Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kauni Sweater: part 1: Design

A couple of years ago I purchased enough yarn to knit myself a kauni sweater. I first thought that I would knit the Kauni Rainbow Cardigan (rav link). I loved how the colors work with one another, the pattern is simple and wonderful. However, horizontal stripes don't look particularly flattering on my body, so I put off working on the sweater. I found many more patterns, mainly by Ruth Sorensen that are simply breathtakingly beautiful, but I just couldn't settle down to just one design. Then I saw Joan Schrouder's kauni sweater (rav link) and I was intrigued. I messaged her on Ravelry since she didn't have the pattern in her project inventory. I wanted to know where she had found the pattern. She said she had designed the pattern herself, but the colorwork pattern came from a discontinued Alice Starmore book. Well that was a dead end, since Starmore books run around $200 on ebay, which is a little too much for me to spend.

However, Joan encouraged me to try sketching out patterns on my own. She said the important thing with the kauni is the pattern should be balanced with equal amounts of background and foreground stitches. That way there will never be a spot where two colors meet in the pattern. With an unbalanced pattern one of the colors will be "eaten up" faster than the other meaning that eventually two colors would be on top of one another and the pattern wouldn't show through. It also means that there is the possibility of running out of one yarn or the other before the sweater is finished. Two things I definitely want to avoid.

So I sat down with my sketch book of graph paper and tried out several different patterns. I searched through several of my books for inspiration. My original idea for my own pattern was to knit something that looked like lattice work. I kept thinking it would look really good in the kauni yarn. Besides diagonal lines in fashion are supposed to make a person look thinner and taller, which who could argue with that? I sketched out about 4 different ideas and then took 2 more from my Sensational Knitted Socks book. The one above is one of my favorites. It is based off of a rosepath weaving structure. As you can see it has an equal amount of background and foreground stitches. As in there are 40 background stitches and 40 foreground stitches.

You can see my current progress in my Ravelry Notebook.

Next time: Swatching

No comments: