I've got to make a choice.
I need to submit my spring Knit Along proposal this week. Usually, I offer two sessions, each focusing on the same sweater. This winter, the sweater has been the Pumpkin Ale cardigan, as you well know.
The sweater choice for spring has stymied me though, and for 2 reasons.
First, I have at least two spring/summer cardigans in my Ravelry queue which I'd like to knit, but neither is particularly worthy of a knit along. What I mean by that is that neither is sufficiently complex to warrant 2 months worth of help/encouragement. At least I didn't think so with my first run at them both.
Second, I think I need to make myself and my groups attractive to the beginning sweater knitter as well as to my intermediate to advanced knitters. There is a wide range of knitters with a wide range of skills who are interested in the knit alongs. There aren't many sweater patterns that encompass those ranges. The audience is more suited to two different types of project. One that reinforces or teaches the basics of fit and construction and one that pushes at the edges of an accomplished knitter's skill set.
Ah me, what to do? What to do?
I think I'll do what any self-respecting blogger would do. Let her readers decide. ; )
You've seen the Dahlia sweater I've worked up in my hand spun. The center back lace piece is a challenge and there is a sufficiently complex chart to work from. But...
(Don't you love the color combination that's landed right by my face?! ) Here's the rub. Once the center back is done? Miles of stockinette. Miles. In it's favor? A relatively complex construction and afterthought sleeves -- an interesting technique. Especially if you remember to put in the waste yarn. Which I did not. I'll have to pick out my afterthought sleeve hole... I blame Homeland.
The other choice is the Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu. Hitofude is pronounced HE-toe-FOO-day and means 'single brush stroke' in Japanese according to the pattern page.
The cardigan is knit in one piece beginning with the neck and arms. Here are my first several repeats of the lace pattern. The bright yellow provisional cast on will end up as the under arm seam. I think.
I'm using Lucci Hemp lace yarn in the Ocean colorway. The hemp knits into fabric with an interesting combination of drape and crispness that appeals to me, especially in a summer cardigan. My blocked swatch doesn't retain nearly the dimension of the above knitted piece, but the lace blocks out nicely.
As a knit along cardigan, Hitofude has interesting construction and seasonality going for it. New skills for many would be the provisional cast on and perhaps the lace chart. Other than that, though, it'd just be a lot of lace knitting. A lot.
Which is more interesting than a lot of stockinette, I guess.
I'm stumped. One option is that I could offer both, one Wednesday and one Saturday mornings. That doesn't really solve number 2 above -- neither of these is really suited to a beginner unless that beginner is a good lace knitter and just hasn't approached sweaters.
Another option is to choose one of these and also offer a knit along using perhaps Ann Budd's book of Sweater patterns which contains simple patterns suitable for all levels.
A third option is to offer one of these, likely Dahlia, as a kind of truncated workshop, not the full blown thing and just help folks get started and figure out sizing (thanks for that idea, Jennifer!).
Ah me. What to do? What to do?