Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kandinsky inspired Designer Sweater (and pants set)

So, a few months back, someone sent me a message through etsy, inquiring about my granny square pants. Would I be able to make a granny square sweater, she asked?

After thinking about it, and ensuring that her timeframe would allow for some trial and error on my part, I responded that yes, I would love to make a granny square sweater.

We traded ideas back and forth until I felt like I had a pretty good feel for what she had in mind, and she even threw out the possibility of a granny square sweater and pants set, should the sweater turn out well. Within this conversation I learned that the intended recipient of the set would be her son, who would be wearing it to an ugly sweater contest around November/December of 2017.

As we nailed down a vision, I sent her this inspiration picture:

And we agreed that we would shoot for something along those lines.

After a few weeks of crocheting, we ended up with this sweater,

which my husband promptly fell in love with, and secured a promise from me that I would make him another as soon as I was able. Also interestingly, one of my neighbors, upon seeing the sweater remarked on the uncanny resemblance that it bears to on of her favorite paintings, Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles, by Wassily Kandinsky.

I have to admit, I definitely see the resemblance.

Then it was on to the pants. By roughly following my granny square pants pattern, I eventually landed on this:

My cheesy-yet-awesome husband. He's so accomodating!

All in all, it was a really fun exercise, and since I'd like to do it again (perhaps), and I wouldn't like to reinvent the wheel if/when I do it, I'm going to write down some pattern notes here. 

The Kandinsky Designer Sweater

Size H Hook
For yarn colors and types, see the "Color Choice" section at the end of the pattern

To make the Square:
Rnd 1: Magic circle, ch 2, 7 hdc in circle, join, ch 2 (8 total, counting ch 2 as first hdc)
Rnd 2: Hdc in same st and join, hdc, 2 hdc in next, ch 1, 2 hdc in same, continue around, 20 hdc total (5 on each side)
Rnd 3: 32 total (8 on each side), change color
Rnd 4: 44 total (11 on each side)
Rnd 5: 56 total (14 on each side), change color
Rnd 6: 68 total (17 on each side), change color
Rnd 7: 80 total (20 on each side), change color
Rnd 8: change from hdc to sc, only work in back loop of row below, 92 total (23 on each side). Finish off, leaving a long tail for stitching squares together.

Main "Vest": Make two panels of 3 squares by 3 squares. Stitch them together at the top, leaving plenty of room (1 full square, and a third to a half of the other "stitched" square) for the neck. Stitch up the sides, leaving the top squares unstitched for sleeve holes.

Sleeves: Make two panes of 2 squares by 2 squares. Stitch each of the panels together along one side, forming a tube or sleeve. 

Stitch sleeves to vest at the sleeve hole spot.

If the sweater fits your dimensions at this point, you're done. Otherwise, you can add stripes along the bottom and sleeves (I like to alternate hdc and dc, with the hdcs going in to just the back loops). If you want to make a mock turtleneck, sc around the neck area, decreasing or slip stitching as you go until you have the hole as small as you want it. Then, continue with the alternate hdc and dc stripes until it is as long as you want it.

Color Choice
This sweater was supposed to be a "semi Christmasy" sweater, and so I followed a color pattern as follows:

In the squares, 
rounds 1-3 were done in shades of either red, green, or white ("Christmas Colors")
rounds 4-5 were done in another shade of either red green or white
round 6 was done in a non-Christmas color
round 7 was done in another non-Christmas color
round 8 was done in yet another shade of either red, green, or white

For the stripes, I tended to alternate Christmas Colors with non-Christmas Colors

Throughout the project, I used scrap yarn, red heart acrylic super saver generally.

And now, with this gratuitious picture of me celebrating the completion of this awesome project, I leave you.

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