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Challenge Accepted

Happy new year, readers! It seems fitting to kick it off with the next question on my list: what’s your most challenging project?

Measuring challenge in knitting isn’t always simple, and I thought about this for a long time. Since it’s a new year, though, I’m featuring a new project, one that will probably get a proper WIP Wednesday write-up of its own once it actually makes it onto the needles – a properly fitted, gorgeous emerald green sweater for my wife Kai.

Look at that color! Silk fibers are known for holding dye with an unparalleled depth of color, and this yarn (Lang Yarns Silkmerino) is 38% silk.

Kai has often struggled to find off-the-rack “fitted” garments in feminine styles that are actually comfortable for her to wear. I, of course, took this as a challenge. Armed with what I’ve learned so far on my knitting journey, extensive explanations and diagrams in the “Shaping and Fitting” section of The Knowledgable Knitter, and this unbelievably touchable yarn I picked up for a steal on Love Knitting’s Black Friday sale, I’ve been getting to work.

Which, on a project this challenging and this important, means planning.

Measure twice, knit once. Hopefully.

I’m a bit nervous about this sweater, to be perfectly honest. Margaret Radcliffe gives excellent suggestions and instructions in her book, but I’ve never done fitting before, and trying to adapt a basic top-down raglan pullover so that it is not only flattering but carefully avoids all possible pitfalls (too tight across the bust, restriction of arm movement, front hem riding too high) involves juggling several different shaping techniques in one seamless piece of knitting, and a truly large amount of math. I say “knit once” in my caption above, but I’ll probably end up having to rip back and reknit several sections once I see how they actually sit on Kai’s body as opposed to carefully planned theory.

I’m still really excited about this, though. I feel like it’s a definite stretch of my capabilities, finally designing something intended to not only be comfortable and pretty but tailored to a person. And, of course, I get to play with some gorgeous yarn while I’m doing it.