some steeks in for the arm holes and was quite prepared to do the same with the neck, when my knitting came to a screeching halt by a decidedly left-brain problem. How do I decrease the neck? The pattern calls for putting 17 sts on a holder, and then casting off 3 sts on the neck edge once, 2 sts once and then 1 st three times. It's those first three stitches that has me perplexed. Now I think I understand why so many Fair Isle designs have v-necks.

Here are the ideas I've come up with:
  • v-neck; tried and true, but doesn't seem to fit with this drop-shouldered design
  • knit back and forth; it's only for a couple of inches, I can suck it up
  • try a placket neck; that fits with the idea of an outdoorsy sweater like this, but I've never done one before. (Like that would stop me.)
So, dear readers, my most excellent knit pals, what do you suggest? What would you do?

This project has been through a lot and I don't want to abandon it again. It sat in the closet for 3-years, stuffed in a basket. It moved with us from one side of the city to the other. And it has grown in spite of only getting the most sparse knitting time. I just can't knit it in front of the TV or in company because of the syncopated pattern. Help me rescue this poor thing. Because in spite of the barfing rainbows, it is really pretty.


  1. Suck it up and knit back and forth OR if you want a crew neck, do your own with a steek! That's what I did with the Dale sweaters.

    Those colours are growing on me!

  2. See, told you it was pretty. I loved it right away. Knit away and I am taking notes as we speak, so I know what to do when I get to this part. I'm still waiting for pattern and yarn likewise. Can't wait to start. Drool.

  3. I think this works, although I haven't tried it. First round, cast off 6 stitches for the neck. Next round, cast off the next two stitches for the left side of the neck, cast on some steek stitches, take a piece of scrap yarn and cast off the next two stitches for the other side, continue the round with the main yarn. Next rounds, decrease towards the steek as usual. This will leave you with weird looking gaps at the bottom of the steek, but they will go away once you cut and secure the flaps.

    The sweater looks beautiful.

  4. love the colors!

    looks awfully fuzzy....

    We use Brain Gym because it helps use use both sides of our brain together.

  5. Hullo - why didn't you show me this last night?! Barfing rainbow or not, I think it's really nice.

    I think V-necks are far more flattering, but that's just me. Why not have a "model try it on for you and see what it "calls" for?

  6. Where did you find the pattern for the Ford Lopi Sweater. It is GORGEOUS!