Remember this yarn?*

I bought it about a year ago at the Farmer’s market in Seattle.

It’s been waiting to become a sweater ever since.

The rainbow colors are the primary reason that I fell in love with the yarn. And they’re also the most difficult part of turning it into a garment that I will wear. I tend to stick with dark colors and earth tones. I love bright flashy clothes, but not on me. I needed to tone it down a bit, so I bought a skein of dark blue to go with it.

I didn’t want the horizontal stripes of colorwork, and I have equal amounts of variegated and base yarn, so I didn’t want to establish just one dominant color, as that’s a sure recipe for running out of yarn.

For several months, I looked at colorwork patterns, but none were quite right. I thought about Kauni sweaters and checker patterns, but they didn’t seem to fit. And then, I ran across Knit One Below by Elise Duvekot.

One simple stitch. Two colors, worked one at a time. Vertical stripes. Perfect!

I’ve had both the yarn and the book for well over 6 months, but I just haven’t gotten around to casting on for the next fingering weight sweater. I brought the yarn to Germany, because I wanted to knit it, and I knew I’d have time.

When I finished the alpaca stole, I pulled out the fingering weight and made a swatch.

Which I love.

The bottom portion is worked on size 4 needles. The colorwork part is knit on size 2’s.

The best way to describe this stitch is that it’s a slip stitch pattern that’s slipped after the fact. You knit every other stitch, and for the ones in between you insert your needle through the legs of the stitch below and knit through the hole formed by the loop. Then you drop both the stitches off of the needle together, effectively making a slipped stitch a row after it’s knit. The color and position of the slipped stitch is alternated every row, creating a vertical effect. I love the way the wrong side looks, too.

The stitch pattern also appears to have canceled out the bias that was starting to show up in the stockinette portion of the swatch. It makes a webbed fabric, so it’s less likely to have horizontal stretching (which has been a problem in the past). In short, I like it a lot.

I’ve been knitting away at the sweater for a couple of weeks now, and it’s starting to get somewhere.

Each stitch that you see in the pattern represents two rows of knitting (since they’re all slipped), so that’s a lot more stitches than it looks like.

It’s also taking more yarn than I’d hoped. I only bought two skeins because they were huge and expensive, but I’m starting to think that I should have bought three. It will be close. I might end up with a vest instead of a sweater, but I’m looking forward to wearing a somewhat-muted rainbow.

*Sorry about the lack of pictures in the linked post. It’s apparently far enough back in the archives that its pictures were broken when we had to change servers. I really do need to go fix those posts someday…