February 16, 2015

The Joy of Knitting: Japan Sleeves

Every now and again I choose a pattern that once I start knitting I cannot put down.  I don't always know ahead which pattern will create this excitement.  It could be caused by the yarn I am using, the unique construction of the pattern, learning a new technique, or a combination of the above.  I haven't been this excited about a pattern's construction since I knit Hitofude by Hiroko Fukatsu.

The pattern that has me excited is Japan Sleeves by Joji Locatelli, a designer from Argentina, whose patterns I have long admired.  I am using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, a fingering weight yarn, that I have used many times before. 

Molly Ringwald & Teddy Bear
However, it is the colours, a discontinued colour called Teddy Bear, and a very pale pink called Molly Ringwald, that has brought me much joy and the feeling that spring is not very far off (now that is saying something as it is -25 degrees Celsius feeling like -34 degrees Celsius at the moment).  But it is the combination of the yarn colours and the pattern that has my heart singing...the construction is something that I have never done before and I can hardly wait to see what will happen next.

The first part of the pattern are the lace panels on the sleeves. When I started this section I was working on a few other knitted projects at the same time.  I promised myself that I would knit a few rows a day, knitting both panels at once. My lace knitting skills are still something that I am working on, but the beauty with these lace panels is that they are only 25 stitches wide, so errors are easy to find and correct.  The finishing of these lace panels coincided with the end of the other knitted projects I was working on.  Now I can focus all my knitting energy on this sweater.

The real magic occured when I picked up the stitches on the lace panels and cast on some stitches in between, creating the sleeves and the shoulder shaping.  As any good knitter knows, knitting sleeves are something that can become a chore.  If a pattern is knit in pieces some knitters choose to knit the sleeves first to get them over with.  Other knitters like myself can't wait to do the body of the sweater first, and then later regret that decision when the sleeves take forever to complete.  But the beauty of this pattern is you work on both sleeves at the start in a very interesting way.  And if you love your chosen combination of colours as I do, it is so much fun to see the stripes emerge.  The bonus is before you know it the sleeves are done!

The lace panels are part of the sleeves
Knitting a fingering weight sweater is a big time commitment. The key is to pick a pattern that is so much fun to do, keeps you guessing what will come next, and teaches you some new skills.  This pattern fits the bill for me.  Isn't that the beauty of knitting?  There are so many things to learn even if you are an experienced knitter.  If you have not seen this pattern before you must check it out. This is the first time I have knitted a pattern by Joji Locatelli but I can tell you already it won't be my last.  I shall keep you posted about my progress.

Another pattern that this designer has just published in Pom Pom Quarterly, Issue 12:  Spring 2015 is a hat called Vitsippa.  The stranded colourwork pattern is so original... I really have not seen anything like it.  As soon as I get my hands on the pattern I will definitely be knitting it.  Check it out!

What knitting pattern has you excited?

1 comment:

  1. I am still trying to figure out the 'locking' the yarn part when you switch the colors of the yarns. lol