Sunday, 20 April 2014

Swedish Dala horse baby sweater

It's been a busy old year so far, with this internship sucking up a lot of my free time.  I've slightly abandoned the old blog, I just haven't had the time to craft, let alone blog about crafting!  I've finally finished a project though, it's ridiculous that it's taken me this long, given that it's a super simple baby sweater, but I designed the Dala horse section and boy, was that tricky.


I had to frog this no less than 5 times before I was reasonably happy with it.  FIVE.  That's a lot of times.  My problem was trying to work the red, white, blue and green strands for the horses' tack, the colours would pull the white too tight and leave gaping holes in some places, but tight areas in others.  I know this is more my technique than anything else, I guess when I think about it I haven't done a huge amount of colourwork that involves more than 2 colours, but I managed Mini Maciver cardi fine so I don't know what's wrong with me just now.  Chronic lack of sleep most likely.


Horrible holes and tight areas


Slightly better attempt but I wasn't happy with all the red showing through so I cut the red at the back with a view to tying in the loose ends...instead the whole thing unwraveled and I had to start again.  Facepalm.

Anyway, after 4 failed attempts, I decided to ditch the colourwork tack and just go for the basic horses.  I embroidered the central horse's tack on last, just for a focal point in the middle of the sweater.  The horse button is one I've been hoarding for years so it's nice to see it used finally.  I don't really like the look of the horses without tack though, the saddle and bridle gives them better definition but by that point I was about to give up on knitting altogether and just wanted to see it finished.



I'm not hugely happy with the end result, I'm clearly not competent enough yet to be designing my own patterns!  I'm also not happy with the proportions, it looks too short to me and the sleeves look too long.  The intended recepient is only 3 weeks old currently, so it'll be a while before it fits her.  Even with blocking and using larger needles for the colourwork section, it still sucks in slightly around the waist, so that's annoying.  And the bottom hem curls up, grrr.


Overall, not my best work.  I partly picked this pattern because it looked easy and I thought it would be a nice base to have a go at designing my own colourwork section but honestly, I think I bit off more than I could chew at the moment.  I just don't have the time or energy in the evenings to do anything more complicated than follow someone else's pattern so I think I'll give up on pattern design and leave it to the professionals.  At least for the moment...!

Thanks for sticking by me loyal readers, with my increasingly erratic posting schedule.  I have a job lined up for after my internship that is only 3.5 days a week though, so watch this space for more crafting and blogging come August!