Happy New Year! And more importantly, Happy Fringe and Friends Logalong! The wait for this log cabin-themed knitalong/makealong, which Karen Templer announced last October, has been tantalizing. I did not want to start ahead of time, for fear of blasting through my project in secret joy, and then not having anything to talk about anymore.
Together with other members of the august panel that Karen Templer has assembled for this makealong adventure, I explained my general plan over at the Fringe Association blog.
The idea sprang from Karen’s very first post announcing the logalong. She posted this sketch:
I thought: A HA. Everybody will be expecting me, the self-styled Log Cabin Queen, to knit some major acreage of log cabin blanket, or perhaps a tiny house or other abode. I’ll fool them all! I’ll make a garment! A dainty little slip of a garment!
Since submitting my swatch and my plans to Karen, I’ve refined the plan a bit.
Cracking open 2018’s brand-new Leuchtturm 1917 medium dotted-grid notebook, I sketched my first idea.
Thing to notice: I’ve added sleeves, and some shaping under the arms. This change was inspired by knitting my second Relax pullover, while wearing my first Relax pullover. Until you get to the underarm shaping, the front and back of Relax are two rectangles of stockinette. The underarm increases seem to be part of the magic of this favorite, much-worn sweater; they form partial dolman sleeves. I decided I would include simple underarm shaping in my Logalong top, along with the tiny, flipper-like rest of the sleeves.
Log Cabin mavens will notice that the arrangement of strips forms a Courthouse Steps log cabin, instead of the traditional spiraling strips. My goal: to create a flattering surface design that counteracts the blocky squareness of a typical log cabin. Courthouse Steps creates pyramid shapes (which I highlighted by shading on my sketch): sort of an hourglass effect. Instead of starting with a square, I elongated the center patch, trying to get more verticality.
Pressed for time when I was swatching, I stopped before the 4th (bottom) strip of the Courthouse Steps shape.
I kept looking at that swatch. I thought: maybe this upside-down U shape is actually better for my sweater than a completed Courthouse Steps. So I sketched that idea out in ye olde reliable Leuchtturm.
I liked it. But it still looked kind of funny to me. That wide triangle made the sweater visually top-heavy, and the horizontal strips dominated. What if I flipped it, to a right-side-up U shape?
Bingo! This, for now, is what I’m planning to knit.
What are the numbers? That’s the order in which I am knitting the strips. (The vertical strips get repeated on the east and west sides of the block, hence two 2s, 4s, 6s, etc.)
Fun fact: until I get to strips 12 and 13, the only “pattern” I need is the instructions for the U-shaped cloth in Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin. Present me is thanking past me for including the U shape in the Log Cabin Cloths collection.
So yes: this sweater is basically going to be a dishrag. A light ‘n’ luscious, wearable dishrag. A new frontier for dishrags.
I like the way strips 12 and 13 almost look like a yoke at the top of the sweater. Those two blocks could be just one block. I’ll decide when I get there.
Now, onward, to the knitting! My yarn (Jade Sapphire’s Sylph, shade Eddy) is wound. I am going to become expert at picking up stitches in the thin strands of this linen-cashmere blend.