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!


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.

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.