Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Tango Sweater

How about those opening ceremonies last night? Wow! How can any subsequent host country ever top the spectacular show put on by China? Will they even try?

The opening ceremonies definitely put me in the mood to undertake something spectacular for the 2008 Summer Olympic Knitting Trials, but this Olympic season finds me swamped! So I've chosen to work on finishing products for the upcoming opening of my online store, and since I did not have a blog going back then, I decided to write now about my previous sweater knitting event from the 2006 Winter Olympic games.

In 2006 I had been fantasizing about having the time to really focus on getting good at Argentine tango but didn't really have that kind of time; however, I did have time to dream about the perfect sweater to wear to a tango ball. Here in Portland there's an annual February event called ValenTango and folks come from all over the world to attend workshops and dances. The Saturday night ball is a time to dress up. I imagined a gorgeous lace sweater in the perfect Spanish red.

The challenge was that without much experience with lace I had not found a sweater pattern that was compelling enough to make me want to try knitting it--until this pattern came along, that is.

This sweater demanded to be coveted! That gorgeous diamond lattice motif, the subtle bolero shaping in front, and that ruffle! Oh, my Precious! (AKA Dianna, Lace and Ruffle Cardigan)

Dianna was designed to be knit from a lovely cotton with the Adrienne Vittadini label. Trouble was, it didn't come in that perfect Spanish red and it didn't come in any color close. A furious search for the color in local yarn stores yielded only one possibility, Soho Summer cotton yarn by Jo Sharp in the color she calls "Carmen".

So when Stephanie Pearl-McPhee got us all riled up about undertaking a grand challenge of Olympic proportions back in 2006, there was no question but that Dianna would be fashioned in Carmen red by my own inexperienced lace knitting hands. The trouble was, only two of the needed balls of yarn were in town and none were to be found online in the states and there were only a few weeks before the opening ceremonies!

After a furious search, I found the yarn in Australia, ordered it online, and got obsessively busy training with the two balls I now had on hand and Excel. But that's for the next post.

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