My current work in progress:

Benedict, designed by Michele Wang, knit from Rowan Softknit Cotton in the Cocoa colorway, on a U.S. size 6 and 8 needle.

More Tudor Roses

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my Margaret Tudor sweater. I have not yet worn it because it has not been cold enough for me to do so comfortably.

So of course I’ve moved on to a new project. I started this on Friday:

This is another design from Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses: Mary Tudor. I purchased the kit from Virtualyarns, here.

So far, so good! I have a much harder time memorizing a large-scale stranded design like this — traditional Fair Isle “peeries” are much easier for me to remember. But it is a lovely design and a very fun knit!

Loki is enjoying it too.

Bits and Pieces

There have been a few questions in the comments asking why Margaret Tudor is worked in so many pieces?

I know the tendency these days is towards sweaters that are knit in the round with as little sewing as possible. I am not a fan of in-the-round sweaters or seamless sweaters in anything heavier than sportweight and for no good reason other than to minimize finishing work. Where there is a good reason to knit in the round (like stranded colorwork) I’m right there. Otherwise, I like the structure that seams give a sweater. My experience is that a seamless sweater knit in the round morphs into a shapeless blob. As I said, stranded colorwork is the exception — the fabric that stranded colorwork creates is firmer than one knit in one color so it gives some body to a garment.

Some may say that for this design, Margaret Tudor, the designer Alice Starmore has taken the whole seaming thing to extremes. But remember — this design is inspired by Tudor garments, and in Starmore’s own words:

I united the symbolic elements in a complex design that references the Tudor fashion for slashed garments, where the outer fabric is cut into openings to reveal another garment or fabric underneath. I placed my thistle in outer prominence, with the rose peeking through from panels set underneath.

So there you have it. Straight from the designer’s mouth.

I have no issue with seaming so have been having a lovely time putting the pieces together.

With that said . . .

Ta-da!

In other news, Loki is helping me do laundry.

So helpful!

Forty-six

That is the number of thistles I have knit as I’m working on the Margaret Tudor sweater. I have all the thistle panels complete.

Sleeve One:

Sleeve Two:

Front:

Back:

As you see on the back pieces, I have completed one of the lace panels. I’m working on the second of six lace panels now:

And Loki is standing by in case I need him!

Sleeve Start!

I mention how labor-intensive this project is?

I’ve finished all the “major” pieces of the body, and started on a sleeve piece.

Each sleeve consists of three pieces: two sides, and a center panel with an openwork pattern. This is the first of four sleeve side pieces. Once the side pieces are done, all that remains are four openwork panels, one each for the sleeves and for the front and back. Plus all the sewing, neckband, cuffs, and bottom band.

Yeah, that’s all.

You can see that Loki is exhausted at the mere thought of it all.

So Many Pieces!

There were a couple of questions in the comments last week about the number of pieces that make up the Margaret Tudor sweater.

I am knitting the design from the original book, not the 2013 re-issue. The re-issue has a slightly re-designed Margaret Tudor that has sleeves that are knit in one piece.

The original design has five pieces that make up the back, five that make up the front, and three for each sleeve. After you sew the pieces together, you pick up and knit cuffs, bottom band, and neckband.

Labor-intensive? Heck yeah? Fun to knit? Heck yeah?

It is an interesting construction and not one I’ve come across before. It is definitely unique and will make a stunning sweater.

Since last week, I finished a side front piece:

I am working on the second side back piece:

So of the 16 pieces needed (before knitting the cuffs and bands) I now have four and a half completed. So I definitely have a lot of knitting ahead of me!

And as you can see, Loki is being as helpful as usual!