Current knitting adventures

Ignoring the ends I haven’t bothered to weave in, my brioche vest from Interweave Summer 2006 does not make the grade. It has not developed into the amazing summer vest of my dreams like I was hoping for. I think the stretchy brioche fabric is beautiful and I really enjoyed getting into the rhythm of the stitch-pattern with it’s slipped stitches and yarn-overs and cushty texture. I did not enjoy trying to rework rows that had come undone or pick up dropped stitches and it got frogged a few times at the early stages, while I tried to get into the swing of things. Still, a very satisfying and swift knit. I think it’s quite a yarn-hungry stitch?

The organic, indigo-dyed cotton shilasdair yarn from Prick Your Finger is the very stuff of dreams.

Clever subbing, Go Me.

And when I ran out several rows before the end of one piece of the vest, my yarn substitution of a little sugar’n’cream blue mixed with some dark blue merino thread I had in my stash was, I think, pretty successful. But there is no denying the fact that this vest hangs off me like a sack, doing justice neither to me, or to the yarn, or to the beautiful brioche stitch, so it must be frogged and knit into something more shapely. The clue to the garment’s failure is in it’s rectangular shape.

I love the brioche pattern in principle; it looks amazing on the much-tinier-than-me model who wears it in Interweave. But I want to meddle with the construction a little – well actually, quite a lot – so that it works better for me. Here’s my plan: rework the pattern for the bust-shaping so that it is slightly smaller and knit from just below the shoulder-blades to just below the bust flat. Then make some super-nifty decreases and pick up all the stitches in the round. Insert sideways-knit amazing cable, pick up stitches again and knit in the round, stocking stitch, with waist decreases and hip increases, a central cable motif (to echo the lovely defined curves of the biroche stitch) plus some incs and decs to give a handkerchief edge. Then split the piece into two and finish each side with a brioche border.

Like this:

I may have to be patient with this radical rework, since there is still alot of editing to do and I’m also working on this for Rachael’s UFO project.

It is a Gansey that was one of Carolyn Rawlinson’s WIPs when she sadly died. As I understand it, Carolyn was a knitting genius and one of the driving forces behind Woolfest. Her knitting shoes are pretty big to fill and I can’t help feeling that she was more advanced in her knowledge of The Yarn, than I. I lie awake in dread of the steeking that has to happen when I sort out the arms.

I have traced the origins of the pattern and yarn to the philosopher’s wool website.

I dyed the spare yarn very slightly with tea, a gesture which I hope somehow expresses the sharing of said beverage with a person I would very much like to have met in real life. I hope the tea-colouration will subtly mark the borders between where Carolyn’s knitting ends and mine begins, as well as being a sort of respectful libation.

One Response to Current knitting adventures

  1. Liz says:

    Thanks for the audio inspiration for the 12 Monkeys. I’m sure you’ll do fine with the steeking, you’re a much more advanced knitter than you give yourself credit for – witness the plan for reshaping the brioche top above.

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