And now for something new

You know how sometimes, you just have to cast on something new? I really wanted to finish Doug’s vest before starting a new project, but it’s been sitting in the naughty corner since I realised my gauge had changed (argh!), and I had this new project ready to go.

Some months ago, Josée Paquin put up a photo of her prototype for a new design. She was looking for test knitters. I decided right then that I needed to make this sweater once the pattern was released. It is called Dyemonds (Ravelry link here):

© Josée Paquin

I loved it so much that I even ordered yarn for it. It uses Spincycle Dyed in the Wool, which seems to be on everyone’s needles at the moment. Right after seeing the above photo, I got an email from a local yarn store saying they just had a big delivery of Spincycle, and I realised that the colour called Devilish Grin was pretty cool. So I ordered it and put it away.

The example in the pattern photo was knit with two different shades of Spincycle, but I decided from the beginning to use a single-shade background colour in a cheaper yarn. This was partly due to the way I envisioned it looking, and partly to save some money. Hey, we are all on a budget this year, and I’m all for not blowing the whole budget on one sweater!

I spent some weeks thinking about what colour to use as the background – grey, green, purple, yellow – and also what type of yarn. It calls for sportweight and I wanted a nice bouncy wool with a good feel and a reasonable price tag. Last week, I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with this thought: “I have 5 skeins of Quince & Co Chickadee in black in my stash!” And there you go Problem solved. Because the Chickadee has been in my stash since 2017, I can even count it as free (using Kelly’s Fantastical Accounting Principles). Yay me!

I cast on and was hooked right away. The pattern is genius! It is knit top-down with no steeking. It has some short rows at the top and those are very tricky. The point of the short rows is to make the back neck sit higher than the front, and those short rows are knitted back and forth, which takes some concentration when knitting in pattern.

Here you can see the start of the sweater, and you can see that the back is raised higher than the front. I like this photo because you can get a glimpse of the reverse side as well.

Below is a photo of the shoulder and the top of the raglan shapings. See how cleverly the increases on either side of the raglan are incorporated into the pattern? Oh, the genius of it gives me a shiver. It’s such a smart design.

Having the black for a background colour does take some of the zing out of the Devilish Grin. I am torn between wanting it more zingy (like maybe with a white background or a good strong yellow), and really adoring knitting something in black. Like many knitters of an (ahem) advancing age, I rarely knit with black because it’s hard on the eyes. But I like wearing it, and I think this is going to be a lovely finished project. It’s very hard to photograph as it changes quite a bit depending on the light. Here is an outside shot:

It’s a super interesting and fun knit, and I have zipped along on it. I can’t take any more photos at the moment because it is dark and gloomy here, but here is a shot from two nights ago. I put it on a long, spare needle so I could stretch it out for a photo.

Knitting with a yarn that changes colours like this, you want to keep knitting one more row just to see what happens next. But I am determined to be good. I am putting it away for the weekend, and am going to tackle the vest. Have a good weekend, everyone!

13 thoughts on “And now for something new

  1. Agree – love your colour choices. And although black isn’t great for winter, shades of red and orange are great on gloomy days. (Yes, we all call stash yarn “free”!)

  2. I agree with everyone else. I don’t think the spincycle would look anywhere near as beautiful against any other colour – and specifically yellow I think wouldn’t have that great a contrast tbh.

  3. Your fantastic accounting principles are great! I am adopting them from now on!
    Also, I would have thought the black would be too harsh but as everyone else, I agree, it makes the reds shine, like some kind of stained glass. I think it must be about the proportions of reds vs blacks. Lovely!

  4. Hi everyone. I really appreciate your comments about the choice of black for the background. I keep wavering about whether I love the result, or am kind of unhappy with certain aspects of the Spincycle colour changes (having to do with the way two colours are plied together for a marled effect). Some of this wavering may come from the light – I do most of my knitting in the evenings, so am not seeing it in the best light. I like the idea that it is like a stained glass window. I am fairly positive that it will be a striking finished piece.

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