Saturday, November 17, 2007

So much to knit, so little time!

I went to Berlin last weekend and finished up Klaralund just in time for the trip; good thing too because it was FREEZING! Snow and hail and rain all at the same time. Yuck! But I love going to Berlin, so a little bad weather won't slow me down too much. I just wish I'd packed smarter. Anyways here's the pics and details.
And for the modelled shot:
It looks saggy in this shot because I'm slouching. It really fits me quite well, and is very cosy and warm. I'm not a big fan of wearing pullovers, but I really like wearing this one.

Pattern: Klaralund from Noro - Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Collection Book Number 2.

Yarn: Noro Kureyon 157 E, with balls swapped every second row except for the extended garter stitch pattern at the shoulders. I figured that part would look nicer if each flat bit plus ridge was a different color instead of striping within the pattern, so I swapped every 4 rows there (the pattern repeat is 4 rows).

Modifications: I added 1 inch of waist shaping on each side. I was also a bit hesitant about making the sweater because it tends to pull up at the neckline and look funny at the boob area. The last thing I want is to look like I have weird boobs. Check out the book's photo of this sweater on a fairly flat-chested young girl. Also google the pattern, you'll see many examples of this on other people with different figure types. My solution: I increased 1 inch on each side of the sleeve over the last 4 repeats of the extended garter stitch pattern. (The body is essentially a boob-tube and the sleeves are sewn into the top for shoulder coverage, giving the V-neck shaping, if you can't guess at the construction by the laying-on-the-bed photo). How did I come up with 1 inch each side? I put on the boob-tube and pinned it to my t-shirt at half-way over the boobs (this is where I figured the piece would lie from looking at many photos). Then I had my husband measure the length from back to front just over the shoulder (where there is not so much boob) and from half-way between my shoulder and spine (where there is more boob). With ease, I figured an inch would do the trick. I think it worked out pretty well, but each person should calculate this for themselves. Some people did not have this problem with this sweater, it could also depend on the broadness of one's shoulders.

Anyways, I'm very happy with the result! Yay! So what did I see in Berlin? Many shops, got my hair cut, many artsy cafes, and I went to an art gallery that was not so close to the city centre that has a large collection of pieces from 1400 to 1800 (or so, I lost the brochure). I was surprised at how well preserved the older pieces were, some of them managed to preserve the extremely bright colors of the paints. I mainly went to troll for costume ideas to augment my middle-ages dresses. There were very many religious paintings, but a few of relatively mundane situations. Here's the original photo I took of an inspirational piece from about 145o, roughly the late middle ages.
I know it's very blurry, but the lighting levels in art galleries are far from ideal for inexpert photographers and of course flash photography is forbidden. So do you see what I see? It's a capelet! This is what I came up with after some intensive photoshopping...
It's a textured capelet! I can make this... if you look closely it's a diamond and bobbles pattern, which I have in my harmony guide for aran knitting. And the edging? Hard to tell, but I think I could use seed stitch and get away with it. And I believe that there is a ribbon threaded though the edging and used as a fastener... I'll have to think about that because a worsted-weight capelet will be a bit heavy to be held shut by a ribbon-tie. I'd also like the capelet to be a bit longer than the one in the painting, but I'll have to see what I can get away with, with the 700-or so yards of gorgeous handspun blue aran weight wool yarn I bought in Berlin. Do I think the original garment in the painting was knitted? Before enhancement I thought the garment was made from a brocade fabric, but with enhancement I think it could have been knitted based on the shadows around the texture work. Who knows, I'm no expert. As long as it'll make it past the door-guy at the next festival, I'm happy. If only I had the CSI 'get-something-from-nothing' filter ;). I'll probably cast on after Christmas.

On the list of things to knit now: 1). The original design sweater which is being very naughty. I have to rip back many rows and rework the neckline. Boo! 2). Trud from Elsebeth Lavold Viking Knits Collection Volume 1 . Incentive: It's mostly reverse stockinette. If done as instructed (with seaming, yuck), it should be a reasonable fast knit once I get past the peplum. And I bought the yarn at the Easter Market, if I need more, I'll need to get it from the Market Yarn Lady who will be back for the Christmas Market. Disincentives: I'll need to do some serious math to make sure everything is in the right place. And I'll need to dig up my pre and post blocked swatch information. Still, I'm in the mood for it. I think I'll go do that now!