Saturday, December 19, 2015

WIP: Mondrian Color Block Cardigan

For two years now I've been having this idea of knitting a cardigan, inspired by Piet Mondrian's color block paintings and Yves Saint Laurent's 60s dress. I knit a lot with Alize Cashmira 100% wool and I have lots of scrap yarn in various solid colors. So, finally, this month I began planning and swatching and drawing my project. I have dozens of sketches of the cardigan, made in CorelDRAW.

Everything was going according to plan and I was loving the process and the result ...

until I hit the [inevitable] wall. This is something that just always, always happens to me - I have in my head this perfect final result and when I reach some 60-70% of the project done I am always disappointed, things never look as glamorous and perfect as I have imagined them.
The wall in this case - the side seams. Of course, I knew how the side seams would look, I had drawn them on my computer and in the drawings things seemed nice and interesting. But when I connected the sides to the back today, I totally disliked the result. Without a black contour line the off-set blocks, made so on purpose to imitate the painting, look more like a mistake than an effect .

I could live with the left side seam, because of the continuity of the yellow block and the contour,

but the right side is completely off. Four roads ahead:
1) live with it;
2) top stitch a single stitch black contour line along the side seam;
3) redo the front - lift the blue block and align the contour with the second contour of the back;
4) knit two 6 stitch black pieces and insert them in between the sides and the back. If I do so, however, do I then add contours to the shoulder seams. What about contours of the sleeves? Not to mention the additional width and the widening of the sleeve opening ...

This is the wall I'm banging my head against today. And don't start me on the fact that I've run out of white and blue yarn for the second sleeve and I already had to buy black and yellow, so instead of stash busting, this project in the end will have increased my stash with as much as it has decreased it :(((

What do you think I should do? I'm most inclined to go with option 3 (grafting, not ripping).
I went for option 3 and I am happy with the outcome. The continuity of the contour added the needed balance in the asymmetry, I think.

Now off to the yarn shop for more blue and white Cashmira.


  1. I would go for option 1. I really like it the way it is; for some reason, the discontinuity at the side seams appeals to me. However you go about it, it's going to be fantastic when it's all done!

    1. Thank you, Gail! I really hope it will be worth it in the end :)

  2. Oh my goodness! This cardi looks absolutely stunning!!! I would go with option 3, as you did, because I know that if there is anything in my knitting that bothers me, I wouldn't be able to live with that!