I've been messing around with the yarns that I hope, pray, intend shall at some future moment become the Fair Isle vest. I have so far produced 1) a Photoshop chart of small test patterns, and 2) most of a small swatch, which are but the primoridal protoplasmic ocean-dwelling ancestors of the finished vest.
These are to help me decide what to do and, more importantly given my dismal track record as a colorist, what not to do.
Here's what I've figured out so far about color:
- In the palette of yarns I have darks and brights. Within the darks and brights, the colors divide themselves about equally into browns and blues.
- Patterns made entirely with browns look dull and mushy.
- Patterns made entirely with blues look gaudy and mushy.
- Patterns that mix the browns and blues have a nice jig to them. Since the plan is for bright patterns on dark grounds, the finished motifs should be bright blues on dark browns, or bright browns on dark blues.
- I thought after the recent spate of socks, lace class swatches, pence jugs, teeny oranges, and that frigging lace-weight Victorian nightcap that it would make a nice change to work on something heavier, like a sweater vest. And after a couple of experiments, it's clear that this thing will have to be worked on a US 3 (3.25 mm) circular. My biggest piece of in-progress lace is on a US4 (3.5 mm). Oh, the irony.
- The swatch is still on the needles, so I haven't definitively measured the gauge, but it looks to be somewhere in the region of 8.5 stitches/inch. I have never been so happy to be so short.
- The test patterns are far too small to read effectively at a fine gauge, so I'll have to spend many more hours playing with charts in Photoshop–and then do more swatching. I am so vibrantly excited about this that I know I will never again be able to roll my eyes at anyone whose idea of a good time involves Star Trek trivia, golf or computer code.
Going to Carolina
I'm tickled to bits to announce that arrangements have been made for a trip to North Carolina. On Saturday, February 21 from 5:30-7 p.m. there will be a talk/signing/reception at Yarns, Etc. in Chapel Hill; and on Sunday, February 22 from 9 a.m. to noon I'll be teaching "How to Photograph Your Fiber" at Great Yarns in Raleigh. The class is a repeat of the session that was such a hoot at Purl Diva back in December. For complete information, click here.