You remember this one: Once Upon a Time, I made a tube of knitting, and cut it into panels, then appliqued them onto a boiled wool jacket. I've been trying ever since to figure out how to make a knittable sweater pattern for you from it.
You might also remember that I completely finished said knitted sweater once, only to decide that it was a toad, and banish it to time out. For around two years.
God love you, Gentle Readers; knitters have long memories. I get reminded at least once a week that I promised to make this happen, and that I have not yet done so. I'm so happy that you won't let me get away with giving up the Battle of the Frog. I know that once I figure this one out, you'll be really proud of me. And you have been SO patient. I went back into the pond, so to speak, to think like a knitter, and try sorting it out a different way.
I decided to work out the best shape for every piece of the sweater, and then choose how to knit each piece most easily. As for the original, the stranded colorwork part should be worked as a circular tube:
Then we should cut the three panels apart, and shape the neckline curve by cutting it:
Next, we can join the shoulder seams, then pick up and knit the collar around the neckline curve. The collar is best worked circularly, too:
The collar will have a solid self-facing, (which I didn't draw) for stability, and we can shape the whole thing a little bit by changing needle sizes a few times to get a more funnel-, less cylindrical-shape . After cutting the collar steek, we'd fold the facing inside and stitch it down.
Other than the turn-back cuffs (which I'll get to), the rest of the piece is all solid black, which is one of the things I love about it - the stranded parts sort of stand alone, framed by their solid background. Another thing I love about the original is its sexy, feminine shaping, both at the waist and gathered sleeve heads. The best way to get those pieces right is to work them flat, like this:
But of course, the cuffs are stranded, so they should be worked together in a tube, then cut apart:
Then sleeves with gathered tops can be worked flat, up from those:
The whole thing would then be sewn together, with appliqued ribbons and whatever other gee-gaws I can't resist slapping on (Nothing in Moderation; except Moderation).
The only question left is: Am I the only one crazy enough to make a sweater this way? I imagine those of you who have been through my "Sexy, Shapely Steeks" class will see how it could work. That's the class where we deconstruct different knitted shapes to see where steeks could be added to make easier, more fun, and sexier knitting. But I'm worried the rest of the world might come after me with torches and pitchforks, once they read the pattern.
What do the knitters think? Is this mixture of construction techniques intimidating, or something you'd happily attempt? I could just simplify the whole thing by making a drop-shoulder, stranded-all-the-way-around cardigan. But that would be a completely different sweater than the original. I'd never want to underestimate the power of knitters to make what they want to make. But I don't want to cause anybody's hair to fall out, either.
Weigh in, won't you, O Friends With Opinions?