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Archive for August 13th, 2008

Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance…

Samuel Johnson

The Works of Samuel Johnson

The composition of the knitted baby sweater rolls forward slow and steady.  I spent most of last night swatching various edgings not liking any of them. The one thought I kept comming back to after each swatch was that this yarn is beautiful enough to stand on its own without a lot of fancy stitch work. In fact, fancy stitch work seems to mar its beauty.

In the meantime, I am awaiting the arrival of the second volume of Barbara Walker’s stitch compendium in which edgings are covered. I hope to have it in hand before the end of this week. (A week that has been and continues to be the week from hell.)

I have found some edgings of interest.

ruffle edge

ruffle edge

I like the way the yarn itself doesn’t get lost in the ruffle design.  I think I may swatch this one tonight.

This one is an interesting way of introducing a second complementary color into the sweater design. A band just above the hem, repeated on the sleeves. Whatever I do on the hem of the sweater will be repeated on the cuff of the sleeves so it has to look appropriate in both places.

The two hems above will each impart a distinct “feel” to the sweater. And so the decision on the hem impacts the whole way the sweater will go. The ruffle is more feminine in “feel”; the complementary color block hem “feels” more modern, geometric, bolder. The type of hem design I choose will affect the rest of the sweater design.

I did manage to nail down the sizes for a baby 6 to 12 months old. I worked up a rough schematic of sorts.

In the schematic are the size of things. My yarn, the needles and the gauge in stockinette stitch are all noted. The question mark refers to the hem area and how wide it will be. Once I settle on the hem design I can firm up the body number.

The majority of the sweater will be knit in stockinette stitch…..I think. Depending on the hem I use I may or may not insert a small lace panel near the neckline.

The mantra I keep repeating to myself is “Simple. Elegant.” That’s the feeling I’d like the sweater to achieve. Frankly, the ruffle edge does not seem to fit that mantra. When I think “Simple Elegant” I envision clean lines, understated design elements that all come together in a timeless fashion.

Yes, composition is “slow diligence and steady perseverance.”

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