Many little pieces

That Laurie’s guest series continues today…

Me? I’m writing and knitting. Hard to tell where I am with the book (somewhere near the end) and I’m on row 6 of the border on the shawl. There are 5 and today is Wednesday. Perhaps I have an issue. I am comforting myself with this
video, which has been sent to me by about a million knitters. It’s very good. Over to That Laurie.

Stained Glass Sweater – in which still more experimentation with knitting strips occurs

My next foray into strip knitting originated in the sock yarn dyeing I was doing. To see how those sock yarns in graduated colors were dyeing and spun, see The Wool House Presents series. I was piling up these yarns and decided I should take a stab at making a sweater using them, so I turned to strip knitting again, this time to take advantage of the color changes. (I am not alone in being drawn to this kind of knitting which is also advocated by Anna Zilborg in Knitting for Anarchists, I believe).

However, I still wanted SOME texture, and I saw something like what I was thinking of in a Noro sweater that was hanging up as a demo at Halcyon Yarns. I could not find the pattern (store personnel seemed to think it was in Noro 15, but I did not see it there). Also, to be honest, the cables on that sweater were way too bulky for my taste. Back to the stitch dictionaries! I ultimately chose a version of a shores shoe cable. The panels were 22 stitches wide, with the first and stitches slipped to make seaming easy. All the cables were four-stitch crosses, made so that they made a line toward the center of the panel. This stitch pattern is one of my favorites, the Staghorn Cable (Walker Treasury 1; 251):


Basically I cabled my way to the middle while purling every wrong side row and then started one stitch from the edge once the two “streams” met in the middle. The seaming was more extensive this time, but the cables actually helped me line everything up effectively. Again the underarm section took some finagling (I started in the cable pattern and abandoned it as the sleeve narrowed). As you can tell from the picture below, this version used saddle sections – in the same horseshoe pattern. Perhaps the toughest part was lining the saddles to the main sections, because there were no easy cabled guides and the row and stitch gauges were different. I also worked out a cabley edging for the neck, sleeves and bottom so that it looks like a 2 x 2 cable around the bottom as well. Below you can see the blocked sweater before its final seaming.


Because the sweater has a less tightly entangled cable pattern (so the panels are NOT dense) and the sock yarn weight is closer to sportweight than bulky, this sweater is MUCH lighter. It also allows me to display the yarns I dye rather than walk on them until they develop holes! Here is the final product:


Because of the colors and the panels, I call this one my Stained Glass sweater! And next up – the Arches sweater.

85 thoughts on “Many little pieces

  1. OHHHHH MY! It takes my breath away! Fingers itching to get to colors and cables!!! Hummm wonder if I could call in sick to work today?! The idea that it is sock yarn is so nice! I live in a warm area (AZ) and we have a short sweater season…so that would be perfect! Thanks again Laurie! And you look stunning in the sweater, by the way!!!

  2. Amazing!! I don’t think I could ever give up my hand-dyed and spun socks, but I always have a fair bit left over. I had been using a little weave-it to finish it off with the intent of a throw, but now I am having second thoughts!!!!

  3. While I don’t like to see the Harlot suffer so, I love your stints as guest blogger! Thank you so much. When is YOUR book coming out?

  4. Beautiful, Laurie! I love the subtle cabling that highlights the color changes. I agree, the cables in the Noro pattern are too bulky for my taste. (The pattern is in Noro Vol. 17–it’s pattern Y-718.) However, my sister really likes that dense cabling, so I’ve promised to knit her that sweater sometime in the unspecified future . . . .
    I’m looking forward to your post on the Arches sweater!

