Just Call It a Design Element

Hey Teach SweaterI finally finished my Hey Teach sweater.  It sure feels good to have another knitting project finished, off the needles and blocking.  Now all I have to do is pick some buttons for it and get them sewn on.    However, I did notice as I was preparing to sew the parts together that something was not quite right.  Can you pick it out?

I’ll give you a clue.  It’s NOT the fact that the one sleeve looks larger than the other.  I’ve actually got both sleeves blocked pretty close to the same measurements.  Besides, the sleeve that looks larger happens to go on the arm that had the lymph nodes removed so that arm tends to be bigger anyway.  No, it has to do with the very nature of handpainted yarns.

Hey Teach Lace PanelDoes this give you any better idea of what caused me a little consternation?  Do you begin to see a little variation in the colors between one side and the other of the front sections?  Well, if you’ve worked with handpainted yarn, you know that it is wise to work an inch or so from one skein and then from another skein….alternating back and forth so that any color variations will blend together.  This avoids an obvious changeover from one skein to a new skein.  It is also wise to buy all of your yarn for a project at one time so that you can match your handpainted skeins as closely as possible, since they rarely have dye lots.    OK, I didn’t follow either rule.    Well, I THOUGHT I was following rule #2 but here is what happened.

Remember when the Yarn Harlot knit up something and blogged about it on her blog and the yarn and color were Dream in Color’s Happy Forest colorway?  I fell in love with that color as did half of her readers, making that colorway very hard to find last year.  At one point, my local yarn store (LYS) got some in and I bought 6 or 7 skeins of it.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to make with it (I was considering  the February Lady Sweater at the time) but I knew I probably wanted a few more skeins on hand.  When my favorite online yarn shop got more in, I ordered several skeins of Happy Forest from them.  At some point, I threw them all together into one storage bag.  Bad move!  A year later, I signed up for a class to knit the Hey Teach sweater and decided to use my Happy Forest skeins for the project.  I was knitting merrily along, grabbing skeins out of the bag willy-nilly and only realized after I knit up the second front section, that the two fronts did NOT match.  Wouldn’t you know…..the skeins from my LYS were a much deeper, richer color than the skeins from the online vendor even though they all came from the same yarn dyer and were the same colorway.

Hey Teach Sleeve DetailSomeone in class asked me if I was going to reknit the front and I just looked at her.   You see, I had come up with a plan.  I decided to knit the button band  and neck band from the more vibrant skein which would tie both sides together.  Then I took the one sleeve that was from the deeper yarn and sewed it on the side that was paler and I  took the sleeve from the paler yarn and sewed it on the side that was deeper.  Voila!  We have ourselves a “design element.”    As my mom always used to say, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  And now you know the rest of the story.


One Response

  1. Although you pointed out the yarn color differences, I still think it is absolutely beautiful. Nice work!

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