Sunday, August 10, 2008

Training for the Tango Sweater Challenge-Part 1

While waiting for the yarn for my 2006 Olympic sweater event to arrive from Australia, I spent some time swatching with the two sole remaining balls of Jo Sharp Soho Summer in Carmen red that remained here in the United States.  It was a summer weight cotton so it was no surprise that it wasn't still hanging around in inventory during the winter.

I had already made one swatch before ordering the yarn and knew that it would be a stretch for me to knit this pattern.  An additional challenge would be the fact that the Soho Summer yarn knit up at a tighter gauge than the Vittadini yarn for which the pattern was written. To compensate for the difference, I had already calculated which larger pattern size needed to be made in order to come up with a sweater that would fit me when knit up in a tighter gauge. The yardage difference of the balls of Soho Summer compared to the Vittadini yarn had also been factored in the amount ordered. If the ten balls arriving from Australia were not enough, the lace ruffle could surely be made out of the two balls on hand, even if the dye lots were a little different. Right?

During swatching, it soon became apparent that although the pattern for the Adrienne Vittadini sweater named Dianna is technically correct, it was clearly not developed with customer service or ease of use in mind.  Beyond that, the single page of skimpy instructions would never be adequate for an intermediate knitter to follow while watching the Olympics.  I could hardly follow them straight up, let alone while watching Belvin and Agusto dance their flamenco on ice.

I'd need a chart. There was no chart!  

Oh sure, there was a schematic showing the finished length of everything, but there was no chart of the knitting pattern.  To make matters worse, the instructions said mind boggling things like this description of the waist shaping on the left front:
K1, M1, work in Lattice St to last st, M1, K1. Keeping 1 st each side in St st for sel, and working incs into pat when possible, rep inc at beg of RS rows every 8th row 5 times more AND AT THE SAME TIME, at the end of RS rows (Front edge) rep inc every 4th row 5 times (7-5) times more.
For the right front guess what it said: work as for left front, reversing all shaping. Grrrrr!

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