Picture of the Progress So Far

 
Here is a photo of what I’ve got so far.  I haven’t done a hem yet, because I’m really waffling on that.  I’ve simply done a provisional cast-on in white (which you can’t see in the pic) and will decide about a hem later.  At the base of the picture it’s three strands of 5 Blue Purple, going on up through 10 Blue Purple, 5 Purple, and now I’m on 10 Purple.  (Right now I’m on one strand of 10 Purple and still two strands of 5 Purple).  It’s hard to see the color change that’s on the needle, but you can get an idea of how using multiple strands to swap out colors makes a gentler color gradation.
 
This basic pattern is so useful.  I’ve already got an idea to buy Lunatic Fringe’s "Grey Matter" kit and knit the same sweater with one strand of 5 Red and two strands of black at the hem, keeping the 5 Red throughout, and swapping out strands of the grey matter colors so that it shades from full black at the hem to white (with 5 Red) at the neckline.  Or many other options!  This is going to keep me going for a long time.
 

Lazy Knitters

 
Yes, I am a lazy knitter.  And there are a few real benefits in this type of project for us lazy knitters…
 
First of all, with the color changes happening so frequently, you don’t really have to worry about the color jogs at the beginning of a round.  Nobody’s going to notice, probably not even you!  Just knit around.
 
And secondly, since the yarns are so fine, you can avoid having ends to weave in by simply knitting the cut strand along with your work.  What I do is, at the beginning of a color change round, add in the new color but don’t remove the strand of the old color yet.  Work 4-7 stitches.  Then snip off the strand of old color to be removed (snip it near the back of the fabric).  Remove the strand from your bundle of working yarns and continue with the three proper strands for this row.  On your next row, pick up the loose end from the newly-started strand and work that in.  Voila, no loose ends!
 
So far I have finished all the 5 Blue Purple and 10 Blue Purple and I’m working on the 5 Purple.  I hope that by this evening I’ll be done with the 5 Purple – or at least have the 10 Purple added in – and I’ll post a pic to show how nicely the color progresses.

Progress

 
Well, my needle arrived today, and it’s a beaut. 
 
5 Blue Purple is really the best color to start with (at the hem) because it is not only sort of out of sequence color-wise (being very purple as I mentioned yesterday) but also being much lighter in tone than the others.  I debated not using 5 Blue Purple at all, but since it’s going to be down by the hem, I might as well keep it in there.
 
More later.

Colors

 
The more I look at that stack of cones, the more frustrated I get.  Only in a minor way – it’s not going to stop me making the project, or cause me to have an unpleasant progression – but it irritates me that there is no true blue.  5 Blue Purple (bottom of the stack) is quite purple.  The top two cones on the stack are called Blue (5 Blue and 10 Blue) but the top one really does look like turquoise.  So, that’s a minor irritation, and that’s probably why I’m going to knit it in the order shown below.  It won’t segue right otherwise, if the 5 Blue Purple is next to the 10 Blue.
 
My needle should arrive tomorrow…

Musings on the N.R.S.

 
That is the "New Rainbow Sweater."
 
I got my yarn today.  It’s great…really vivid and striking, just how I like it.  Now I’m trying to decide whether I should stick with my patterned color progression, or start/end with a different color sequence.  Here is a picture of the cones stacked up, in the order I’m thinking of.  (Purple at the bottom, turquoise at the neckline.)
 

The reason I changed my mind about starting with 10 Blue Purple is that it’s much more purple than I had expected.  I thought it would be like a light periwinkle.

I still have to wait for my special knitting needle (an osage orange 4.25mm circular from Jenkins Woodworking) and the white yarn for the hem and edging, and then I can get started and post some notes.  A word to the family:  this is an ambitious knitting design so it will probably eat up a lot of my blog posts for a while, at least until I get a few inches of the color progression finished.  Your patience is appreciated.  I’m hoping to complete it before the UK trip, but it doesn’t seem likely!

The New Rainbow Sweater

 
The pattern for the New Rainbow Sweater is finally on the web at http://www.us-picks.com (select "Free Knitting Patterns" and you will see it at the top of the list that follows).  I’m doing some hem experiments with black & white today and will decide on a hem before tomorrow sometime.
 
Some info about it:
 

The Color Gamp Kit from Lunatic Fringe Yarns ($72) should provide enough of all the colors needed.  You will need to wind each cone into at least two smaller balls since there are times when you will be working with three strands of the same color at once.  Or you could just buy three Color Gamp Kits and work with each strand coming from its own cone.

The sweater is knit in the round with three strands throughout.  Each group of colors will be 4 rows wide.  The color work begins with three strands of the color "5 Purple Blue."  The second group of strands will be two strands of "5 Purple Blue" and one strand of "10 Purple Blue."  The third group will be 1 strand of "5 Purple Blue" and two strands of "10 Purple Blue."  The next group will be three strands of "10 Purple Blue"…etc.  The final group at the shoulders/neckline will be three strands of "10 Blue."  There are 58 different color groups:  twenty colors times 3 different variations.  However, there are no groups containing both "5 Blue Purple" (our start color) and "10 Blue" (our end color). 

My Color Progression (from hem to collar)I’ll be starting at the white line and working counterclockwise.

  • 5 Purple Blue
  • 10 Purple Blue
  • 5 Purple
  • 10 Purple
  • 5 Red Purple
  • 10 Red Purple
  • 5 Red
  • 10 Red
  • 5 Yellow Red
  • 10 Yellow Red
  • 5 Yellow
  • 10 Yellow
  • 5 Green Yellow
  • 10 Green Yellow
  • 5 Green
  • 10 Green
  • 5 Blue Green
  • 10 Blue Green
  • 5 Blue
  • 10 Blue

 So I will color change as follows:

  • 3 rows of 3 strands of 5 Purple Blue
  • 3 rows of 2 strands 5 Purple Blue and 1 strand 10 Purple Blue
  • 3 rows of 1 strand 5 Purple Blue and 2 strands 10 Purple Blue
  • 3 rows of 3 strands of 10 Purple Blue
  • 3 rows of 2 strands 10 Purple Blue and 1 strand 5 Purple
  • 3 rows of 1 strand 10 Purple Blue and 2 strands 5 Purple
  • 3 rows of 3 strands 5 Purple
  • 3 rows of 2 strands 5 Purple and 1 strand 10 Purple
  • 3 rows of 1 strand 5 Purple and 2 strands 10 Purple
  • 3 rows of 3 strands 10 Purple
  • 3 rows of 2 strands 10 Purple and 1 strand 5 Red Purple
  • (etc.)

You could actually start and finish this with any of the colors you like, as long as you follow the spectrum progression.