  5. “Pretty woman, walking down the street, pretty woman, the knid I’d like to meet, pretty woman . . .”
    That song is playing in my head now on continuous loop. Talk about a gorgeous sweater and it fits you so well. I love the idea of using those little bits of sock yarn. 🙂

  6. Beeeeyoootiful. I don’t know what’s more glorious, the yarn (kudos on that), the use of it, or the expert finishing, but it’s a lovely piece of work.
    I’ve been considering doing a modular sweater myself, and now, seeing this, I think I’m gonna have to. Curses. 🙂

  7. Just gorgeous. Please tell the Harlot I was throwing all my good karma up there & figured it must have worked, the next day I had: extra work (at work) no extra pay, 1 sick kid and 1 lost project. Someone got the karma, I just hope a stanger didn’t swipe on its way up there.

  8. The sweater is quite lovely. I find the edge cables add an elegant touch to it. Thank you for your posts and for coming to Stephanie’s help when she needs it.

  9. That is amazing. Not only the sweater construction, which just perfectly sets off the yarn, but the yarn itself! I can only aspire to create something half as beautiful!

  10. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMY!! The sweater is gorgeous, and oh, the colors!! That lovely wine/plum/grape panel down the center front is really calling my name. Do you sell your yarns? ‘Cause I’d buy me some of that in a heartbeat, AND pay the shipping to Germany! 🙂
    Beautiful work. And Steph, breathe deep and count slowly. You’ll make it.

  11. Hey Laurie! Your Stained Glass Sweater is sorta pretty… you know, like the Pacific Ocean is sorta big and Mt. Everest is sorta high. Wow!!!

  12. Steph – row 6 of 50? Dude. If it were Friday, I’d say you have a problem. But since it’s only Wednesday, I’d say you… well… potentially have less of a problem. And really there’s a lot of potential in the two days between now and then.
    One thing I do know is that if you do to your hair what the lady in the video does to her hair before this Family thing you have on Saturday, your mother will not be pleased. Darkly amused, perhaps, but not pleased.
    Laurie – I love how you use words like ‘basically’ and ‘finagling’ to make me think my brain wouldn’t explode if I attempted something like that without written instructions and personal coaching. Don’t worry. I know better.
    It’s such a beautiful sweater.

  13. WOW – that is a goreous sweater – I love your dyed colors! Congrats on a lovely finished garment that will last forever and be admired everywhere.

  14. What a gorgeous sweater!
    Thanks for the blocking picture, it gives me enough of an idea so I could try something like this on my own…

  15. Great sweater!!!! Hey, does Stephanie have a title for her book yet? Did I miss it?

  16. What a gorgeous sweater! You must publish the pattern! I know I would buy it in a minute. Congratulations on such beautiful work.

  17. Whoopee! I didn’t recognize your name Laurie, but the minute I saw your photo I knew who you are. I once saw your photo on a blog I read someplace and your were wearing a sweater you had made that I have always remembered and wondered about. It was gray and had a swirl of pattern around the yoke with the design filled in with your hand spun and dyed yarn….. possibly a Meg Swanson design? Is there a way I can find out more about it?
    Your postings yesterday and today have been wonderful. I can hardly wait for tomorrow and Thursday. Your work is an inspiration.

  18. Lovely! And so inspiring. I’m looking at my basket of assorted handspuns now with new interest. Thank you!!

  19. That is beautiful. I’m particularly drawn to the purple. So pretty. Now, if I didn’t hate the sewing up part so much…

  20. That sweater was really pretty, but I gotta tell you, that video hit a little too close to home!
    I knew I was growing my hair long for a reason!

  21. The sweater is fabulous…and yet another video that my work browser thinks is XXX rated and harmful for children… (considering the fact that my spam filter was letting in e-mails that spelled ‘come’ with a ‘u’ all summer, I find the idea that it won’t let me look up a video on a knitting blog the ult in irony…)

  22. The sweater is stunning and you are very inspiring. Thanks for filing in while the end of the book arrives. Best of luck with the book Stephanie. I hope you don’t tire of writing before the end of it as then you wouldn’t enjoy it anymore. I find I thrive and sometimes am most creative when I’m at the tail end of a deadline and everything seems to be in chaos. Is that sick and twisted? Eat chocolate.

