Sunday, November 22, 2009
Nihon Vogue Year Two Project-Aran
Another classic design. An aran sweater with saddle shoulders.
This was something I was really excited about. I hunted and hunted for traditional aran yarn(3-ply). I was going to use some of my Rowan Magpie but I wasn unsure if I had enough yardage. Since this yarn is not easy to find, I opted to find something that was readily available.
I settled on Wendy Traditional Aran. I knit this on a 4.00 mm.
The wonderful thing about this design was learning a way to do the saddle so it stays centered on your sleeve as you wear it. If you knit saddles in the "traditional" way, both sleeves are knit identically.
With Nihon Vogue, the two sleeves are just ever so slightly different. What do I mean?
When you draw/design your sleeve, your saddle is not centered identically. For example, my saddle was 7 centemeters. I positioned my saddle so that 4cm of the saddle was going to the front of my sleeve and 3cm was going to the back of the sleeve. The difference in actual stitches was only 2 stitches but the difference in how the garment lays when worn makes all the difference.
I used many traditional aran stitch patterns. For instance, the honeycomb used on the front was only using 3/4 of a full stitch pattern so that I could fit the patterns I wanted in the real estate I had available(my body measurements).
I used a Beth Brown Reinsel design/pattern stitch for the button bands, lower band and neck band. The way the buttonhole side of the XO patterns is knit, is it incorporates a buttonhole without altering the look of the stitch pattern. Brilliant.
Here are other details of the sweater:
As you can see on the back, for the honeycomb I only used 1/2 a usual repeat so I could fit the design elements I wanted, within that real estate. Although the two honecomb pattern is slightly different on the front and back, it is an okay design element(in my opinion) because they are separated by the saddle. This gives more design freedom between the front and back pieces.
This was a very time consuming project but well worth the results.
I must say, my year two projects have been designs I really am proud to wear. Things I designed and knit in year one...well there is only one that I really like. Now that I have such a strong foundation of skills and design practice, I am more satisfied with the end result of my designs this year.
Even though I am not yet done with year two, I look forward to year 3 and 4. That is when the real design work happens. I feel confident about it because Jean has given me such a strong foundation.