Utilizing a quiet day during lockdown, I am catching up on writing about a project completed a few months, ago. When I received my Vogue Knitting Holiday, 2019 and excitedly turned the pages to see the new designs, which has been a total thrill for me for over 40 years, I turned to this, #07 called Parallelogram designed by Laura Zukaite.
Under my breath I said, you’ve got to be kidding. Argyle? Didn’t I knit argyle 30 years, ago? Continuing turning the pages, the argyle stayed with me. I’ve been in conversation many a time with knitters talking on how we choose the projects we choose. I have noticed that one technique I consider is if the garment is memorable. I very much liked the modern twist of the cropped length and the way the diagonal lines of the argyle finished around the shoulders. Upon further noticing, I realized I had the perfect yarn in my scrap stash. (I’ve talked extensively about stash here and again, here as examples. Another word I use is remnants.) The grey is a workhorse yarn, a classic wool from Patons that actually was a hand me down yarn from another knitter. I figured the other colors simply had to be of the same weight.
Have you noticed the variety of techniques designers use of knitting fabric, then adding embellishment over that fabric? Appliqué, perhaps? Such is the case in this beauty I knitted many years, ago by Norah Gaughan, from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 1994. Oh, how I wished I either still had this or had taken a photo of me in it.
Recently, I saw this exquisite number by Alexandra Davidoff from VK Spring/Summer 2019 working cross stitch with an embroidery needle after knitting a grid-type fabric and yes, it is now in my queue.
Plaids are often created by knitting horizontal striped fabric, then adding the vertical lines of a plaid in duplicate stitch, again with an embroidery needle. My argyle came to life in exactly this way. First, the diamonds of the pattern using bobbins were knitted.
A tip on the usage of those bobbins: shaking or simply holding up the knitted fabric after a row allows the bobbins to dangle freely and they literally spin untangling themselves.
And, then the diagonal lines were applied over the stitches. Tips on duplicate stitch:
- Use your thumb to guide yarn over stitch for fullest coverage.
- Keep the work loose. When you pull tight, the yarn sinks in and the coverage is minimal (ugly).
- Work from the bottom and go up.
- Focus on not splitting yarns.
- Keep slow.
- Weave in ends, sew the sweater together.
This is a design that has a center that is to fit within the top and bottom of the garment. To assure that this would happen in my sweater, I paid particular attention to row gauge. See that little blue marker?
To center the argyle pattern, I had to add an inch below and above what the pattern stated. I only knew to do this because I knew my row gauge and the length I needed this to be. If I had not done this, my sweater would have been 2 inches too short.
Other than that, this project was clear sailing and is easy to wear. The photo shoot was in the neighborhood about 1 1/2 months, ago.