This week Modern Knits, Vintage Style is arriving in bookstores and yarn shops.
From the publisher:
"Here are more than 20 new, retro-inspired patterns for sweaters, skirts, scarves, capelets, hats, gloves, and socks from well-known designers such as Lily Chin, Teva Durham, Annie Modesitt, Michele Orne, Anna Bell, and Kristin Spurkland. The book will feature new color photographs of each project and vintage photos of the classic garments that inspired them."
My contribution to the book is a cropped, fitted sweater with a 1940's silhouette and an all-over Nordic motif. The yarn is Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift (100% Shetland wool; 105m/25g per ball) in colors Grouse #235, Sorbet #570 and Rose # 550.
This sweater posed an interesting challenge: what to do with the colorwork pattern when confronted with the armhole/sleeve cap shaping? One option was to continue the motifs, knowing that they would be left incomplete at the selvedges as the shaping progressed, and that when sewing the sleeve cap into the armhole, these incomplete motifs could become visually confusing.
The other option was to eliminate the edge motifs when shaping meant that they could no longer be completed. This makes for tidy sewing and eliminates any visual confusion; however it leaves a broad swath of solid color at the armholes.
What to do? I chose option #2, albeit with some hesitancy due to my absolute certainty that I will hear/read about the "incorrect" way I handled the colorwork/shaping conundrum.
So, please, allow me to explain myself.
Part of my decision comes from my natural affinity for the simple and uncomplicated. I enjoy clean lines and negative space (I am Scandinavian, after all). At the same time, I very much enjoy patterns that break, asymmetry, and judiciously exposing structural elements of the work.
Leaving the area of the armhole and sleeve cap shaping "blank" creates visual interest, drawing attention to the structure of the garment. I like the slight visual jolt created by the pattern break--I think it gives the design a contemporary edge.
All that being said, I did note both options in the pattern, and have no doubt that some knitters will execute option #1 with great dexterity and aplomb. And isn't that part of what makes knitting great--that we can each customize our knitting to suit our individual tastes?