Thursday, February 24, 2011

DAK and Whistler

I have long loved the Nordic ski sweater patterns from Dale of Norway.  For several years I worked at handknitting the Salt Lake City team sweater.  While the original goal had been to wear it during the SLC Olympics in 2002, it was finally finished as my Christmas sweater in 2006.  I ripped back the yoke about 4 times trying to get the gauge/tension to work.  So I know exactly how much work goes into handknitting one of these sweaters.

Enter DAK, the first thing I did after I bought my Silver Reed 860, DAK and my laptop was draft the Nagano charts into DAK.  I already had the yarn and I really wanted the sweater.  Problem was that I didn't know how to use the software.  So the pattern stayed on the computer while I kept learning to use the machine and program.  Last year I decided that I wanted the Vancouver sweater for my Christmas sweater.  It is a fairly simple sweater for Dale of Norway so I put it into DAK and started knitting.  Starting it on December 24 wasn't the brightest idea for a Christmas sweater, but I did finish it in time for my birthday a couple of weeks later. 

This winter I decided that I would actually get Nagano knit.  So I looked at the yarn I had stashed for this project, decided to make a Small rather than a Medium to best use the yarn I had, reviewed the stitch patterns for errors, swatched to match the gauge needed, and started knitting.  It took about 2 weeks to knit on the machine, and looks amazing.  If I would get the finishing done so I could photograph it I would be really happy.

So now I want to make Whistler.  I have the shape pattern complete and the stitch patterns too.  Problem is that there are parts of it that are 3 colors per row.  So I'm thinking 3 color jacquard is the technique to use for this one.  Or at least for the rows affected.  So I read my manuals.  Not a lot of help there.  I go online to the Machine Knitting boards on Ravelry.  Some one else is asking the same questions, but I'm not seeing anything that really helps me.   I'm frustrated because the majority of the pattern is plain stockinette or setting O, most of the colorwork is 2 colors per row, basically fair isle, setting F, but about 10 - 12 rows are 3 color or jacquard/J.  The sound options on the interactive module imply that there should be a way to combine multiple techniques on one pattern piece but I can't figure it out.

So my best solution is to create 2 versions of each piece, one will be fair isle and stockinette with the jacquard section cut out and blank.  The second version will have the jacquard pattern on the appropriate rows of the pattern blank.  The plan is to knit the fair isle until I get to the jacquard rows.  Then load the jacquard piece, zip up to the appropriate row and knit the jacquard rows, then switch back to fair isle.  And this has to be done on all 4 pieces of the sweater.  I'm thinking a lot of swatches to get this worked out correctly before I start the big pieces.

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