Sun 11 Sep 2016
I’ve been knitting along on the body of the O-wool sweater, happily inching along on those tiny, tiny stitches. I’m almost to the arm split now, getting ready to almost double my stitches and begin the colorwork yoke. As I’ve gotten closer, a wee small voice in the back of my brain has been shouting ever more insistently that these are not the right colors.
I bought this yarn at Rhinebeck two years ago, and started thinking about how to knit it up right away. It took a few months to get started, but in January of 2015 I did some swatching, trying to figure out the design. (The photo of the skeins at the beginning of that post is a little more true to the actual color; we’re having a gray week, and these colors were the best I could get for today.)
I don’t think I ever posted a photo of the colorwork swatch; there was something about it that just wasn’t working. I thought it was just the patterns that I was playing with, and hoped that with time I’d find something that worked. But I couldn’t quite work it out, and the sweater languished for another year and a half as a result.
And then, this summer I needed an infinite project small enough to take on the bus. I decided to just cast on and get started, without worrying about the colorwork. I had enough time to figure it out before I got there, and it would be easier to make up once I got started. I picked a bottom-up yoke construction to give me the whole body to think, and have been knitting merrily along.
Except that now I’m about to split for the sleeves, and suddenly I need a plan. The closer I’ve gotten to needing that plan, the more sure I’ve been that the two blue skeins just don’t work with the purple, green, and brown in the way that I wanted them to. They’re really, really close to amazing in some lights, and in others they just don’t work at all. I’ve been fighting it for weeks, trying to convince myself that it would be fine, but this week I broke down and went shopping for more colors.
I added a darker green (Fowler’s toad), an almost-yellow (Paw paw), an offwhite yellow (Trillium), and a beige skein (Cattail) to my collection. It was the bright green (Arrowgrass) yarn that I first built the project around, and I really love how the dark green backs it up. I was surprised that I was attracted to the yellow, and thought at first that it might be too much, but I think it will add a nice bit of pop along with the other colors. I was thrilled to have the option of mini skeins for a few of the colors; I hardly need 400 yards of a minor accent color, and it was really nice to be able to add a few more colors for a little less cost.
Between the mini skeins and a sale on a couple of the colors, I was also able to add in a few more backups that may or may not find their way into this project. I got a mini skein of a light teal (Boreal Bluet), and full skeins of an orange (Salamander) and a dark teal (Devil’s Pool), which I love.
I really like how the fabric is knitting up, and these colorways really speak to me. I would definitely consider a full sweater in Salamander, Devil’s Pool, Fowler’s Toad, or the dark brown (Black Bear) that I had from the first purchase, so I imagine that there will likely be a lot more O-Wool in my future, provided that the yarn wears well.
I still have no idea what I’m going to do with the colorwork, but I certainly have some fun options to choose from, and I’m feeling much better about the entire project now that I’ve resolved to change the colors up a bit. I am trying to decide whether to come up with a plan before I get started, or whether to just dive right in. I do like feeling my way along in a project sometimes, but at about 700 stitches a round (in the widest part of the yoked section), ripping back will be painful if I don’t like how it comes out. Still dithering on that one, but at least I have a few more rounds to figure it out…