  23. You wrote, “Back to the stitch dictionaries! I ultimately chose a version of a shores shoe cable. ”
    A what?
    Whatever it is, it looks fascinating.

  24. Laurie: thanks for sharing the information about your sweater.
    Harlot: thanks for the link to THE LAST KNIT animated video on You Tube. It was quite amusing; just what I needed today! Good luck finishing your book.

  25. While looking at the sweater and literally groaning with awe and amazement, my husband said, “what?” I turned the monitor toward him and immediately he said, “Oh, pretty sweater!” I said, “Yes, it is beautiful, but my brain is in overload from just reading about how she did this.” I feel that you should put a caveat before showing us your work. Something like, “Kids, don’t try this at home.” Or, “Knitters don’t try this without kids at friends house overnight and a stash of wine somewhere.” You truly are an amazing artist!

  26. OHHHHH, Horse Show Cable!!! I was wondering what stitch dictionary you were using, could not find shores shoe cable any where! Too funny! Oh well, I am now engrossed in checking out nice stitch designs…..see what ya started?! (And thank you for that)…a good inspiration is always the beginning of a new path! Looking forward to your next post Laurie.

  27. Laurie,
    Your sweater is beautiful. Very creative. Thank you for sharing how you put this together. You have a wonderful eye for color.

  28. Ohhhhhhhhhhh… ::stares happily at pretty colors and cables and zones out several minutes::
    So, Laurie…when are *you* going to write a book??
    Stephanie – luck, luck, luck, luck, luck, luck. [g] Er, on top of all that hard work you’re doing, I mean. I figure when you’re down to the wire, one needs all the help one can get!

  29. wow but I guess you hear that alot. So, WOW!!!!!
    I have been fooling around with this dye thing for abouut 2 min. this summer. One day we’ll meet and have a good tongue wag about the dying.(and spinning and knitting).
    P.S. I am proud mom of a turkey roaster dye pot (big)
    It’s amazing how it’s like getting a new box of paints.
    Fun things are happening.

  30. wow but I guess you hear that alot. So, WOW!!!!!
    I have been fooling around with this dye thing for abouut 2 min. this summer. One day we’ll meet and have a good tongue wag about the dying.(and spinning and knitting).
    P.S. I am proud mom of a turkey roaster dye pot (big)
    It’s amazing how it’s like getting a new box of paints.
    Fun things are happening.

  31. Awe-inspiring sweater… but what’s even better it that IT doesn’t wear YOU. That stunning purple stripe highlights your pretty face like the best lipstick on the planet.
    It’s wearable art at its finest. Art without question. And you WEAR that thing, girl!

  32. That is a wonderful sweater. I love the colors and the cable pattern makes it unified. Marvelous! Made me go check out my LYS: Flying Fingers Yarn Shop,( ) which has just moved to a fantastic new space with tons of gorgeous yarns that might be perfect for this kind of thing, and they have a loft/balcony where you can hang out and knit. As close to knitting heaven as you can go!

  33. Purty. Just when I think *I* could design something, I see something like your sweater and think – no, there are others doing much better things; just go with their stuff!

  34. While I applaud your ingenuity and advance planning, and your ambition, I have to disagree with the other posters. I think the final sweater is quite unappealing. The colors are garish and ugly, and it doesn’t fit very well (the sleeves appear about 2″ too short). A nice idea, and lots of careful work, but the final product, to my taste at least (which seems a minority opinion) is very disappointing. Those hand-dyed yarns would be better hidden in your shoes. Sorry.

  35. wow – that sweater makes my fingers tingle with excitement.
    btw…stephanie i am an avid knitter, midwife and msf volunteer (haven’t been asssigned yet) I am going to Tibet in March and am coordinating a baby hat project to make hats to give to midwives and pregnant women. incredible hats have been pouring in. we are even planning a contest. it would be great to get the word out to more folks – any ideas??

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