Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reverse Engineering

A year ago I bought the Youngest a blue cabled sweater at a children's consignment sale.  He wore it a couple of times, but it wasn't his favorite and it wasn't the real reason that I purchased it anyway.  The sole reason that I got the sweater was for the really cool cable that covered the sweater.  That little sweater had been living in a drawer until a couple of days ago.

I had an idea for a sweater that I wanted to design and the cable would be perfect for it.  The problem that I had was that I had no idea how to do the cable.  So last night I got started with reverse engineering it.  The cable was actually not as hard as I expected it to be.  From the front, the one that I came up with looked identical to my example.  But from the back?  Nope.  So I tried again.

This time, I got it right.  Here's the back:

See the two knit columns that are going up the back?   The swatch hasn't yet been blocked, so it's curving more that I'd like, but I'll fix it later.  The vertical lines are what I was trying to achieve.  Hopefully it will help the structural integrity of the piece and help keep the fabric from going all wonky and out of proportion to the rest of the piece.

Now here's my swatch from the front:

Isn't that a cool looking cable?  Notice the oval within an oval.  Around the base of the smaller oval are two smaller cables.  I love it.

Once I figured out how to make it, I started trying to find ways to make it simpler.  Ya know what?  I tried three different variations that all looked the same, but I kept coming back over and over to the first one that I tried.   When I do cabling, I don't use a cable needle (thanks to an Annie Modesitt class), but if I'm going to write this pattern up, I'm going to have to write it up for those that do use the needles.  That's not the problem.  The real issue is that this cable is going to require the knitter to use two cable needles.

I found two ways of not doing this, but I couldn't get the stitch on the back to run vertically up and down the piece and I think it's going to be too important to the sweater to leave it out.  What a pain. This would have been a lot easier if someone had just written this out for me, ya know. 

That being said, I'm really proud of how it looks and of figuring it out on my own.