Chart Smart

One sleeve of Norblu is almost finished!

The accelerated increase ended at exactly the right length, so I’ve been able to work on the stranded decoration over a straight 72 stitches.  Since this is a 12-stitch pattern, that’s perfect!

I had a general idea of the color arrangement I wanted, but it’s often the case that I don’t like my ideas once I see them “in action”!  Before I got started, I decided to draw it out.  I had a vague memory of some online knitting chart paper and, sure enough,  this page from a Japanese site called Tata & Tatao allows you to enter your stitch and row gauge and then print out a sheet that’s close to the dimensions of your knitting.  While in Philly yesterday, I bought a set of colored markers ($2 at Five Below!) and I did some experimenting last night.  I think this was definitely worthwhile.  I felt comfortable going forward with the stranded work and I’m happy with the result.  It was nice to double-check the size of the pattern too.  I wanted 5″ (because that’s how much I have left to finish the sleeve) but if that looked too small, I could rip back a few rows and add some more striping or something.

The decorative pattern comes from Jessica Tromp’s wonderful site of Norwegian (and other) knitting charts.  I picked a fairly simple motif (cuz I’m new at it) and made it fancier with more colors.  OK, so that’s where I got the “Nor” in the sweater’s working name … what about “blu”?  When I finally settled on the yarn colors, I realized that what they have in common is “blue”.  There is no blue in the sweater, but each of the colors has blue as a component.  I think this sweater will look especially good with denim and navy blue!

Oh, lookie what I found a few minutes ago: Monkster Gets Stranded A free pattern for a Norwegian-style bottom-up raglan sweater for a Teddy Bear.  Is that the cutest thing, or what??  If you’re wanting to try the techniques before committing to a real Monster size, maybe this is the way to go!  I noticed that the next post describes hemming in detail too.  Hah, shoulda found this site a week ago!  It looks like a keeper …

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