Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Entrelac progress

After *months* of idleness earlier with the Spring Bouquet yarn while I waited for the right pattern to come along, I am now making rapid progress on the entrelac turtleneck. Woohoo!!

The entrelac pattern is easy to knit and goes very fast. Before casting on, I arranged the 9 wound skeins in the order that I thought would produce the best blend of colors, and then placed them in individual ziplock bags with a number for each one to mark the sequence. All the little bags then went into one great big bag, in numerical order where they're easy to see & locate at need. Each skein does one "row" (or band) of the entrelac. That simple scheme has worked out remarkably well. It's sort of like painting by numbers and takes ALL the anxiety out of the process of deciding which skein to use at any given moment. That's important, because the main reason I was so hesitant before to jump in & start knitting right away is that I had scared myself into imagining a scenario where I would have to switch off between skeins at odd moments, without any system to guide me. Now I'm wondering what the big deal was.

Meanwhile I decided to knit the front and the back in tandem rather than first one and then the other, because that way I can complete each skein's contribution to both of them before switching to the next skein, and keep an eye on the evolving color arrangement as I go along. I'll do the sleeves together in the same manner, once I have both the front & back done and can decide how best to arrange the colors for the sleeves to coordinate with the body. The front & back pieces are interchangeable until the last inch, when the front has shaping for the neck (& the back doesn't), so although I like to think of the first piece that I cast on as the "back" and the other one as the "front" for purposes of telling them apart and keeping them distinct in my mind, I will wait & see how they develop & eventually pick one for the front, based on what colors I want near my face.

Here they are now, with the "back" on the left and the "front" on the right. I've just finished the fifth row of the entrelac. Click on either image to see a larger view.

The patchwork effect of the entrelac masks the transitions between the skeins almost completely, exactly as I had hoped. Indeed I am amazed with how smooth & harmonious the whole thing looks, given how different the skeins themselves appear when you place them side by side. Here is a closeup of the front, showing off the subtle blend of colors. I'm going to have a HAPPY warm sweater in time for the winter weather. >grin<

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