Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rare Breed Sweater - Sheep Feet

I can't believe I am finally knitting on this project. It was conceived four years ago and I've spent those years collecting rare breed fleece and roving samples, spinning, and thinking. I developed the sheep motif fairly early; after I got the fleece for the body of the sweater, a kilo of Ryeland.

Now, with over a dozen rare breed yarns it felt like time to start knitting. I worked up a tension swatch and am using the measurements from a favorite sweater as a guideline. My gauge is 20.5 stitches and 32 rows per 4 inches.

I've started on the back and have just finished the stick-like looking legs on the first row of sheep:

The beginning of Leigh's Rare Breed Sweater.As you can see the sheep will be intarsia knit. It's been a lot of fun arranging and rearranging the different colors of yarns, trying to decide what to put where.

A close-up:
Close up of the color transition & sheep legs.As you can see, so far I've abandoned all my sample swatches.

I have to admit that I'm still contemplating exactly how I'm going to do the sheep on the fronts. In some ways it would be so much easier to make this a pullover as five sheep are fitting nicely across the back width. That means each cardigan front will have enough room for 2 and 1/2 sheep(!). One idea I have for the rows of sheep on the fronts is to to knit a ewe and two smaller lambs (instead of 2 and 1/2 sheep ;). I think this would be a nice way to show off the variety of fleece colors for some breeds like Navaho Churro, Shetland, and North Ronaldsay.

Also I still have to make decisions about the front and neck bands, and buttons; things which are fun to contemplate as I sit there knitting. If only all my decisions could be this enjoyable!

Related Posts:
Winter Knitting Project
Rare Breed Sweater Swatches
TA-DAH! Rare Breed Sweater Done!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Or you could just leave out the half-sheep, and arrange the whole sheep in a half-drop pattern on the fronts. Kind of like they're grazing peacefully around to the fronts of the cardi...

Looking great so far! I like the green/blue/white transition band.

Anonymous said...

Well even though you're not 100% sure how it will all end up, at least you have a really great looking start!

jessie said...

This is process knitting at its finest!

Cathy said...

Looks great!

junior_goddess said...

I think it's gonna be awesome. I think staggering them a little helps avoid the Totally 80s thing.
http://www.angelfire.com/art2/lovies/Casual.html
or
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cache.lionbrand.com/stores/lionbrand/pictures/kwe-countingsheepsweaterhata.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cache.lionbrand.com/patterns/kwe-countingSheepSweaterHat.html&h=241&w=213&sz=10&hl=en&start=11&tbnid=4ckG4as_BGJLdM:&tbnh=110&tbnw=97&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsheep%2Bsweater%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26rls%3DGGLJ,GGLJ:2006-21,GGLJ:en%26sa%3DN

Valerie said...

Lovely...thanks for thinking in print while you work out the details of the sweater. That's my favorite part...the problem solving along the way.