When I wrote about pocket construction, I thought it would be clearer if I photographed a pocket in progress rather than describing it in words alone. To do this, I had to unearth one of the plastic boxes that house my Rowan kits.
I should qualify this statement. Not all of these are “my” Rowan kits. After my father died in 1989, my mother looked at some of the Kaffe Fassett and Rowan knitting books I had gotten on sale after a LYS closed its doors, and she also examined the Tomato Factory Yarn Co.’s brochures featuring these kits (that was the mail-order source I used for Rowan and many other fine yarns, and I regret that it is no longer in business). I have no idea why she bought so many because she was not really much of a knitter—she preferred to sew and make jewelry, and her knitting was slow and so tight that the stitches did not move on the needle. She was definitely not up to the demands of those kits, and I can only assume that she had intended to use the knitting to shift her focus from the loss. About a decade after, I asked her if she had ever planned to knit up those kits, and she said no. She gave them to me, and now I have seven unknit kits, plus assorted Rowan yarns that are not part of kits. Unfortunately, much of the unknit yarn is in lavender, a color that does not look very good on me. (I'll probably gather it with other yarn I won't ever use and offer it all for sale—so stay tuned, if lavender is a color you like—there is lots of Rowan DK and Magpie.)
I was surprised at how far I got with the UFO when I took it out of the box. All the pieces were done, but I wanted to redo the shoulders so the seam would look smoother. This sweater was the first in a series of intarsia sweaters I planned to make, and it was the easiest, having only intarsia at the bottom and cuffs.
Having gotten on a roll with the UFO, I decided to take a look at the other unknit kits and see what might be next. A problem I have with the Rowan kits is that they seem to be intended for someone taller and larger than I am. There are few ways to alter them except to reduce the needle size, and this has always been an obstacle for starting them. (If you have experience with these kits and have other suggestions for making the sweaters smaller--both in diameter and length--I'd love to know what you did.)
This sweater is from Sasha Kagan's Big and Little Sweater book. It is the alternative colorway with blue as the background (a hard blue to match), and flowers in shades of cyclamen:
This is a Susan Duckworth sweater (Venetian Tiles) that I thought would give me good practice in intarsia because there are only a few squares on each piece:
This Susan Duckworth kit was one of my mother's purchases, but I really like it. Most of the yarn is Kid Silk, which positively glows. And I love the 20's look of the sweater. Unfortunately, it is designed to have a chest circumference of 50 inches, and I'll have to do something dramatic to get that to about 44 inches.
Another of my mother's kits, which would be good intarsia practice, is this Kaffe Fassett sweater:
I bought this Kaffe Fassett kit for myself, and I think it predates most of his other commercial kits. If you can believe it, the instructions have no chart! The sweater body is knit in one piece from back to front, and the yarn is tapestry yarn. It will be tough, and so it won't be at the top of my list to knit soon:
This is for a short version of Kaffe Fassett's Rose Jacket. I have only a photocopy of the pattern leaflet because the instructions are in one of his books--and the photos are "artsy" so there is no good view of the jacket itself. The black flecked background yarn is cotton and wool, as are some of the yarns for the flowers. I can anticipate tackling this one after one of the easier kits:
This last kit was one of my mother's and it is one I think is relatively popular. This is my least favorite because the colors seem a trifle bright for me, and there are a lot of greens (I don't look good in green). But I may knit it some day just for the challenge.
It seems that intarsia has fallen out of favor, but most of these sweaters captivate me. And even though they’re boxy, I think they will always be classics. I’ll devote some knitting time in the fall to one of them—most likely Deco or Venetian Tiles, which seem to be only slightly more complex than the sweater I'm finishing now.
If these were in your stash, which would you tackle first?