Sunday, March 09, 2008

Gloria/Pinwheel Hybrid

I spent my precious knitting time this week figuring out the construction of Hanne Falkenberg's Gloria, and swatching a kiddie-sized version of my own hybrid of the original I thought was absolutely stunning in Ribbels' window, and the very popular Pinwheel Sweaters for Women and Children by Shelley Mackie which is a free pattern from Elann. (To be honest I was kind of meh about the pinwheel until I saw this version. Wow.)
What I think I know about Gloria:
1. The upper back is not part of the circle. Evidence here.
2. Stitches are cast on, stitches at the bottom of the upper back are picked up, and more stitches are cast on. The resulting large number of stitches are knit back and forth in a texture pattern with increases placed at the armpit region (like on the Sunrise Circle Jacket by Kate Gilbert, available for free on the Knitting Daily Website). Evidence for these conclusions can be found here.
3. I think that the front and back shoulders are seamed together and stitches are picked up in the resulting holes for the sleeves. I also think that somehow stitches are picked up for the collar or the collar is sewn in place.
4. The texture pattern, oh the lovely texture pattern that plays off of differences in the shades in the yarns used. I looked at some swatches here(#1) and here(#2), and some of it is definitely garter stitch with two different colors that are swapped on each row. Like dark is knit on RS and light is knit on WS. There is another texture pattern at play here, as can be seen in swatch #2, but I don't know what it is, and I don't really care either. I think it's used on the collar because it dosen't look so bumpy as the 'wrong side' of garter stitch would. Or the majority of the sweater is knit in this texture except for the upper back. I don't care so much because I figured out enough to modify the pinwheel to my tastes.

All I did was work the pinwheel in garter stitch while alternating colors every row. Easy.
Now some people in internet-land say they prefer Gloria to traditional pinwheel sweaters
because of the better fit. I think that all that's needed to correct this issue is proper sleeve placement. I'm guessing for the kid version, because children grow and the the armholes will eventually be in the right place anyways. But for my version I will swatch and block, and determine armhole distance from my favourite t-shirts, and incorporate minimal ease into the placement.

First up: the yarns:
starting at the top, clockwise, we have Lang Yarns Soft Shetland color 09 (Purple Charcoal), color 08 (Wine) and some grey Frankengarn Naturstrickwolle in a slightly lighter grey than I'm
using for Trud. (I was thinking legwarmers at the time of purchase. Oh well...). Now for a rant about 'standards' for needle sizes. The Soft Shetland recommends a 5.5 mm needle for a yarn that weighs in at 284 yards/100g. This is lighter than worsted weight, using Cascade 220 as a benchmark for a worsted weight yarn (220 yards/100g). What big needles! Now the Frankengarn company recommends 3.5-4 mm needles for their stuff which weighs in at
218 yards/100g. I would call this a worsted weight, what tiny needles! These days I completely disregard manufacturer recommendations when choosing yarn and instead go with yardage/weight. Anyways, I'm completely digressing. I LOVE the Frankengarn, and while the Soft Shetland is pretty to look at and soft in the ball, I find it 'ropey' to knit with. And not so elastic. I hope it softens up with a wash. I figured it would be OK for baby/kid gear because it's a superwash wool.

Anyways, here's how far I've gotten.
I think it looks pretty good, and the interplay of color with garter stitch has given the desired effect. Not to mention that these random yarns I had sitting in the stash look Falkenberg-esque. I eliminated the yarn-over increases, and I didn't like the look of kfb increases on the Lara Pinwheel Jacket (similar pattern, same designer, also free on
so instead I opted for something more invisible: Elizabeth Zimmerman's 'Make 1' described on page 16 of Knitting Workshop. You basically drop a twisted loop of yarn on the needle and just keep on knitting. Easy, fast, not fussy, no gaping holes, no funny twists. And I'm switching the colored wools every 10 rows, but not the grey because I have ~ twice as much gray than the colors combined.

I like it.

Now imagine, as happy as I am with the 'right side' how surprised I was when I flipped the thing over and looked at the 'wrong side'.

Ignore the tails. You can see swirls of color where the increases were made, because they were not picked up from the grey row below. Now I like the 'wrong side' better than the 'right side'!
If I weave in the ends nicely, I'll have something the neither of the model patterns had: 100 %


1 comment:

fiberfanatic said...

I love it! That is great research! I look forward to seeing it grow!